In Winter, things slow down just a bit on the farm. We appreciate how a change of seasons gives us the chance to turn our thinking toward next year’s crop plan. In addition to growing healthy food and beautiful flowers, we hope to be growing the skills of people with and without disabilities as the farm goes into production.
We invite you to come visit us next year, and to also view our progress through photos on Facebook and Instagram. Thank you for nurturing us throughout the year with your enthusiasm, your volunteer help, your words of encouragement, and your donations. We couldn’t do it without you!
May you and your loved ones find meaning in this season and enjoy a very happy, healthy new year!
Remembering DJ’s Growing Place
For Debbie and Curt Gore of Napa, CA, growing and giving seem to come naturally. When it was time to close their nursery, DJ's Growing Place, they were looking for a buyer for their greenhouse and other nursery supplies. When Heidi found their ad on Craigslist, she emailed to get more information and explained a bit about Costanoa Commons farm. Debbie immediately responded by lowering the greenhouse price and “throwing in a few other things you might be able to use.”
It turns out that a few other things quickly added up to greenhouse tables, a flat filler for seed propagation, fencing, plant markers, nursery pots and seed trays, and much more. They also donated over 60 different mature perennial plants! Debbie and Curt generously helped load our truck and trailer and even called to be sure we’d gotten home safely after driving the heavily-laden trailer back to Santa Cruz!
Despite enduring terribly difficult challenges, Debbie and Curt have responded with more generosity and kindness. When they realized they’d accidentally forgotten to give us a part for the greenhouse, a second load of more plants and supplies, in addition to the missing part, came back to our farm.
We like to think of DJ’s legacy as an ongoing one, continuing here at Costanoa Commons through the generosity of Debbie and Curt. Debbie displays more talent on her Etsy page where you will find her beautiful fragrant dried flower wreaths.
Thank you very much, Debbie and Curt. We really appreciate your donations and we hope our thumbs turn out to be as green as yours someday, too!
Can’t start ’em too young!
Kids and farms seem to go together well! Here at Costanoa Commons, we are developing unique opportunities for young children to get involved with their community, do interesting and age appropriate service projects, and learn about environmental and social stewardship—all at the same time.
With the goal of selling our products to support the farm, Costanoa Commons can benefit from “little farmers” who help start, grow, and even sell plants. Young children can plant and nurture “starts” for the farm, returning them to us when they are ready to plant permanently or to sell at our future farm stand. (Stay tuned!) In return, these “little farmers” learn about organic growing, environmental stewardship, and the farm’s broader purpose. The best part about these service opportunities is that young children can easily accomplish them at home. No driving required!
This fall, two young girls (ages 6 and 7), Sofia Seegel and her best friend from first grade (name withheld with intention), collaborated with Costanoa Commons to pilot this project. Together with their parents, the girls planted, nurtured and raised more than 100 paper-whites (genus Narcissus) bulbs into beautiful flowering plants suitable for holiday decorations, hostess gifts, or to brighten up the porch or patio. They took pictures of their progress as the plants grew all fall and ultimately gave them to us to take to the farm for the holiday season.
The girls hope to do a second planting of tulips in the late winter and also bring those plants to the farm. Costanoa Commons will host these junior farmers later in the season, where they can learn about organic, sustainable farming and about our larger social purpose. Both girls plan to share this project with their faith communities in the hope of encouraging their friends to help out, too.
See you soon, girls! Your paper whites are just beautiful!