Farming. That is all that’s on my mind lately.
Each day we interns retire to our beds ready for the forgiving night of sleep to ensue. Today we had the opportunity to tour Camp Harmon, a camp designed for people of all sorts of disabilities. They are nestled in the red woods, just like us, and are living a bit of Happy Valley’s dream for the future. Camp Harmon has a beautifully fruitful raised bed garden, albeit relatively small compared to what we will create, and a fully functioning compost system. Wow! Possibly even MORE exciting, they have animals! Because of the nurture they’ve received – being loved and petted and given lots of human attention – each animal is, in a sense, a therapy animal. I think that’s neat. The camp has chickens, pigs, goats, and I even saw a dog. I pet two little piglets! Therapeutic indeed.
Afterward, we took another trip to the UCSC Farm, a glorious place. This farm has everything. They are educational, involved in the community, and strategically sound. The farm heavily relies on companion farming, the implementation of the properties of each plant to fend off pests of other plants, or to enhance the growing quality of another. It’s pretty amazing, seeing a certified organic farm work on such a large scale.
Each trip I take to a farm off Happy Valley site, I gain new insights and visions for Happy Valley’s Farm. I am taking on the important task of planning our farm – companion gardening and all the perks along with it. I get more and more excited each day with each new piece of information. Learning more is fueling my drive and desire to make this work. There are more benefits of the farm plan than I can count on my fingers and toes (probably) and you are all going to love what it has to offer you, your kids, our Santa Cruz community.
I am attending three workshops at the UCSC Farm in the next two months. One is on seeding machinery (so we can make educated decisions), another on fruit tree care, and very importantly, one on drip irrigation systems.