Category: Weekly Farm Update

Farm Update

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

Today I woke up to cold winds blowing through my window and rain falling at my doorstep. It is the middle of June, and it feels like we are in the middle of fall. I really don’t mind the cooler temperatures, but what does bother me is that we did an EXCELLENT job of planning for summer season this year. The peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, cucumber, squash, beans, long beans, and more are all in the ground, and they have all set loads of fruit, but the good stuff has yet to ripen. I’m hoping that this weekends hot weather will start to bring on some of the tomatoes without roasting the whole farm. Luckily, our soil is amazing (like really amazing) and has the water holding capacity of a blue whale.  We’ll see what the weekend holds.

In other news, we had a couple of great visitors to the farm week.  On Monday, we were visited by the crew at the LA Food Policy Council. They have been trying to organize a trip to see us for a few months, and we were finally able to coordinate it. We gave them a very thorough tour of our farm and our process, and I think they learned quite a bit about the trials and tribulations of urban farming. Today, we were visited by our friend Arthur and a small crew from Huerta del Valle. They are looking to start a CSA at their farm (which is much much bigger than ours), and I invited them to come by and check out our system so they could adopt it to their farm.

We also had a great day with all our new Farmer Trainees. They broke the record for picking and packing the CSA boxes today: we were done by 9:30am. Wow!

Until next week,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

Arthur and the team from Huerta del Valle visited us today. They are learning how to operate a CSA from us.

Arthur and the team from Huerta del Valle visited us today. They are learning how to operate a CSA from us.

The new Farmer Trainees harvesting for the CSA and Daily Organics today.

The new Farmer Trainees harvesting for the CSA and Daily Organics today.

Chickens enjoying some grass and bugs underneath the fruit trees.

Chickens enjoying some grass and bugs underneath the fruit trees.

Farmer Trainee Journal Entries

Want to see the farm through the eyes of our Farmer Trainees? Read their weekly blog posts below.

This week’s Farmer’s Journal highlight comes to us from Farmer Tyler:

But kneeling next to a row of fresh earth, smelling the life before me, crushing the compost in my fingers, feeling the moistness and warmth of the dirt, watching the varied and active insects crawling on and through it; something happens there. My mind is not chewing on problems. Instead it pauses, I become more conscious, and I breathe deeply, in unison with the earth. And that is a most peaceful and beautiful thing.

I think everyday, every person, should have a little of that peace.

This week’s CSA Box

(Please click each item below for a larger photo, description, and preparation instructions.)

NOTE: We are trying to get around to update vegetables descriptions. In the mean time, for items without a provided description, feel free to Google uses and recipes.

Vegetables:
– 2-3 zucchini / zucchino rampicante
– 1 head cabbage
– 1-2 cucumbers, silver slicer
– 1 head kohlrabi*
– 1 bunch spring onion*

Green Vegetables:
– 1 bunch swiss chard*
– 1 bunch water spinach
– 1 bunch mixed kale

Herbs:
– 1 bunch garlic chives*
– 1 bunch italian basil

Fruit:
– 1 bag plums
– 1 bag peaches* (let them ripen up outside the fridge)

*LARGE VEGGIE BOX ONLY
**SMALL VEGGIE BOX ONLY

Storage Instructions

Leafy Vegetables
In case your greens are wilted by the time you pickup your box, please follow these instructions:

– Fill a small bowl or tub with 1 inch of water
– Cut a 1/2 inch of the bottoms of the stems of your leafy greens
– Place greens, with stems down, into the bowl of water
– Leave the greens in the bowl overnight and by morning they should be rehydrated

Wrap your rehydrated greens in a towel and store the in the fridge. Summer greens like water spinach, moringa, and yam leaves don’t last long either way, so eat those as soon as you can.

Herbs
The best way to store your herbs so that they keep longer is to cut the stems a little and place them in a glass filled with about an inch of water. Cover the leaves loosely with a bag and keep them in the refrigerator. Replace the water inside when it gets cloudy. This works great with basil, mint, cilantro, parsley, and many other herbs.

Please feel free to share your recipes with us and also any storing tips you may have. 🙂

Farm Update

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

This week marked the official start date of our new group of Farmer Trainees. We have 8 new trainees in total, coming from a variety of backgrounds and regions of LA. We are happy this time to have several local Pomona residents participating in the program, as it has been a goal of our since the start of our farm to integrate our work into the local community. The upcoming weeks will be ones of transition in the training program, as our graduating Farmers pass on their knowledge to our new group. It has been profoundly satisfying and heart-warming for me to see the graduating Farmers so enthusiastically welcome our new trainees and eagerly pass on what they’ve learned in the training program. I see lots of promise in this new class, and am really looking forward to the next 4 months working with them. Already, they have been tremendously helpful on the farm, and with the combined workforce of our staff, graduating trainees, and new trainees, we have been burning through our to-do list in the last week. We got a bit behind in planting and bed maintenance while we were putting up the new trellises (which are working great by the way!), and we are almost totally caught up! I am looking forward to unwrapping the presents that await as the sun kicks in stronger throughout the summer and the farm responds in kind. I know you all are probably looking forward to tomatoes as much as I am, and I don’t think we are going to disappoint this season.

P.S. Don’t forget to read the latest blog entries from the interns! I have linked to them below and there will be several new ones every week as the new class starts contributing.

Until next week!

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

So I totally forgot to take photos this week (doh!), so here are some beauties from the past few weeks.

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We released the barn cats last week. Not sure if they caught any gophers yet, but they sure are cute.

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Packing for the CSA! Come by and see our newly reorganized packing area.

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Beautiful papayas being harvested now from The Growing Home. Available as an add-on to CSA customers currently.

Farmer Trainee Journal Entries

Want to see the farm through the eyes of our Farmer Trainees? Read their weekly blog posts below.

Noy’s Latest Journal Entry

Laura’s Latest Journal Entry

JD’s Latest Journal Entry

Faye’s Latest Journal Entry

This week’s CSA Box

(Please click each item below for a larger photo, description, and preparation instructions.)

NOTE: We are trying to get around to update vegetables descriptions. In the mean time, for items without a provided description, feel free to Google uses and recipes.

Flyers:
– Monthly Growing Club Newsletter

Vegetables:
– 2-3 zucchini / zucchino rampicants
– 1 head cabbage
– 1 bunch carrots
– 1 bunch beets or 1 head kohlrabi
– 1 bunch spring onion*
– 2-3 silver slicer cucumber

Green Vegetables:
– 1 bunch swiss chard*
– 1 bunch water spinach*
– 1 bunch mixed kale**
– 1 box mixed salad**

Herbs:
– 1 bunch garlic chives*
– 1 bunch mint*
– 1 bunch italian basil**

Fruit:
– 1 bag plums
– 2nd bag plums*

*LARGE VEGGIE BOX ONLY
**SMALL VEGGIE BOX ONLY

Storage Instructions

Leafy Vegetables
In case your greens are wilted by the time you pickup your box, please follow these instructions:

– Fill a small bowl or tub with 1 inch of water
– Cut a 1/2 inch of the bottoms of the stems of your leafy greens
– Place greens, with stems down, into the bowl of water
– Leave the greens in the bowl overnight and by morning they should be rehydrated

Wrap your rehydrated greens in a towel and store the in the fridge. Summer greens like water spinach, moringa, and yam leaves don’t last long either way, so eat those as soon as you can.

Herbs
The best way to store your herbs so that they keep longer is to cut the stems a little and place them in a glass filled with about an inch of water. Cover the leaves loosely with a bag and keep them in the refrigerator. Replace the water inside when it gets cloudy. This works great with basil, mint, cilantro, parsley, and many other herbs.

Please feel free to share your recipes with us and also any storing tips you may have. 🙂

Farm Update

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

Good news from the world of urban farming! This week we are starting our interview rounds for our Farmer Training Program. We have 9 great candidates who will be working with us on the farm this week and next week. The group looks like it is full promising potential urban farmers, including several social justice advocates, recent college graduates, and earnest individuals. Although we are so happy to have a new group of trainees joining us, we are also sad that some from our current students will be moving on from the farm in the coming month. Of course, we wish them the best in all their future endeavors and adventures.  I’ll be updating you all on what each of our current trainees is moving on to as they complete their last week with us. For now, I am going to remain happy that they are still with us for another few weeks. Out in the fields, the farm continues chugging along, with more and more summer crops going into the ground such as okra, green beans, yard-long beans, and more cucumbers. This week we were able to do our first harvest of water spinach for the small boxes, and once it heats up those plants should start to explode. By the way, where is summer???? Today we all had to huddle for warmth the temperature took a nose-dive around noon. What the heck is going on? I only hope that more people become aware of the power of soil, ecological living, and social justice so that our climate doesn’t spin utterly out of control. Cheers to good farming and our community of change-makers who are already awake and making the changes the world needs.

I also have to share with all of you a little quote from our new Farmer Trainee’s journal entry:

Last week, while stringing up the tomatoes, Rishi asked me if I have enjoyed my time so far at the farm. Of course, I answered yes. It may be difficult for some people to believe, but there was one day when I had horse poo on my shoes, soil and worm castings under my finger nails and even chicken poo on my shirt (I wasn’t careful when leaning into the coup)  …. and I couldn’t be happier.

Read her whole post at the link below.

Until next week!

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

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Noy harvesting broccoli for the CSA. Last of the season!

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Lettuce showing fasciation, an abnormal growth of a stem which becomes flat and wide, and usually exhibits increased flowering and fruiting.

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Lynn filling up the CSA boxes with beautiful Magenta Lettuce, and trying not to laugh as I force her to hold her pose.

Farmer Trainee Journal Entries

Want to see the farm through the eyes of our Farmer Trainees? Read their weekly blog posts below.

Noy’s Latest Journal Entry

Laura’s Latest Journal Entry

This week’s CSA Box

(Please click each item below for a larger photo, description, and preparation instructions.)

NOTE: We are trying to get around to update vegetables descriptions. In the mean time, for items without a provided description, feel free to Google uses and recipes.

Flyers:
– Monthly Growing Club Newsletter

Vegetables:
– 1 lb zuchinni
– 1 bunch broccoli*
– 1 bunch beets
– 1 bunch spring onion
– 1 bunch kale, mixed varieties*
– 1 bunch carrots**
Green Vegetables:
– 1 bunch swiss chard*
– 1 head, magenta lettuce
– 1 bunch water spinach**

Herbs:
– 1 bunch culinary sage
– fennel fronds (great for tea!)
Fruit:
– 1 bag peaches
– 1 avocado*
– 1 lb oranges*

*LARGE VEGGIE BOX ONLY
**SMALL VEGGIE BOX ONLY

Storage Instructions

Leafy Vegetables
In case your greens are wilted by the time you pickup your box, please follow these instructions:

– Fill a small bowl or tub with 1 inch of water
– Cut a 1/2 inch of the bottoms of the stems of your leafy greens
– Place greens, with stems down, into the bowl of water
– Leave the greens in the bowl overnight and by morning they should be rehydrated

Wrap your rehydrated greens in a towel and store the in the fridge. Summer greens like water spinach, moringa, and yam leaves don’t last long either way, so eat those as soon as you can.

Herbs
The best way to store your herbs so that they keep longer is to cut the stems a little and place them in a glass filled with about an inch of water. Cover the leaves loosely with a bag and keep them in the refrigerator. Replace the water inside when it gets cloudy. This works great with basil, mint, cilantro, parsley, and many other herbs.

Please feel free to share your recipes with us and also any storing tips you may have. 🙂

Farm Update

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

This past weekend we celebrated the Grand Opening of Sarvodaya Farms newest farm site, The Growing Commons.  We are so happy to have been able to expand our farming operations to this new site, which is going to open up many new opportunities for us to reach and educate our community. Back at our main Pomona Urban Farm, we have doing a bit of heavy work, installing a new trellising system throughout the farm. We found the design for the system on YouTube, and thought it would work well for our needs. The new trellises are made out of 3/4″ steel pipes connected together which canopy fittings, with the legs of the trellis set into cement footings. The system will allow us to easily move trellises from bed-to-bed and the height of the trellis can be adjusted according to our needs. We’re very hopeful that the work and investment will pay us back with a bountiful harvest of tomatoes, trombocino squash, long beans and more. We have also had the pleasure of watching sunflowers throughout the farm bloom, painting the farm with a beautiful palate of colors from yellow to red to black. I love that all these flowers are coming up on their own and filling in all the empty spaces in the farm. We are enjoying them thoroughly and I know the birds and bees are too!

Until next week!

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

Hard work paying off with over 100 tomatoes trellised up and setting fruit already.

Hard work paying off with over 100 tomatoes trellised up and setting fruit already.

Farmer Trainee Noy harvests beautiful broccoli among bolting lettuces.

Farmer Trainee Noy harvests beautiful broccoli among bolting lettuces.

Sunflowers blooming in all colors paint the farm in beauty this spring.

Sunflowers blooming in all colors paint the farm in beauty this spring.

This week’s CSA Box

(Please click each item below for a larger photo, description, and preparation instructions.)

NOTE: We are trying to get around to update vegetables descriptions. In the mean time, for items without a provided description, feel free to Google uses and recipes.

Flyers:
– Monthly Growing Club Newsletter

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch carrots
– 1 bunch mini broccoli**
– 2 zucchini “Costata di Romanesco”
– 1 bunch beets*
– 1 bunch spring onions**
– 1 head cabbage

Green Vegetables:
– 2 heads lettuce mixed varieties
– 1 bunch swiss chard
– 1 bunch kale*

Herbs:
– 1 bunch garlic chives*

Fruit:
– avocados from Neff Ranch*
– oranges*
– peaches (first of the season from our farm)

*LARGE VEGGIE BOX ONLY
**SMALL VEGGIE BOX ONLY

Storage Instructions

Leafy Vegetables
In case your greens are wilted by the time you pickup your box, please follow these instructions:

– Fill a small bowl or tub with 1 inch of water
– Cut a 1/2 inch of the bottoms of the stems of your leafy greens
– Place greens, with stems down, into the bowl of water
– Leave the greens in the bowl overnight and by morning they should be rehydrated

Wrap your rehydrated greens in a towel and store the in the fridge. Summer greens like water spinach, moringa, and yam leaves don’t last long either way, so eat those as soon as you can.

Herbs
The best way to store your herbs so that they keep longer is to cut the stems a little and place them in a glass filled with about an inch of water. Cover the leaves loosely with a bag and keep them in the refrigerator. Replace the water inside when it gets cloudy. This works great with basil, mint, cilantro, parsley, and many other herbs.

Please feel free to share your recipes with us and also any storing tips you may have. 🙂