News, Workshops and Upcoming Events
FIRST POTLUCK of 2014: Saturday, March 15 See what's new around the farm!
FARM SCHOOL: Holistic Orchard Care II: Citrus, Avocado 4-week course begins Wed. March 12
FARM SCHOOL: Basics of Sustainable Farming Next 12-week course begins April 24
Farm School: Advanced Farming Course
Holistic Orchard Care II
Citrus, Avocado and Subtropical Fruit,
plus Grafting, Propagating and Cloning Machines
taught by Paul Maschka
Wednesdays, 8am to noon at Wild Willow Farm
March 12,* 19, 26 and April 2
*first hour of first class will be introductory material for new students
+ $70 registration fee if you're new to the course, provides you with hand pruners plus required textbook The Holistic Orchard by Michael Phillips
By popular demand, a continuation of Paul's Holistic Orchard Care I class, though attendance in that course is not a pre-requisite.
The emphasis is on organic production methods for subtropical fruits, including citrus and avocado, plus instruction on grafting, propagation and cloning machines. This in-depth course is intended for students interested in organic fruit production, edible landscaping, agroecological education and sustainable plant husbandry.
The goal is to teach how to grow and maintain the myriad fruit-bearing trees, shrubs, vines and other countless plants that thrive in the Southwestern US. With the almost-tropical climate San Diego is famous for, local orchardists have tested the boundaries of hard-to-grow fruiting plants from around the globe. The result of decades-long dedication to the craft has been fruitful indeed. Planting a variety of fruit trees and berries and maintenance of established orchards will be just a few of the many hands-on learning activities the class will focus on.
appropriate varieties for our dry climate
efficient irrigation systems
soil fertility enhancement for new and existing trees
identification and cultural requirements
fruit-bearing plants native and introduced to San Diego County
hands-on pruning and training methods
propagation techniques for fruit trees, berries and other plants
details on integrated pest management.
We will also cover in great detail orchard design and installation. The theory of urban food forests will be discussed. Organic production methods will be emphasized.
We will begin with a brief history of domestic fruit trees from their wild origins and the relationship we have developed with them. Through multimedia and during our fruit forays we will get acquainted with the staggering list of amazing fruiting plants that do well in San Diego County.
During this course we will learn and put to practice the art of subtropical fruit tree care. We will also study the anatomy of trees and get acquainted with the countless invisible partners that are vital to the plant kingdom. Using hands-on instruction students will learn the ancient craft of grafting that involves joining different varieties of fruits together to encourage desirable characteristics suitable for small-scale orchards.
Paul Maschka was instrumental in creating and developing the Seeds@City Urban Farm, a unique agricultural gem on the campus of San Diego City College in the heart of downtown San Diego, where he served as adjunct professor in sustainable urban agriculture from 2007 to 2012. Paul's rich experience in sustainable farming and homesteading affords our students a well-rounded opportunity to learn all aspects of food production.
"The skills I'm sharing in this course were taught to me by my mentors — people, trees, birds, microorganisms, more. We have within us the ability to learn the language of plants. Only through our personal engagement with nature will we learn this language. Mother Nature is our constant tutor availing us of a lifetime of teachable moments.
Saturday, March 15
Volunteering, Farm Tour, Potluck, Wood-fired Pizza,
Music, Bonfire and more!
@ Wild Willow Farm
click here for a map (we recommend you use our map)
(donations in support of our programs are appreciated)
Schedule for the Day (rain cancels)
11am to 4pm: Volunteer on the farm
Learn while doing.
11am to 7pm: Purchase freshly harvested veggies.
5pm: Farm Tour
Led by Wild Willow staff and students. See what we do, and learn why and how we do it. Know your farmer, know your farm, know your food.
with farm-made, organic sourdough wood-fired pizza (donations requested).
6:30pm Live Music by The Big Decisions
Dusk -- BYODrum(s)
Our farm is all about community, so what better way to say that than by hosting a monthly community gathering? On third Saturdays each month from March through November, we host volunteer opportunities, tours, a grand potluck meal, and bonfire.
Something yummy to share (extra points for something homemade using organic, locally grown ingredients). Please label your dish and ingredients (share your recipes!).
Your own plate, cup and eating utensils help us keep this a zero-waste event.
Please pack out your recylables and trash.
Jacket and warm clothing. It gets surprisingly cold here at night.
We welcome everyone, but please leave your pets at home.
About our potlucks: volunteering, free mini-workshops, farm tour, potluck, bonfire, drumming. Farming is all about food. And food is best when shared with community. At our potlucks Wild Willow gives thanks to our amazing community of students, volunteers, educators, fans and eaters of every stripe. Familiar faces and new smiles are always welcome to these joyous gatherings that include educational workshops, volunteer activities, farm tour, potluck dinner, and drum circle around our cob firepit.
2014 POTLUCKS: April 19, May 17, June 21, July 19, August 16,
September 20, October 18, November 15
12-week instructional and practical experience
on a working sustainable farm.
taught by Paul Maschka
NEXT COURSES starts Thursday, April 24.
Classes Thursdays, 9am to 4pm, through July 10
Apply early for next session to ensure your participation.
Wild Willow Farm's 12-week Sustainable Farming 101 course offers students and introduction to techniques and strategies for small farming or agricultural advocacy, or to simply grow more of their own food.
The course consists of weekly lectures and fieldwork where students learn what it takes to work a small organic farm. Students take part in classroom lectures and projects, and work alongside farm staff to practice material covered in class.
Now enrolling for 13-week Shares
Pickups at Mission Hills Nursery, Wild Willow Farm or Chula Vista Yoga Center
You are invited to become a Wild Willow Farm Shareholder. Wild Willow Farm Shares are our version of a CSA -- Community Supported Agriculture. Shareholders receive a weekly box of vegetables and greens, with occasional fruits, cut flowers and herbs, as the seasons change. Exact amounts and varieties will vary, but we aim for consistent volume.
Shares are sold in advance of the growing season to help cover many of the farm's upfront costs, like seed, supplies and equipment.
Cost: 13 weeks x $30/week = $390.00
NEW ROLLING START DATE: no matter when you sign up, your share will last for 13 weeks.
Wild Willow Farm & Education Center
2550 Sunset Avenue, 92154 (not a mailing address)
Pickups are Wednesdays, 2 to 6pm.
Planting a seed is a commitment to the future.
We appreciate your interest in sharing this commitment and invite you to join our community.
Open Volunteering at Wild Willow Farm
every Saturday, 11am to 4pm (rain cancels)
No experience necessary. Everyone welcome. Come to the farm and participate in your food system as we grow and build Wild Willow Farm. Help us develop our farming and teaching areas, plant seeds, build and plant beds, make compost, mulch paths, do general farm maintenance, install irrigation, and do the myriad things a farmer does while preparing and growing San Diego seasonal plantings of vegetables, greens, medicinal and culinary herbs and cover crops.
On-farm chores vary widely week to week and depend entirely on what's happening at the farm that day. Usual activities include composting (hand-on learning every week), watering, bed prep, weeding, mulching, animal care, planting and tending a huge range of plants and more.
We welcome people of all ages and abilities, but please leave your pets at home.