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News, Workshops and Upcoming Events

FARM SCHOOL Farming 101: Introduction to Farming Winter Course begins January 31
ADVANCED FARM SCHOOL Holistic Winter Orchard Care 4-Sunday course begins Feb. 1
FARMING CLASSES Weekly Basic Classes every Saturday

FARMSHARE CSA Now enrolling members
NOW ON SALE San Diego Garden-to-Table Almanac gardening tips for San Diego gardeners

VOLUNTEERING: Every Saturday 11am to 4pm
OPEN HOUSE/POTLUCK: Our signature community events will resume in March 2015

Farm School Farming 101: Introduction to Farming

Farming 101: Introduction to Farming

Revised format: now quicker, more affordable, and more accessible.

Five-week Course

CLASSES at University of San Diego (Linda Vista), Wednesday, 7:00pm-9:00pm
FIELD LABS at Wild Willow Farm, Saturday, 9:00am-4:00pm

Cost: $400 + $25 registration fee (includes required textbook)

Wild Willow Farm's Farming 101: Introduction to Farming course offers students an introduction to techniques and strategies for small farming or agricultural advocacy, or to simply grow more of their own food.

2015 Farming 101 Course Dates

Apply for Farming 101 Now

The course consists of lectures and field labs where students learn what it takes to begin and operate a small organic farm business. This course is a prerequisite to becoming a Tier 1 Farming Student.

Farming 101 Class Schedule

Click here to see course guidelines and syllabus


Saturday, January 31 9am-noon (includes farm lunch)
Topic: Welcome, History of WWF, Farm Tour, Staff & Student Introductions; Introductory lecture: In the Spirit of Organics.
Film: Symphony of the Soil after lunch (optional).

Week 1

Wednesday Class: It Starts with the Soil
Saturday Lab: Making & using compost, mulching, sheet composting, cover cropping.

Week 2

Wednesday Class: Growing Fertile Soil
Saturday Lab: Farm tools -- proper use and care; Evaluating soil texture and moisture; Bed preparation; Mechanical and manual tillage; Compost tea and extract.

Week 3

Wednesday Class: Seasonal Planting Techniques
Saturday Lab: Direct Sowing and Transplanting; Starting seeds; Planting practice.

Week 4

Wednesday Class: How Water Moves through the Soil
Saturday Lab: Irrigation practice and watering your farm under the southern sun.

Week 5

Wednesday Class: Pests, Pathogens & Attracting Beneficial Insects
Saturday Lab: Identifying pests, pathogens and beneficials, harvesting practice, cooking and Graduation Potluck!

Apply Now

Ongoing Farm School Programs

Continue your farming education in our year-round School for Sustainable Farming program, with weekly classes, hands-on mentoring and additional enrollment benefits. Click here for more information

Advanced Farming Courses

Enroll in Holistic Orchard Course

Enrollee's Name

After payment, you will be sent a confirmation and further instructions. Class fees are not refundable unless the class is cancelled, or we are notified of your non-attendance 48 hours before the class.

Holistic Orchard Care
Deciduous Fruit Trees

taught by Paul Maschka

Sundays, February 1, 8, 15, 22
9am to 4pm

4-session course begins
Sunday, February 1, 9am

at Wild Willow Farm

2550 Sunset Avenue 92154
Click here for a map (we recommend using our map)

Course includes one field trip to a local orchard.

Organic production methods will be emphasized.

General Public: $200 includes textbook
Tier 1 Students: $120 includes textbook

Required textbook The Holistic Orchard by Michael Phillips

This course is open to all levels of students and the general public.

This course introduces students to fruit tree selection, planting and care for small-scale orchards or home gardens. The course includes content about desirable varieties, hands-on pruning and training methods and details on pest management. The emphasis is on organic production methods. This course is intended for students interested in organic agricultural 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.

We will also cover in great detail orchard design and installation. The theory of urban food forests will be discussed.

Join the Wild Willow Farmshare CSA

We invite you to join us as we plant seeds for a healthy and delicious shared future.

Now enrolling for Full and Half Shares

Pickups in Imperial Beach, Chula Vista,
Mission Hills and Talmadge

Click here for more info or to join.

You are invited to become a Wild Willow Farm Shareholder -- our version of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Each weekly or bi-weekly Share includes a seasonal selection of farm-fresh vegetables with occasional fruits, cut flowers, and herbs -- the equivalent of about one grocery bag full of just-harvested produce. Contents of your Share will vary based on seasons and production cycles, but we aim for consistent volume.

Full Share: every week for 12 weeks = $240
Half Share: every other week for 12 weeks = $120

Both Full and Half Shares are $20/each/week, and are the same size. You may join any time shares are available.

Pickup Locations: Imperial Beach, Mission Hills, Chula Vista, Talmadge
Pickups are all on Wednesday afternoons/evenings.

Click here for more info or to join.

New Drop sites sought!

You can apply to become a FarmShare drop site with five or more weekly subscriptions (locations south of Interstate 8 and west of Interstate 15 preferred). To find out more, contact Dorothea at

San Diego Garden-to-Table Almanac 2015

San Diego Garden-to-Table Almanac 2015


Daily guide to growing food organically in San Diego

Written and produced by San Diego Gardeners for San Diego Gardeners

Handy guide for everyone who grows food in San Diego

The Garden-to-Table Almanac is sold exclusively at local businesses, because we believe strengthening the local economy helps us all. When we all do better, we all do better.

Find a retailer in your neighborhood.

Click here for wholesale information.

Unlike all other almanacs out there that tell us how to grow food where it snows, The San Diego Garden-to-Table Almanac 2015 is chock-full of organic gardening tips just for the San Diego and Southern California urban gardener.

Assembled by the garden-savvy SD Roots, Wild Willow Farmers and the Victory Gardens San Diego teams, you'll find useful information for every season -- which in San Diego means just two: warm season and cool season (with a smidgen in between).

Click here to learn more.

Volunteer at Wild Willow Farm

Open Volunteering at Wild Willow Farm
every Saturday, 11am to 4pm (rain cancels)

No experience necessary. No reservations required.
Volunteer for all or a portion of the hours listed.

Come to the farm and participate in your food system as we grow Wild Willow Farm. Often the best way to learn is by doing, and you'll get a taste of 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 (hands-on learning every week), watering, bed prep, weeding, mulching, animal care, planting and tending a huge range of plants and more.

No reservations are required. We've got the gloves, tools and tasks, just come prepared for sunshine and dirt (sun hat, appropriate clothing, sturdy closed-toe shoes) and please bring a lunch. We have plenty of drinking water, but having your own water bottle makes it easier for you.

Children: You may bring kids of any age you feel suitable to be around a farm, including contact with dirt, bugs, thistles and burrs, farm animals, tools, and nature. Rest assured we do not use any harmful chemicals on the soil or food we grow. Children must remain under your direct supervision or awareness at all times; we'll do our best to find appropriate activities for your family. Please no unacompanied children unless by prior arrangement, such as for school service hours. Wild Willow Farm does not offer childcare services and the farm is not a playground.

We welcome people of all ages and abilities, but please leave your pets at home.