News, Workshops and Upcoming Events
OPEN HOUSE/POTLUCK: Saturday, October 18 Last Open House/Potluck in 2014!
ADVANCED FARM SCHOOL Introduction to Crop Planning with Scott Murray FARM SCHOOL
VOLUNTEERING: Every Saturday
Advanced Farm School The Business of Farming
A new education program offered by Wild Willow Farm and San Diego Roots
The first class offering in this program is
After making your RSVP, you will be sent a confirmation and further instructions. RSVP fees are not refundable unless the class is cancelled, or we are notified of your non-attendance 48 hours before the class.
Classes held on the University of San Diego campus
in Linda Vista
$60 general public, or $40 for graduates or students of Wild Willow Farm's Farming 101 course
Pre-requisites: Working knowledge of spreadsheets (excel, numbers), visit to Wild Willow Farm (recommended within past 10 months, tours provided every Saturdays at 1pm by appointment).
Description: This course will introduce tools for crop planning to get your farm or garden growing food when you want it. We will include crop planning for a target harvest, succession planning, and optimizing time and growing space.
Using real world information from Wild Willow Farm, attendees will create a production plan for a full year of a working farm.
The course includes pre-reading and inter-session homework assignments. You will walk away from this class with an understanding of production planning and electronic versions of template spreadsheets to design your own production plan. Introduction to some budgeting aspects of production planning will be included.
The class will work off of a list of cost standards to develop budgets for a production crop: cost of seeds, area, cultivation, labor, fertilization, materials, all the way to bags and boxes for harvest.
Optional Textbook: We recommend Richard Wiswall's The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook: the complete guide to managing finances, crops and staff -- and making a profit. We have copies of this book available for purchase ($35).
Scott Murray is a true pioneer in organic farming, beginning his lifelong pursuit of the craft in 1974. He's been farming in San Diego for over thirty years, and for many years has taught diverse topics related to organic and sustainable agriculture. Scott has hosted 27 international agricultural interns from seven different countries for up to one year each as part of the Mesa Program, of which he is chairman.
Besides being an adjunct professor at San Diego City College's Sustainable Urban Ag program, he sits on several agricultural boards, including being a founding board member of Slow Food San Diego. We are proud to say he also serves as Wild Willow's farm advisor. His real-world experience as a commercial farmer and advocate for young farmers infuses his passion for teaching. We are truly fortunate to have him teaching this course.
LEARN FARMING at our next Farming 101 session:
Basics of Small-scale Sustainable Farming
Farming Classes for the Seasonally Impaired
January 12 through February 20, 2015
including optional trip to the EcoFarm Conference (separate registration required)
Applications now being accepted.
Enrollment begins 11/3/14
San Diego's moderate climate and year-round growing season affords us opportunities to teach basic small-scale sustainable farming skills to those who live in colder climates. Wild Willow Farm is less than three miles from the Pacific Ocean and 2/3-mile north of the Mexican border. Our moderate climate gives us the ability to operate our farm school year-round.
The course consists of lectures, field labs and farm practicum work 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.
The Winter Intensive will involve four days per week of learning at the farm, with a break in the middle so farm staff and students can attend the 2015 EcoFarm Conference near Monterey. Students are encouraged to attend and to carpool with us, but they must register for the conference on their own. Students who do not wish to attend can use this time to explore the many wonders of the San Diego area, home to more small farms than any county in the US. We are working on setting up housing options for out-of-town students (additional fees will apply).
Last Open House-Potluck of 2014!
This Saturday, October 18
Volunteering, Yoga, Native Plant Tour, Farm Tour,
Potluck, Live Music, Wood-fired Pizza, Bonfire and more.
at Wild Willow Farm
click here for a map (we recommend you use our map)
(donations in support of our programs are appreciated)
Check out photos from May's potluck,
taken by our friend Gregory Berg!
Schedule for the Day
11am to 4pm: Volunteer on the farm
Learn while doing.
4pm: Led by Niina Lobbestael in the Gerson Orchard (donations requested; meet in the barn).
4 to 7pm: Native plants, veggie starts and succulents for your garden
(by donation to support our educational programs)
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.
5pm: Native Plant Wildlife Tour
Interpretive walk through the beautiful the TJ River Park to learn about native habitat and wildlife
led by experts Lisa Ordóñez or Lindsay Willrick.
6:00pm POTLUCK and live music by Coral Bells
with farm-made, organic sourdough wood-fired pizza (donations requested).
Please bring something yummy to share!
Dusk -- BRING DRUMS
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.
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. Children must remain under your direct supervision or awareness at all times. Please no unacompanied children. Wild Willow Farm does not offer childcare services and the farm is not a playground.
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. See photos from our May 2014 potluck taken by Gregory Berg.