Winter Hayes Valley Farm Update

by Booka Alon

December and January brought much anticipated rains, and several new milestones at the Hayes Valley Farm. Our Youth Education Program hosted Winter Wonderfarm, an urban day-camp for kids. February brought us our one year anniversary and we are enjoying sharing and eating some of our winter crops.

Winter Wonderfarm was a success. The young campers enjoyed learning about growing food, learning mapping skills, participating in worm races and turning the mulch pile, which helped provide a little warmth on a chilly day, because of the heat coming off the pile generated by decomposition of organic matter. They also got to bake and eat homemade farm pizza topped with freshly picked broccoli and feast on warm cinnamon apple sauce. They learned how to make root beer from scratch. The campers meet some furry kids, also known as goats, and were amazed by their voracious appetites. The staff led arts and crafts activities focusing on nature, such as collages made of leaves and seeds, and mini terrariums with beans to take home and steward. Parents and guardians stay tuned, the Farm will host a Spring Sprout Camp during the last week of March and a second session for one week in mid-April. Check the website for details or email

Recently we have been harvesting vegetables from the brassica family from our beds which includes bok choy, kohlrabi, kale, radishes, broccoli, mustard greens and collards. In the coming weeks we expect to see more kale, red cabbage and lots of fava beans. For anyone who would like to take some home, the produce is available to the community at no cost. Please stop by the farm to pick up freshly grown veggies any Thursdays or Sunday between 3:00pm and 5:00pm.

We celebrated our one-year anniversary on February 13th with a potluck, screen-printing and acoustic music. The Hayes Valley Farm is grateful for being granted temporary use of these two parcels. We look forward to the coming seasons.

Angela Goebel writes about the celebration: “Smiles, songs, and tasty dishes marked the one year anniversary celebration of Hayes Valley Farm. Volunteers gathered on February 13th to observe the metamorphosis of an abandoned freeway into a flourishing farm and community. Everyone circled round to recognize a year of hard work and clap happy hands in gratitude of a common vision bearing fruit.

Artists Jack and Aaron Cox painted a mural composed of urban agriculture within the body of a red-tailed hawk, a symbol of ecosystemic renewal on the farm. Musicians Even Taylor and the Jugtown Pirates encouraged all to dance. Meanwhile, volunteers ate welcomly warm pizza fresh from the cobb oven and screen printed t-shirts designed by Caroline Acquistapace.”