July 13, 2013: Indian Valley College Organic Farm and Garden Tour
Henry Wallace was our informative and passionate tour guide! He’s been with the farm since the beginning 5 years ago. It’s an educational facility that is partnered with College of Marin (teaching principles and practices of organic farming), the Conservation Corps Northbay, the UC Cooperative Extension and most recently the Cultural Conservancy, who will help with native ethnobotany and the exchange of heritage crops, such as food, fiber and dye.
The farm and garden has row crops, orchards, native ethnobotany, land along the creek and nursery space. On the site of an old homestead they grow over 400 crop varieties of fruit, flowers, vegetables, and olives on 5.8 acres. The only animals are bees! Compost is made with horse manure, straw and green matter from the farm.
In the spring, summer and fall, the farm stand is open two days/week: Wednesdays and Saturdays. In winter, the farm stand is open one day/week.
The farm also sells to restaurants, grocery stores (Paradise Foods and Good Earth) and a small pilot CSA program.
The farm has a solar-powered water pump, hoop houses that are protecting cucumbers, basil, tomatoes, and a nursery where lots of fruit-tree grafting is being taught.
They are having a plant sale on September 20 and 21. They also host workshops! Today there was a workshop on lavender wand and rattle making when we were there!
At our potluck, we had a delicious potluck with two salads, crispy nuts, two kinds of duck liver pate, a vegie ferment made with cabbage, leeks, fennel, turmeric and daikon, and pickled garlic carrots.
Henry told us our homework was to read, “Teaming with Microbes”.
This short description doesn’t do the farm and tour justice. If you get the opportunity, I highly recommend visiting.
By Karen Hamilton-Roth