Worms, eggplants, and new faces

Hi all!

As the first couple weeks of the semester have gone by it seems everyone is settling into their schedules, and we are happy to see many new and eager students making the Farm a part of their weekly routine. Everyday the Farm has been welcoming excited volunteers into its gates to feed the chickens, make compost, plant food and flowers, and explore the nooks and crannies of our food forest.

The first workshop of the semester is this week as well! Friday 9/25 at 4:00pm come and learn how worms can make highly fertile compost from our food scrap waste through the practice of Vermicomposting. We will be making a larger worm bin for the Farm as well as some “dorm-sized” worm bins to take home. We will be meeting on the East side of the Farm.

Additionally cooking workshops resume this Thursday at 4:30pm taught by the wonderful Emily Charlotte Hill. We will be making a variety of eggplant dips using ingredients from the Farm.

You can RSVP to the workshops below:

Vermicomposting Workshop: https://www.facebook.com/events/450043018531843/

Cooking Workshop: https://www.facebook.com/events/1001896146519054/

Summer Reflections and Fall Forward

Hello all!

Now that the craziness of the new school year has started to settle we can finally sit back and reflect on the past summer.

Firstly, this July marked the beginning of my position as 2015-16 farm manager. In an attempt to introduce myself in the least awkward way (third person? first person? whatever) I want to give you a little background as to who I am. This past year I graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Environmental Studies focusing in Agroecology. In my time at UCSC I interned on the 30-acre organic farm and 5-acre market garden at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems under the guidance of gardening guru Orin Martin. Additionally, I was a core member of a student garden cooperative where I had the opportunity to teach student-directed-seminars and workshops. You can find me on the farm wearing a way too dirty Oakland A’s baseball cap 99% of the time.

With that bit out of the way I want to mention some highlights of the past two months I have been here. Our summer produce box membership was a huge success and hopefully many of you reading this enjoyed your weekly boxes of fresh and interesting produce. Hundreds of pounds of tomatoes, eggplant, squash, sapotes, carrots, cucumbers, and even NECTARINES went to the bellies of Pomona faculty all summer long.

The past month also marks some of the largest events held on the farm yet. Over 500 visitors came to a BBQ hosted in collaboration with the orientation committee and we are proud to say for the first time every Pomona first year has been to the farm! We also hosted a Farm Orientation giving tours to almost 100 visitors. All of this outreach has paid off and the first Farm Club meeting saw an incredible 60+ excited future farmies.

Fall is coming sooner than we think, and despite the 100 degree days we are starting cool season starts in our greenhouse. Come October 1 we are going to attempt to plant out kale, cabbage, broccoli, beets, carrots, and peas, using the last of the summer heat to jumpstart them before the cool weather sweetens them up.

We also have a lot of exciting workshops coming up including cooking workshops every other Thursday led by our awesome farmie Emily Hill. Keep an eye on the Facebook page and our emails for workshop reminders. A little bit of what’s in store includes: Mushrooms, vermiculture, edible insects, winter pruning, tea making, and more.

Hope to see you Saturdays 10-12pm for volunteer workdays. Here’s to the new year!




We are saddened to report that last night our farm was struck with a streak of vandalism and property destruction. Crops and trees on both the East and West side were destroyed, our compost area flooded, our beehives knocked down, our tractor tampered with, and windows of our beloved Earth Dome broken. Campus security is in the process of investigating the case, and if you have any relevant information please forward it along to them.

However, it is times like these where the strength and beauty of our community stand out. The senseless acts of destruction brought upon our space do nothing to harm our community or farm, they only harm those who commit them. Our devoted students and community members passionately worked today to clean, repair, and rebuild, in an act of true devotion to the land and love for our farm. We encourage you to come out to our weekly volunteer hours, Saturdays 10-12pm, to help us continue to care for and love this 1.2 acres we have come to hold so dear. Our community, and our food forest, are resilient.

Peace in Plants


A mid-summer missive! The plants are loving this sunshine and stretch greedily outwards, devouring paths in their wake. We’ve had hundreds of cantaloupe, cucumber and butternut flowers bloom, and with all the optimism of a plant some have even set and begun their bulbous growth (but not all will manifest, so it goes). The evenings at the farm are particularly lovely, what with the sun slowly setting late, the trees radiating back all the sunshine of the day, and the leaves rustling and settling into night. It is difficult not to have peace of mind immersed in such constancy of being, in such faithful harmony. The farm has recently enveloped into its fold a lovely light by the name of Sister Dhammadinna. She is a buddhist nun who is drawn to all of this rustling and greets it with a wonderful, crinkly smile. We have been scheming, and are happy to announce a new phase in the farm’s offerings:

Sevensteps-walk & Meditation Practice: Sundays 7-8pm on the West Side of the Farm
Led by Sister Dhammadinna and starting this Sunday, June 14. These sessions are free and open to any and all. You don’t have to have experience in meditation to join. There is nothing like silence and peace to celebrate a warm summer evening. I am excited about this new articulated link between natural spaces and mental/spiritual health, and hope to see you there this weekend. Incidentally, we are still running Sagehen Café specials (Friday) and volunteer hours (Saturday 10-12).


The Farm

Summer Life and Times

Hello all!

Happy happy summer. May the long days bring you extra time of leisure, may the sun’s brighter shine bring you extra moments of warmth. Here at the farm, the plants are busily humming away, the hummingbirds are busy flitting here and there and the fleets of squirrels hiding out in the wash are no doubt scheming their invasion. This summer we’ll be hosting the Summer Recreation program for kids of PO Staff and Faculty, teaching a farm class for PAYS, and hosting the students of the Palomares Spiritual Empowerment Program. We’ll also echo last year’s transition in power in June (it appears my reign is coming to an end), but more on that later. In summer things tend to speed up and slow down at the same time, and our offerings to you remain a serene space to soak it all in and a few peaches. Come on by and visit! These emails will become sparse over the summer, but know that you are welcome at the farm, and that we will still be having farm specials at the Sagehen Café and volunteer hours on saturdays from 10-12pm, with produce as payment and appreciation.
That is all, friends! See you on the other side of lazy branches.

The Farm

A Bittersweet Parting

Hello all,

We have reached the end of the school year, much to our collective— or maybe just my– dismay. On Sunday students who have sweat through four (or more) years will happily prance across a stage in the due ceremony of Graduation. You are like ripe pomegranates dropped willingly from their stem, swollen with memories and bursting with wisdom, sweet and ready to bless the world with promise. But remember, friends! Diplomas are just sheets of paper. They are mere pebbles compared to the monuments of friendship and the mountains of love. Keep those close, instead. So to all of you who are graduating, best of luck, and remember that Sunday is just another day in the grand scheme of things.

The farm would like to bid farewell to five beloved seniors who have left their mark on these twisting paths: Mr. Jon, the chicken man, Dakota, bug woman, Lucas, the sasser, Alana, tomato-picker, and Nissa, lady of puppets (these are honorable titles, to be sure, as they are bestowed with utmost affection). We will miss their lively spirits and they will be kept in memory along with all the other ghosts embedded in these trees, to be welcomed warmly back, if in one year or twenty. To those who remain: rejoice! Summer is here and with it the sunny abundance of eggplant and tomatoes, the sweet crunch of cucumbers, the soft buttery texture of baked summer squash. We will be waiting for you under peach-laden branches and fig-growing twigs, where the sun isn’t quite so harsh and the air isn’t quite so dry.

To this end, friends, this week there will be nothing. No workshops, no volunteer hours. We will be making space for the sweet and hollow ringing of goodbyes. If it all seems like too much, please come on down and find solace in a juicy peach and a companion in the beady eyes of a squirrel. For they, and we, endure.

The Farm

At the Verge

Hello beings!

Ah, yes, we are at the cusp of summer, at the edge of The End (or the beginning), in that space in time when everything is heightened, every sensation and moment somehow more vivid for its fragility. Time warps in the transition. Friends! Do not despair that you will soon part from those among you, for there will be friends wherever you go, and the uniqueness you’ve found is true of others a thousand times over. Perhaps in times of chaos and change it is useful to remind yourself that you are a body pumping, heart beating, mind racing-human, and no matter what happens that will never stop being true. Remember you are a creature of the earth, and that you belong on this planet. Your body is as much a reflection of mountains and oceans as they are a reflection of you. This week at the farm, we are grounding, making things, and endlessly moving on:

Sagen Café Farm Special: Monday 11:30-1pm, SCC
Today! Kale salad! And another special on friday for old time’s sake.

Leatherworking: Thursday 4pm on West Side
Take a break from studying during reading days to learn some handy skills.  Would you like to make a custom case for your favorite pair of garden clippers? Or would your harvest knife stay honed longer in a new sheath? Bring your tool to a basic leather workshop! If you have thirty minutes and want to lace up a simple design, great! If you have an hour and would like to trace your tool and create your own design to incise and stamp into the leather, we will provide the supplies! Vegetable tanned hide, lacing, rivets, and leather sealer available to all participants. Start thinking about a favorite plant or symbol to be your design motif! There are limited spots so please sign up here. Led by Elizabeth Voth,  Claremont community member and elementary teacher in Upland. She enjoys using leather for practical projects which reflect culture and natural beauty.

Volunteer Hours: Saturday 10-12pm at the Farm
The perfect earthy de-stressor for whatever you have in store next week (or whatever happened this week)

The Farm

Landscape of a Leaf


Thank you to all who came out for the moist and drizzly farm fest! The farm is in the throes of soaking in the vibes and the water deep into the last crevices of rock and soil. This week we’re hosting Alumni at Pomona College as part of Alumni Weekend, a time of great merriment and a general air of nostalgia on campus, not at all minimized by the imminent departure of a batch of seniors. if the world seems a bit too large right now, if everything in scope is a bit too big, let me indulge you with the same world in macro perspective.

It is morning. A few dew drops hang from a broccoli leaf, shrinking as the sun ascends and the air warms. A ladybug ambles along the leaf, six legs skittering along. It’s hard shell gleams in the morning sun. It is on the hunt. It stumbles over a vein and finds, in a small valley of the leaf, a cluster of aphids plugged into the leaf’s vein, gorging on its sugars, bloated and ripe for the kill. The ladybug approaches and with hungry intentions rips one of them from its tissue hold and crushes it between its mandibles. Sugar-water oozes from its mouth as the aphid turns into a sweet-crunchy breakfast. The ladybug swallows and cleans itself off with two front legs, not one to be sloppy. It turns it’s attention to the next morsel and rips another from the leaf. The rest of the aphids are alerted but they have already invested their body to this leaf, and the sugar water moves through them largely undigested, exiting in a round drop from their translucent bodies. The ants, their keepers, soon come to drink the drops, unable to tap into the leaves themselves. An ant looks up and notices the ladybug happily devouring their food-machines! An invasion! It skitters over to the valley in the leaf and crawls right up to the ladybug with accusing mandibles, poking here and there, trying to find something soft to assault. The ladybug retreats into its hard shell and squeezes everything inside, hiding, eyes shut, waiting it out. The ant retreats, confounded, and the ladybug, found out, ambles its way out before the rest of the ants are altered to its intrusion. But breakfast was good and there is no more work to be done here. The ladybug reaches the tip of the leaf, lifts its red shell outer wings and unfolds from beneath feathery papery wings twice as big, waving them at inert air particles, and quietly floats into the sunlight.
This week in farm:

Alumni Farm Stand: Friday 4-5:30pm at the SCC Courtyard
Farm stand will continue its irregular schedule and will happen on Friday, this time we’re back on Pomona’s campus for Alumni Weekend! Featuring all your favorite fresh veggies, in addition to newly printed farm shirts and sweatshirts, teas, and the first edition of a farm booklet! Basically, it is a compilation of missives and pictures from the year. This edition is limited and printed for alumni weekend, but the final version will be available to order in the summer so watch this space. We will also have lots of free mulberries and loquats for all to enjoy!

Hazlett’s goodbye shindig: Friday 5-6:30pm at the West Farm
Our wonderful farm guardian and EA professor Rick Hazlett will be retiring after this year, so we will gather to celebrate his contribution and work at the farm! Come on down to bid him farewell and to see pictures and quotes from the farm’s history and reminisce on the long journey that got us here. There will be music, there will be food. It is also the best time to be at the farm- when the evening light bathes everything cool and golden. See you there!

Volunteer Hours: Saturday 10-12pm, Farm West side
A call to alumni and any other souls who have an impulse towards dirt! We’ll be doing a fair amount of summer planting and winter clearing. Just the thing to invigorate your soul, and the weather even promises to cooperate.

Alumni Weekend Tours: Saturday 4:45- 6:30pm starting from the Greek Theatre
Tours of the farm will be leaving from the Greek Theatre from 4:45-6:30pm on Saturday.

Farm Alumni Lecture: “Trends in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems”  Saturday 5-5:30pm in the Outdoor Classroom, West Side
Happening during the tours, so you can join and go as you please, Professor Marc Los Huertos gives a lecture describing environmental, economic and policy trends that influence agricultural sustainability. He will highlights the results of research projects, changes in farming practices and various policy developments that influence the environmental outcomes in food systems in California and US. Free and open to all.

Love and ladybugs,
The Farm

Farm Festival and other celebrations!

People, my People!

This week is a week like no other! This week we open our arms wide and embrace every last drop of spring, letting it fill our every pore and fling our arms wide in celebration!This week we catapult ourselves into summer, soaking in the longer days and the sweet sunshine that beats mercilessly down on this humble town! Food week is in full throes and upon us and our great festival looms ever closer! This week throw off your cardigans and spring caps and twirl in anticipation of the warm summer nights to come! Breathe the subtle changes of the seasons deep into your lungs and regard the world anew! This week, my friends, is so special, and we find ourselves in this place on this planet with nothing left to do but rejoice in every way we know how. So join us for a festival and join us for pickling or mushrooming or eating or whatever your heart desires from the abundance revealed below. Relish the warmth! Linger on the vivid hue of a leaf! This week we inhale the world and breathe it out again to see it changed! Join us!

Pickle Workshop: Monday (Today) 4-6pm, Farm West Side
Come on down to harvest carrots, radishes, and whatever else your pickling heart desires. Your quick pickles will be ready to eat within a week, so you don’t even have to wait months and months to enjoy them! Participants can take home a jar. FMI: https://www.facebook.com/events/940347692682154/

Mushroom Growing Workshop: Tuesday 4-5:30pm, Farm West Side
We’ll be throwing together another batch of spores to grow king oyster mushrooms! Come on out and learn about the process and about this way understood mystical part of the evolutionary tree!
FMI: https://www.facebook.com/events/951040244927600/

Earth Day Farm Stand and Sustainability Fair: Wednesday 4-5:30pm, SCC Courtyard
A celebration of Earth Day at pomona college! Come on out to buy some produce and learn about other groups doing sustainability work on campus! FMI: https://www.facebook.com/events/886697531368717/

Sagen Café Farm Special: Friday 11:30-1pm, SCC
A meal of champions!

Volunteer Hours: Saturday 10-12pm at the Farm
Help set up for farm festival!

There will be quail! Seed bombs! Bacon! Local vendors! Come one come all! FMI: Festival Poster

SAHS Fundraising Dinner: Sunday 4:30-7:30pm at San Antonio High School
Our neighbors are putting on a fundraising dinner for their Plant Justice program! Buy a ticket and enjoy a delectable, local, organic, multi-course meal and music, all the while supporting a great initiative! See poster for details.

The Farm