22 September 2014

Grade 3 visits Greenstring Farm in Petaluma

Feeling the cabbage head for ripeness...

Today Third Grade went to spend the day working at Greenstring Farm on the eastern edge of Petaluma. Bob Cannard, longtime farmer for Chez Panisse, and Fred Cline started Greenstring in 2003.

The farm is large and has vegetables, orchards and grapes in production. The farmers and apprentices practice "competition control". This means that they keep weeds in check, but do not take the time to pull them out. Instead, they occasionally mow them to keep them from shading out the desired crop, but always leave the cut weeds on top of the soil as a mulch and instant compost. This mulch also serves as a carpet, protecting the soil from compaction during harvest.

Becca, an apprentice, lead us on a farm tour to see the worm bathtub, then to look at the fields of chard and kale. After that we did some weeding and radish harvesting, and fed the weed tops to the chickens. Finally, we harvested chard and kale for a salad before eating our lunch.

Many of our driving parents purchased beautiful produce at the farm store.

Feeding the chickens

Chard sunshade