West Sacramento Urban Farm
Food for Families Farm
We are pleased to announce that the 1.5 acre Food for Families Farm site located behind Yolo High School on Washington Unified School District property is officially being leased directly to the farmers at Fiery Ginger Farm. Fiery Ginger will operate the site as their own into the future. The Center for Land-Based Learning is proud to have played a role in working with WUSD to negotiate the original Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2015. After signing the lease we fundraised $30,000 to develop the necessary infrastructure to turn the vacant lot into a functional farm site. This included:
- Soil testing,
- Weed abatement,
- Adding compost to the soil,
- Discing and tilling the field,
- Connecting the site to water,
- Building and designing the irrigation system,
- Creating a point of access via a neighboring property,
- Purchasing a storage shed for tools and equipment,
- Adding a wash station with shade,
- Assisting the farmers in distributing their produce through Raley's Food for Families Program.
Over the years farmers Hope and Shayne, both 2014 graduates of the California Farm Academy Beginning Farmer Training Program, have developed the farm beyond even our original vision. Not only did they add pastured poultry to their offerings but they wrote their own grants to Raley's to generate curriculum for students in Washington Unified School District. As community-minded farmers, Fiery Ginger Farm collaborated seamlessly to meet the demands of the Raley's Food for Families program, growing $10,000 worth of fresh produce per year starting in 2016. Hope and Shayne personally reached out and created a network between their farm and school cafeterias that served their produce. They made it a practice to set up tables during lunchtime to perform "yum/yuck" events exposing kids to new fruits and veggies.
In addition to hosting more than 500 children at on-farm field trips, they also worked with TAL to host young adult paid interns. All of this was accomplished while the farmers maintained sales at various farmer's markets, grew starts and chicks for the local FFA groups, and hosted livestock for students competing in FFA shows. Their dedication to community and the depth at which they have integrated themselves into WUSD proved to the Center for Land-Based Learning that the farmers should remain in our Incubator Program after the four-year time limit.
Here's a long and loving welcome to the new permanent operators of our Food for Families Site. Visit their Facebook page to shop with Fiery Ginger Farm and stay up to date on markets and events.
For more information on the West Sacramento Urban Farms, contact Sara Bernal.
To stay current on upcoming events, Like the West Sacramento Urban Farm Program on Facebook.
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