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Thursday, June 25, 2015

School Tour of the Farm - Riverside Reach Leadership Academy

I hosted a school tour the other day at the farm.   The Reach Leadership Academy of Riverside visited the farm.  It was the 3rd and 4th grade class of this stem charter school walked from the school a few block away for a tour and lunch.     The website for the school is www.

My farm helper - Sarah, who also a teacher put out the posters on the farm highlighting all of the animals and birds that live on the property.  She also prepared a little lesson planting vegetables and farming.

Here the class is participating in a planting class with Sarah.   She was showing them how to plant squash and let some of the students plant also.  

 I also gave them a class on compost and spoke about what items are used to make compost.   They were bugging me to "help farm" and wanted to know what they could pick.   Most of the fruit isn't ready yet.   But my grapefruit trees are full of fruit, so I told them they could pick one grapefruit and the one who picked the biggest grapefruit - would win a dollar.   Chaos ensued, to say the least.
Here are pictures of them showing off their grapefruit after the picking party.

I announced that Sarah would be the judge and pick the winner.   She was swarmed by kids holding their grapefruit.     She actually picked a winner.  Thankfully - she is very patient.

Finally,  they sat around the pond and had their lunch.   We also fed the catfish in the pond so they could see some fish.   Some of the boys found a dead catfish and were more intrigued by that than the live catfish.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Planting Basil

We spent the morning  planting basil the other day.   With the afternoon temps hitting 100 every day, I have been working in on the farm only in the morning.
We planted a tray of red basil.  There is a restaurant in Riverside who wants to buy basil from me.
Duane came out to help so it didn't take long.

UCR Soil Samples

Some students from UCR (University of California - Riverside)  we on my farm to take soil samples.   They took samples from quite a few spots including the orchard and vegetable area.   UCR is a land grant university in Riverside CA.   The campus sits on 1900 acres which includes large citrus groves. There are 21,000 students registered in 2015.   I will get the results of the soil samples in a couple months, and will benefit from free soil samples.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Fox Farm CSA Table at the Grow Riverside Community Day

I had a table at the Riverside Convention Center presenting my CSA subscription produce boxes.   I told quite a few people I would put the signs on my blog.   The weekly pricing is per week, so if you choose 9 weeks, it would be 9 times the weekly rate.   I also will pack the produce in ice boxes.  It will be harvested that morning and I want it to remain fresh.  If you have a ice chest for me to use, that's great,  if not, I will provide one with a 25.00 deposit.

Additionally, I said I would post my contact information.  My phone number is listed on the posters.  My email address is

Here are the posters.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Grow Riverside Conference - Rodney Taylor announces the RUSD will purchase from Fox farm / Hapeman Ranch.

I attended the Grow Riverside conference the past two days.  It was held at the Riverside Convention Center.   They had a poster of me listed as an urban farmer.  I appreciated the exposure and met some future customers.   The big news was the Rodney Taylor, Director of Nutrition Services for RUSD, announced the they would be buying produce from my farm during his keynote speech in the main hall.   This was also news to me, because I was in talks with growing for their school lunch program.
Rodney Taylor oversees the nutrition department which prepares and delivers food to 31 schools with 43,000 student every day.   He mentioned that they spend $4 million dollars a year on produce and only $400,000 was purchased locally, but he wants to increase that with his nationally recognized Farm to School program.    This is great news for my farm.   Thank you, Rodney!

They had a couple posters of me in the exhibit hall and also featured me and my farm, in the opening film highlighting Riverside's agricultural past and future.

Here is a picture of Rodney Taylor.   He is a charismatic and energetic friend to small family farmers through his efforts to buy locally for the school district.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Grow Riverside Farm to Table Dinners in the Grove Pictures

These pictures were taken by the City photographer of the recent Farm to Fork event held at my farm.

Here are some pictures of the guest who were touring the farm and milling around the most popular spot - The Bar!

Here are pictures of the tables along with my landlord, the owner of the farm - Lana Hapeman - inspecting the tables.

Here's a picture of the Riverside City Councilman - Chris McArthur and Mike Gardner speaking to the group before the dinner started.

Here is a picture of Robert Puro - founder of seedstock and also created the upcoming Grow Riverside Conference.   He is speaking to the group about Grow Riverside.

Here's a picture of Steve Massa.  He is on staff at the City of Riverside Economic Development office.   He is responsible for supporting agriculture in the City of Riverside.

Finally - the food!

Here is a image of the appetizers.   They were made with roasted tomatoes and topped with goat cheese

Here's an image of a bowl of roasted vegetables which included some from my farm.
Following that is a image of the Sangria pitchers

Some pictures of the diners enjoying the feast!

Finally, a image of Rodney Taylor.  He is the director of RUSD - Riverside Unified School District nutrition services.    His department prepares meals every day for 43,000 students and delivered to 31 schools across the district.  His team prepared the dinner for this event.