• Introductions

     Rissa Stiefel updated 3 years ago 24 Members · 24 Posts
  • N4t4l14

    Administrator
    May 30, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    Welcome to the Climate Resilience Course – May – July 2018. This is a place to introduce yourself to your fellow cohort – you could share where you’re from, what you’re growing, why you’re taking this course – the space is yours! Just reply to this forum to start interacting with your peers.

  • Alana

    Member
    May 31, 2018 at 9:48 am

    Hi all! I am a PhD student at UC Berkeley and I have farmed for several of the past few summers up on Lopez Island in Washington State. I have grown mostly organic vegetables, and ran a small veggie operation last summer for the Land Trust, selling at a farm stand, farmer’s market, and direct to local catering/food businesses. I’m taking this course because I’m researching on-farm climate education and hoping to work in the farmer climate education space after completing my PhD. Look forward to connecting and learning from you all over the span of this course!

  • Laura

    Member
    May 31, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Hello Laura here from Follow Your Heart Farm in Quincy, Ca. My wife Ann and I are in the second chapter of our work lives and have spent the last 3 years developing our farm. We currently have 1/4 acre in production with 1/8th acre mixed vegetables and 1/8th acre with a mixed fruit orchard, berries, and hops. We have an additional 1/2 acre dedicated to our new pasture raised pork operation. We have American Guinea Hogs along with AGH/KuneKune crosses. We have a flock of hens that we keep for eggs for ourselves and a handful of dedicated customers. We have a short growing season in the mountains and season extension is a must. Climate change is real and the weather patterns appear more erratic. I hope to learn how to continue to farm in this changing environment.

  • Seth

    Member
    June 1, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Hi, I’m here as a representative of 47th Avenue Farm, an organic CSA operation with farms in Grand Island and Lake Oswego, OR now in its 21st season. We grow a wide variety of vegetables year-round and are looking to adapt to observable changes in climate/temperatures and invasive weeds and pests. Our crops are growing and being challenged this year in ways we hadn’t expected judging from notes and plans from previous years.
    Speaking as an individual, I don’t believe it makes sense to entertain thoughts about sustainable agriculture in an unsustainable economy. If the only foreseeable solutions involve intensive capital investment, we, along with many other active small-scale organic farmers, will be left behind. I look forward to engaging seriously with the difficult problems that must be taken into account when taking an ecological perspective.

  • Keren

    Member
    June 2, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    Hi, all! I am one of three general partners of Clay Heart Farm outside of Davis, CA. While Clay Heart Farm is in its first year of production of mixed vegetables, tree fruits, and cut flowers, I have farmed mixed produce and sheep on this particular property for 3 of the last 4 previous years, and each year is hotter, with weirder weather and stronger pest pressure. One of my farm partners is also my partner in life, Sean, and he is the one that instigated getting us into this course. I filled out the application, but he’ll be sitting in on the course, as well. We want to know, can we keep farming? How do we adapt and change to make this livelihood a possibility for us in the future? I’m also interested in how we need to bring more underrepresented people into the realm of farming and farm leadership so that we all have the know how to grow food for our communities and have access to food as the global and political climate make that more and more difficult. I’m here because I want to be a part of building more resilient communities.

  • Jeanne Yu

    Member
    June 3, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Hi! I am a public school teacher in the Bay Area of California aka Silicon Valley and love gardening. I converted my yard to a garden and am trying to become a certified producer to sell herbs and veggies to a local mobile farmer’s market. I also recently became part owner of a horse ranch business where we board horses. We need to come up with a manure management system and would like to turn part of the land into a pasture. I hope we do it in the most environmental and sustainable way possible. I am a beginner in this whole process of gardening and ranch management and would like to learn more, especially how to function in the age of climate change.

  • Layla

    Member
    June 3, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Hi. I’m Layla – growing three acres of row crops in Sonoma, CA. I’ve been on the same piece of land for five seasons now and still don’t feel like I have a clue what’s going on half the time! I’ve definitely been adjusting planting times of crops to work better with the weather. And last year’s fires (which stopped about a mile from my home/farm) were a serious wake up call. I’m hoping to find some practical, cost-effective techniques I can implement immediately to improve production during the heat of the summer months and feel like I’m acting as a steward to earth daily.

  • Raquel C C

    Member
    June 4, 2018 at 7:16 am

    Hi I’m Raquel and I have a 5 acre mini ranch and farm. I have worn many hats. A former Art teacher Environmental Educator, Paralegal, service worker and now a Realtor. I’m trying to create permaculture type edible gardens that are beautiful and efficient and ecologically sound. I also create hand made Aquaponics Systems,and hope to become a non profit education based farm. I had a small organic Apple orchard in the past and am planning to plant more apples, as they are growing great here. Also we have horses and are looking into creating compost cones to make hot water with manure etc.

  • Erin

    Member
    June 4, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Hello! I’m Erin, and I am in my second season farming at Rainshadow Organics, a 200 acre full-diet farm in Central Oregon. I grew up in Portland, Oregon and have spent most of the past six years living and working in San Francisco. My interest in farming is rooted in my boundless curiosity in food systems, food cultures, and a commitment to building a more just and equitable world. I’ve worked as a community organizer, director of an international youth leadership program, and most recently at a cooking and nutrition education non-profit. I had considered entering a full-time farmer training program for years, and loved my first season at Rainshadow so much that I decided to return.

    This season I am both a farm apprentice and also our Outreach Manager, working to bring more people out to the farm and connect with our local food system. I am piloting a full diet, free choice CSA program, launching cooking classes in our farm store, and strengthening our marketing and communications.

  • Sharon Blick

    Member
    June 4, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    Hi, I’m Sharon from Living Earth Farm in Eugene, Oregon. My husband and I have farmed our 15 acres since 2007. We have a mix of crops and livestock and sell to a small CSA. I teach interns from the University of Oregon how to farm. I am experimenting this year with regenerative agriculture and silvopasture and would like to learn more about how to do this at our very small scale.

  • Rachel

    Member
    June 4, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Hi, I’m Rachel! I currently farm at Happy Acre Farm in Sunol, CA–located on the urban edge of San Francisco, at an “agricultural park” hosting ~8 different small farms. At Happy Acre, we grow 3.5 acres of mixed vegetable row crops for farmer’s markets and restaurants. I’m interested in connecting with other farmers who are exploring ways of implementing climate resilient farming techniques, particularly no-till farming, and locally adapted seed production. My previous work has been based in urban agriculture, and I worked at and completed an advanced certificate in Ecological Horticulture at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) in Santa Cruz, CA.

  • Carly Maher Maher

    Member
    June 4, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    Hi! I’m Carly and I’m currently interning at Rainshadow Organics, a 200 acre full diet farm in Central Oregon. Before this season, I had briefly volunteered at farms in Colorado and while traveling in South America, but this will be my first full season of farming!

    I studied Biology as an undergrad, but have not really applied my degree, as I have been working as a ski instructor, raft guide, and in a Montessori school. I am interested in education, phytoremediation, and exploring other farming practices.

    I’m very interested to develop my knowledge and discover different methods from all over the globe!

  • Joaquin

    Member
    June 5, 2018 at 7:32 am

    Hello Everyone! My name is Joaquin and I am a Viticulture Consultant in Davis, California. I grew up in Argentina in a farm that practiced no-till, crop/cattle rotation, and direct seeding. After working in the industry for a bit, I realize there is a huge gap between the science and the application for farmers in terms of climate change. My aims is to connect with people, exchange ideas and improve the way farming is done in California and United States. Look forward to this class!

  • Kathleen

    Member
    June 5, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Hi there everybody, I look forward to digging in with you all in the coming weeks! My name’s Kathleen, and I work as a farmhand on a small 10 acre farm in Winters, California, on Free Spirit Farm. We produce all sorts of organic special variety fruits, veggies and eggs mainly for local restaurants and farmers’ markets. It’s my second season with a fantastic crew, and I’m curious to see how many changes have happened/will happen since last year. Additionally, I’m completing my master’s degree in Agroecology (from a program in Andalucia, Spain) and am excited to keep learning/sharing all sorts of different experiences and lenses on climate change resilience. I especially hope we can dialogue about bridging traditional ecological knowledges led by indigenous peoples in California to encourage more resilient, socially and ecologically just farming systems. Cheers!

  • Gabriel

    Member
    June 8, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Gabriel here from Paso Robles, CA. I am the asst. winemaker, one of the vineyard managers, and project lead for our Healthy Soils Grant. I have been with this winery for two years now and feel great pride in the company’s desire to move towards sustainability. The challenges are real as projections for this area and the climate we are already experiencing mean that if you are not seeking to be on the vanguard you wont be around in the long run. I hope to develop my own ability and strengthen my voice to speak for the land and for the often unrepresented communities that do most of the work on these lands as well as seeking ways to grow their voice. Ecology, finance, and community all have to be included in decision making for anyone to be resilient. Very excited about this course and already pleased with what I see, Thanks all!

  • Vivian

    Member
    June 10, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Hi All, My name is Vivian and I am currently farming at Alemany Farm, a 3.5 acre urban farm and ecosystem. We are located in Southeast San Francisco. All our produce is given away to volunteers, a free farm stand, and a local food bank. We work to maximize our yield to provide fresh fruits and veggies to people who need it. And, we work to grow ecologically and sustainably, teaching our volunteers/ the public about these practices.

    I am really excited to be going on this journey with all of you. To exchange ideas, and to learn things I hadn’t thought of!

  • Bob

    Member
    June 11, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    What an amazing group of people! We do everything from wine to hogs. Can’t wait to have conversations with folks doing similar work and visiting some farms in the bay area. I am a retired ranger and volunteer 3-4 days per week at the Gill Tract Community Farm in Albany.It was created by the Occupy Movement on UC Berkeley land. They weren’t thrilled with us and plowed our first crops under, threatening to arrest us and our chickens. We have been growing about 40 different vegetables on one acre for almost four years now. We practice no-till, intercropping, organic farming. There is a large medicinal herb garden, children’s garden, and 20 rows of crops. Turns out that it was much easier to make a political statement by occupying the land than it is to farm. But the gophers are very thankful that we are here. So are the ground squirrels. So were the wild turkeys until we covered the entire farm with netting to keep them from digging everything up.

    The Ohlone people are growing traditional crops and have a sacred meeting spot on the land, which is close to the largest and now nonexistent shellmound in the bay area. We give all our produce away to our volunteers and local groups like women’s and homeless shelters, the student food pantry, low-income senior residences, etc. I want to visit Alemany Farm in SF, as we are both in the same situation: we can’t sell our produce. How do you stay in business?

  • Laura

    Member
    June 11, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    Hi! I never know where to start (or end) with a self-introduction. Which story to tell? I studied Soil Science at UC Davis and after a bit of wandering and WWOOFing I settled into a ‘real job’ at the urging of my major professor. That was to do agricultural research in the Salinas Valley, but primarily oriented toward large-scale conventional vegetable and strawberry production. I learned very useful and practical skills, but I struggled against the system with my idealistic wishes for more complex, diversified and beautiful agroecosystems. I recently began a new role at the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County, where I provide technical assistance to small farmers working toward resiliency of their own.
    Meanwhile, I am struggling to maintain a small farm plot which I would like to make a business enterprise but for which I am not secure enough to leave employment. Thus it receives less attention than required to thrive. I am employing no-till methods and working slowly toward resilience in that small area. The crop is elderberry, and I am looking to select native varieties that thrive in the conditions at my site. Sadly, it means tolerating losses and a slow process to begin.
    Additionally, I maintain a very complex food-and-habitat-productive urban garden. The soil is poor (pure sand) and I have relied on a lot of eternal input (i.e. purchase compost) for fertility and building organic matter, but I would like to focus on cover cropping to improve the soil in-situ, even there.

  • Ava Samuels Samuels

    Member
    June 12, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    Hello! my name is Ava. I’m from Santa Barbara, Ca. Right now I work on my high school’s farm, and I have been every morning and after school since late August. I also am a farm hand for a friend of my environmental science teacher, helping him to start his own farm. Next year I will be attending UC Davis, and I plan on studying agricultural sciences there. This summer I am planning on WWOOf-ing and road-tripping from my home, Santa Barbara, to Portland, to Denver, and back home passing through Arizona. THis year I discovered that I am passionate about growing food and I want to learn as much about it as I can. I’m taking this course because I think this knowledge will be useful for my studies in college and for when I choose to start my own farm some day.

  • Marlena Hirsch

    Member
    August 2, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    Hi, My name is Marlena Hirsch. I teach science for students who are behind in credits at Piner High School, Santa Rosa City Schools. I use a large vegetable garden, greenhouse, and habitat/rain garden to demonstrate science. We compost, grow our veggie starts, and grow a few native plants. This is the first year that our food will go to the cafeteria. We are working to make the campus a place of beauty while supplying delicious food.
    This year the district has approved a non toxics policy for all schools. Piner High is working to become an example of safe organic weed control. (No more roundup, yay!)

  • Nicholas Pilonero

    Member
    August 8, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    Hello there, I’m a young lad farming in Southern Oregon through WWOOF right now. Just looking to expand my knowledge in the agricultural world and I thought a free course wouldn’t be the worst place to start! Don’t know what to expect out of the course but looking forward to roundtable discussion/one-on-one meeting and connecting w/ other likeminded people. Feel free to message me about anything farming/science related, as I will be messaging you folks out there or posting in the forum! Cheers.

  • Troya Cowell

    Member
    August 22, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    My girlfriend and I recently moved back to the area in March. It is my 3rd time back to the Bay Area. I graduated from UC Berkeley. Presently, we live in Sonoma. We have been seeking land leases and writing business proposals for our farm project for a few months now. We have not found the right relationship yet. We are also looking at purchasing land of our own. We are interested in no-till market gardening, Afro-ecology, and holistic management principles. Currently, we tend a small market garden and have 12 chickens. It is only a backyard farm at this point but it is producing nicely. We have established 16 permanent beds and composting projects are underway. We are halfway through our first year cultivating here in CA and it’s been exciting. We have farmed on the east coast exclusively, so there is much to learn about the climate and conditions here in Northern California. I am excited to take this course and to interact with all of the other participants.

  • Julie Fagan

    Member
    August 27, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    Hello,
    My husband and I have a 50 acre ranch in Grass Valley, CA just north of Sacramento in the Sierra Foothills. Our goal is to discover how many people we can sustainable feed off of 50 acres while improving the quality of the soil. This means providing meat, eggs, milk, nuts, fresh vegetables and fruits. We would like to create a model that could be replicated other places. A little over half our land has been sectioned into 4 large paddocks so we can better manage our range grasses while rotating cattle and chickens thru. We have a couple irrigation projects underway on this section of the property using Nevada Irrigation District (NID) water which runs thru the property. We also have a 200 tree almond orchard, a small (testing) fruit orchard that we plan to expand and a smallish no-till organic garden that we plan to expand to over 3 acres after we find a caretaker / partner to work with. Our hope is to find a like minded person, couple or intern to live on our property in either their own RV or the Park Model RV (new home construction on a tractor trailer) we are planning to put up by our upper pond. Details on park models for those of you that think they are a great solution to add flexible additional housing: https://ld.parkmodelsdirect.com/floorplan/morgan-hill/

    I am very interested in this course as I hope it will allow us to build upon what we already know having followed all the information we can get from places like Polyface Farms and the Kaiser’s at Singing Frogs Farm. I look forward to connecting with you as well!

  • Rissa Stiefel

    Member
    September 6, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Greetings. My name is Rissa. I just moved to Virginia near the Blue Ridge Mountains. I recently started volunteering with TEENS, INC., a non-profit that works with youth to teach them vocational agricultural skills. We have a large greenhouse on an organic farm where we grow vegetables utilizing aquacultural methods. As the current farming specialist on a team of mostly mental health counselors, my work is focused on improving the growing systems that consist of raised beds and vertical aquaponic towers. Throughout last year, I interned and WWOOFed at a few different organic farms and homesteads, observing many different types of production, management, and infrastructure. About 10 years ago, I completed a 72-hour Basic Permaculture Design certification through Occidental Arts & Ecology Center, as well as an apprenticeship with an urban farm in Colorado. I absolutely love being on the land and growing food in a way that enhances and collaborates with natural systems.

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