Fairview Gardens Fieldtrip

Shortly before school let out for the summer, my daughter’s first grade class took a fieldtrip to visit Mark Tollefson at the Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens. Fairview Gardens is considered to be one of the oldest organic farms in southern California — more than 100 years old!

I feel so lucky that my girls are still able to explore places like Fairview Gardens and other local farms, and that even as our city continues to expand, we’ve been able to keep these precious landmarks.  Here are some photos from our fun and educational trip:

The 12.5 acre “garden” produces over 100 different types of organic fruits and veggies.

Smack in the middle of a suburban neighborhood, Fairview Gardens is the last agricultural holdout in an area that used to be all farms and citrus orchards.

Here’s an aerial view of the farm in the middle of suburban Goleta from Fairview Garden’s website.

Crops like onions and celery are planted between rows of orchard trees.

The greenhouse is home to the seedlings for the farm.

The incredibly knowledgable Mark Tollefson, who became the executive director of the farm in March, showed the kids how the seeds are started before being planted outside.

The seedlings.

On top of a produce stand open 7 days a week from 10-6, the garden also operates a great CSA program (including a blog where you can get all the latest updates on the program).

And if growing delicious, organic fruits and vegetables isn’t enough, the farm keeps bees as well!  Bees! Occasionally, they even hold bee keeping workshops for the community–how cool is that?  There is also a soap making class I plan to take in September.

Somehow the view from the original farmhouse porch make you completely forget that you’re in the middle of Goleta.

Fairview Garden’s website is a wealth of information about the farm.  Also, there is a excellent book about the farm by Michael Ableman called On Good Land. If you’re in the Santa Barbara area, I highly recommend planning a visit–I guarantee you’ll learn a ton, and you can grab some delicious organic produce at the stand while you’re there!