East Bay Urban Edge Farm Tour
Join us for a field trip to a collaborative farm in the East Bay! Meet the sustainable agriculture advocates behind SAGE (Sustainable Agriculture Education), and two “beginning farmers” working the land at the Sunol AgPark, Bluma Farm and Namu Farm. We’ll have the opportunity to see for ourselves how collaborative farming, seed trials, no-till cultivation, and “slow flowers” work, and we’ll enjoy a delicious picnic lunch provided by Namu Gaji at the historic water temple.
Sunol AgPark is located just 30 miles south of Oakland, on prime farmland owned by the SF Public Utilities Commission. In 2006, SAGE, which is run by Sibella Kraus, the founder of CUESA and the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, entered into an historic partnership with the SFPUC to create a thriving urban-edge farm, home to eight small-scale organic farming enterprises that produce delicious fresh food for diverse Bay Area communities.
First we’ll meet with Roger Kubalek, one of the farmer-educators at Sunol AgPark to learn more about the dynamic programs that SAGE runs at the farm. We’ll have the chance to contribute to the health of the farm with a some light work. Since we’re pretty sure you’ll be inspired to do a little farming yourself after this visit, Roger will have organic plant starts available for sale: tomatoes, basil and peppers.
We’ll join Joanna Letz at Bluma Farm, who will be selling her beautiful flowers at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in June, and hear how and why she decided to become a “slow flower” farmer. Flowers are an integral part of our ecological system, especially to support our diverse populations of pollinators and insects, and Bluma is preserving biodiversity by growing over 60 varieties of plants.
After a delicious al fresco lunch (including a local beer, if you’re over 21), we’ll meet Kristyn Leach for a tour of Namu farm and find out how she transitioned from being a line cook at Camino to being a full-time farm-partner with the Lee brothers of Namu Gaji, a very popular restaurant in the market, and a seed trials partner with Kitizawa seed company, growing specialty Asian crops.
Tickets include round-trip transportation from the Ferry Building in a comfortable bus and a delicious lunch featuring seasonal produce from Namu Farm.
Where to meet: Meet in front of the Ferry Building on the south side of the clock tower, at the curb. Please arrive by 9:15 am; we leave at 9:30 am. Please be prompt! We cannot wait for stragglers.
Things to know: The weather can be unpredictable. Please dress in layers. Shoes must be appropriate for walking around the farms, closed-toe and preferably waterproof.
The tour is geared toward adults and will probably not be enjoyable for young children. Children who are likely to appreciate an adult-level tour are welcome to come with their guardians. Please call if you have questions.
Bring: A water bottle, layers. Optional: snacks, a camera, a book or other entertainment for the bus, and cash for purchases. We will do our best to return by 3:30 pm, but traffic conditions can be unpredictable and we can’t guarantee a punctual arrival.
Please note: Tickets are nonrefundable but are transferable to another guest for this tour.
A note about price: CUESA is committed to providing accessible food system education to all. If you are interested in a scholarship for one of our farm tours, please email Carrie Sullivan (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a scholarship application.