Today, the North Richmond Farm is thriving. We took what was once a dumped-on piece of public land and transformed it into a community gathering place where we hire and train youth and local residents to restore the land so that we can grow nutritious food and share it with families across West Contra Costa County.
Today the farm is home to 4 major produce growing areas: (1) The first garden established on-site was the 4 Corners Garden, which was designed and installed by the 40 youth in our 2017 Summer Youth Apprentice Program. We have been growing natives and pollinators flowering plants, herbs, purple tree collards, and seasonal vegetables in this beloved circular raised bed garden oriented to the cardinal directions for the past 2 years.(2) We also have 20 – 50 ft long, 4 ft wide crop rows created by hundreds of volunteers during the 2019 Season of Service Project. The majority of the produce for our CSA and farm stands is grown in these new crop rows and at AdamsCrest Farm and our partner farms in Brentwood, 1st Generation Farmers and Frog Hollow Farms. (3) In the spring of 2019, we added a pumpkin patch and marigold garden where we hope to host our 1st Harvest Festival. (4) And finally, we are investing in growing some of our own fruit in our 64 fruit tree Orchard installed in 2017 during the Martin Luther King National Day of Service by over 300 local volunteers. It currently is home to thriving Blenheim apricot, Seckel pears, 2 varieties of Asian pears, 3 varieties of apples and persimmon trees.
Because creating habitat for beneficial insects is essential to gardening without chemicals, we also have 6 native and pollinator plant beds around the Farm office and along the fence at Brookside Drive. We plan to expand these beds throughout the growing areas to create more pollinator forage and additional beneficial insect habitat.
In order to create the compost, we need to nurture the soil in our growing areas we also have 8 compost windrows where we recycle our green waste on-site closing the waste loop and decreasing compost miles.
We have a temporary produce wash and pack area where we clean and pack produce for our farm stands and CSA, as well as 3 tool and program materials, sheds and finally our office where we do the work to keep this farm and Urban Tilth 7 other sites and programs running.