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"Dreams Come True" Urban Farm
This article comes to us from Eloise Martindale. She and her husband Don are from San Jose, CA.

Dan, Margo, Carol and Interns at Circle of the SunSeveral years ago my husband Don and I took many classes at Common Ground Garden Supply and Education Center in Palo Alto. Now we are putting into practice what we learned. We named our urban farm “Dreams Come True”. Although we had given up our dreams of owning acres of land, with the help of the classes we took at Common Ground, our dreams came alive right in the city.

We started small, with two 30-sq-foot raised beds the first year. We were having too much fun to keep it so small, so the second year we added three more raised beds in the back yard, a clothesline, and six rain barrels. The third year we bought a solar oven, added edible landscaping in the front yard, and built a chicken coop in the back. The fourth year we expanded three of the existing raised beds, planted two apple trees and a Cara Cara orange, and added a sixth raised bed.

We weigh our fruit and vegetables and count our eggs, so we can track our progress.  Even with poor weather, gophers and et cetera, we have steadily produced more and more of our own food each year. We now grow 42 varieties of vegetables, 10 varieties of berries, 15 varieties of flowers—which draw pollinators—and 27 varieties of herbs. When all the fruit trees (and grafts) are bearing, we will have 17 different varieties of fruit. The tally is not in yet for 2012, but in 2011 we produced 600 lb of fruit, vegetables and berries, and our 6 hens produced 1067 eggs.

A big thank you to Common Ground for all their inspiring classes and encouragement!

Click here to see a list of current classes being offered at Common Ground in Palo Alto, CA

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