What’s on the farm today?
Today, the farm is home to 2 major produce growing areas: (1) Our crop row area, a collection of 40+ 50 ft long x 4 ft wide farm beds created by hundreds of volunteers during the 2019 Season of Service Project and during 2019 Covid lock downs we kept our staff employed by developing new growing spaces. Currently approximately 15% of the produce in our CSA boxes and most of our farm stand produce is grown in these new crop rows. (2) And 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 also have a temporary produce wash and pack area where we clean and pack produce for our farm stands and CSA, as well as 2 hoop houses, a chicken mansion (coop) designed and built by the amazing women and girls of Girls Garage, 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.
What do we grow on the farm?
Urban Tilth began growing healthy and delicious produce at the North Richmond Farm in 2017. We are committed to growing without any chemical fertilizers or pesticides and following regenerative, agro-ecology and where possible permaculture principles. In 2021, we began the process to become a certified organic farm!
The Richmond, California weather allows us to keep the farm in production year-round.
SPRING (February – June)
In the spring we grow a number of leafy greens including chard, arugula, mizuna, and spinach, We also grow beets, lettuces, cilantro, parsley, potatoes, onions, cabbage, carrots, apples, pears, lemons, and honey.
SUMMER (June – September)
In the summer, we grow tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers (pickling and slicing), lemon cucumbers,, eggplants, green beans, corn, peppers, garlic, apricots, basil, heat-tolerant leafy greens mustard greens, collards, chard, purple kale, onions, and honey.
FALL and WINTER (October – February)
In the fall and winter, we grow collard greens, beets, kales, carrots, potatoes, onions, oranges, apples, and winter squash.
How can you get food from the farm?
1. You can become a member of one of our CSAs
The mission of Community-Supported Agriculture or CSA programs is to create access for all West Contra Costa residents to fresh, locally grown, organic produce. In order to achieve this goal we have created 2 CSA programs. Our Farm to Table CSA is a youth and a local resident-run non-profit venture. This is a member subsidized CSA where some members choose to pay more for their box of produce in order to make it possible for other members with limited incomes to receive the same box of fresh organic food for a reduced cost. Our second CSA, the Farmers to Families Program launched in May 2020 to specifically ensure that West Contra Costa Families in financial distress due to the COVID pandemic, or in general need of support have access to FREE weekly box of fresh, organic produce.
*Learn more or sign up for one of these programs…
2. You can get food from our Farm Stands
FREE Farm Stand
North Richmond @ Fred Jackson Way & Chesley Ave
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 2:00 pm until produce is gone
(1st come first serve)
UNITY PARK PLAZA
FREE FARM STAND
Unity Park Plaza 16th Street & Ohio Ave on the Richmond Greenway
Wednesdays, 2:00 pm until produce is gone
(1st come first serve)
3. You can volunteer and take home fresh produce
Come out and volunteer every 4th Saturday of the month at the North Richmond Farm from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Family and friends are welcome to join. We have healthy snacks and rocking jams to enjoy our day.
4. Anyone in need can come and harvest FREE food
We welcome North Richmond residents and anyone in need to come to the farm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm to harvest food for yourself and your household for free please ask for our farm staff when you arrive so they can show you what is ready and available to harvest.
Serving Our Community as We Grow!
In classic Urban Tilth style, we continue to serve the community while we are developing the plan for the Future Farm. Since 2016 we have hosted more than 82 community events at the North Richmond Farm; and we have been growing thousands of pounds of fresh, delicious produce for our community. This produce is distributed through our Farm to Table CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) project, Pop-up, and Free Farm Stands and through direct giveaways during our volunteer days every 4th Saturday of the month.
The Season of Service Project
This Spring alone, over 395 volunteers – visionaries, climate justice activists, local doctors, friends, family, and neighbors have visited the farm during our Season of Service Project. During the Season of Service volunteers came as individuals and teams to help create our 1st – 20 new permanent crop rows, helping us increase our capacity to grow healthy food 20 times what it was before this spring, and also helped build a few new benches for us out of old pallets – demonstrating how we can reuse everything around us to make life better!
Special Events on the Farm
We have welcomed hundreds of community members and guests during the past 4 years, such as visitors from Japan, Cuba, and Mexico, as well as visitors from universities and colleges, elementary schools and sister farms. We are proud to have been able to host large annual community gatherings for Martin Luther King National Day of Service in January, Earth Day in March, the Festival of Flowers Mother’s Day Celebration in May, Coastal Clean-up Day in September, Harvest Festival and Día de los Muertos in October/November, and the Winter Solstice Celebration in December. It is a part of the mission of the farm to serve as a gathering place for neighbors, families, and friends to strengthen our community by living and learning together.
Visiting the Farm
The North Richmond Farm has welcomed a number of important guests. The farm has called their attention either because of its urban ecological aspect because they want to learn about our plans and vision because they want to volunteer, or all of the above.
Our guests have been universities and colleges, elementary schools, and sister farms. So far, over 395 volunteers – visionaries, climate justice activists, local doctors, friends, family, and neighbors – have visited us to lend us a hand. They have helped with weeding and creating beds, and they have even built some new benches for us. Many of our guests responded to our Season of Service.
- Monday – Friday
- 10:00AM – 4:00PM
Community Volunteer Days
- 4th Saturdays of every month
- 11:00 AM – 1:00 pm
If you’d like to volunteer during the week or to arrange a tour of the farm, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org