GREEN GULCH FARM | MUIR BEACH – Green Gulch Farm is a five-acre agricultural oasis located at the Green Dragon Temple in Muir Beach. Since all the farmhands are practicing Buddhists, a typical day here starts with the crew gathering at 5am to meditate. After breakfast and a short break, they’re off to the fields by 8:30 and soon thereafter, the rumbling purr of the tractor and the sweet smell of biodiesel fill the air. Depending on the season, between four and twelve people will be in the fields each day and one of them is sure to be Farm Manager Qayyum Johnson. Farmed organically since 1972 and certified organic since 1985, this carefully-tended land produces an abundance of lettuces, potatoes, chard and green garlic. About half of what is grown here is sold at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, and the other half is divided between Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, Rainbow Grocery, and the 50-100 meals they serve each day at Green Gulch. Eventually, all of the kitchen scraps from the practice center, plus much of those from Greens Restaurant, return to the farm and are made into compost, where they will be reborn as next year’s crop.
Visitors to Green Gulch Farm have the opportunity to experience a working vegetable farm where pollinator-friendly plants are interspersed with the row crops, compost is a vital part of the soil cycle, and close proximity to protected open space illustrates how agriculture affects the natural environment. Farm Field Studies trips to Green Gulch Farm are facilitated by farmer-educators who lead lessons on the soil nutrient cycle, plant lifecycles, pollinators, and sustainable agriculture practices.
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