As California’s first farm-to-table new-home community, The Cannery Farm will sell local produce to restaurants and local neighbors. Managed by the Center for Land-Based Learning, The Cannery Farm will serve as a state-of-the-art example of sustainable urban farming and as a farm business incubator site for beginning farmers. For more information please contact email@example.com.
The Cannery Farm FAQ
Who owns the land that The Cannery Farm occupies?
The City of Davis owns the land and leases it to the Center for Land-Based Learning.
Is there a focus on sustainable/organic crop production?
We only grow organically here at the Cannery Farm. We do not use any inorganic (synthetic) pesticides (e.g. herbicides, fungicides, insecticides) or fertilizers. We use organic fungicide spray for our stone fruit orchard and compost for fertilizer.
Why don’t I see food being grown on the farmland currently?
In Spring of 2017, vegetables planted on the farm were growing poorly and not producing at expected levels. After exhaustive soil tests, experts determined that the soils were heavily compacted, which was causing poor drainage and salt accumulation in the topsoil. They suggested planting cover crop for 3 years to increase soil organic matter, break the compaction and improve soil tilth. CLBL applied for and received funding from the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Healthy Soils Program to implement at three-year soil restoration plan.
What is the Healthy Soils Program?
The Healthy Soils Program was created from the California Healthy Soils Initiative, a collaboration of state agencies and departments to promote the development of healthy soils on California's farmlands and ranchlands.
Why is the Cannery Farm participating in the Healthy Soils Program?
The Center for Land-Based Learning (CLBL) was awarded a Healthy Soils Program grant in 2017 after working with experts to determine the best way to restore soil health at the Cannery Farm. As a non-profit, CLBL needed funding to carry-out this intensive plan, and we were awarded a grant in the first round of funding available. It is important to note that the Cannery Farm was the only urban farm funded in this first round.
What is CLBL doing to restore soil health at the Cannery Farm?
Starting in 2017, CLBL began a three-year cover crop rotation, planting two crops per year, one winter cover crop and one summer cover crop. The winter cover crop consists of peas, oats, fava beans, and vetch, and the summer cover crop has been sorghum sudan-grass. In addition to planting cover crops each season, CLBL also adds compost each year and does light tillage to break up the deeply compacted soil.
Why are cover crops being used at the Cannery Farm?
Cover crops can be used to address a wide variety of issues on all types of farms. At the Cannery Farm, cover crops are being used primarily to break up deeply compacted clay soil to improve drainage, add nitrogen, organic matter and other plant nutrients to the soil, and to cover the ground to prevent the spread of weeds and diseases.
How many different farmers have plots?
As of 2019 we have two farm business incubators at the farm. The Beecharmers and Leaf & Lark Farm. The Beecharmers maintain five beehives and provide educational workshops and tours to students and the greater community about beekeeping and the importance of pollinators. Leaf & Lark Farm sells plants from their greenhouse nursery and hosts summer u-picks of primarily flowers and fall edible pumpkin u-picks.
How do beginning farmers access the land?
Farmers apply to our Farm Business Incubator Program in the Fall. If accepted, they start their farm lease in January and participate in program activities throughout the year. The Center for Land-Based Learning’s incubator program provides mentorship meetings, business planning, specialized workshops, and other services that assist beginning farmers to be successful.
Are they all graduates of CLBL’s California Farm Academy Training Program?
No, graduating from our Beginning Farmer Training Program is not required to enter the Farm Business Incubator Program, but it is highly recommended.
How does The Cannery Urban Farm help build the local/regional food system in and around Davis?
The farm provides public education, community development, and access to fresh food to the Cannery and surrounding communities. Our site coordinator organizes community social events, educational workshops aimed at both farmers and the public, and volunteer work days for private groups and the public. The Center for Land-Based Learning started hosting a weekly summer farm stand in 2018 in order to provide food while the majority of farmland was under cover crop. The farm stand is planned to continue in Summer of 2019, selling produce from our Beginning Farmer Training Program farm at our current headquarters in Winters, CA.