Monthly Archives

January 2015

Bikes, Bikes, Bikes….

By | Community Support

Did I mention the word bike yet?  Yes it is true, we love bikes here at Groundwork’s, in fact we love being outdoors and active! Currently we are in the planning stages of our annual Cycle Southcrest event, which will be held June 13th. If you are not familiar with this event, Cycle Southcrest is the collaboration of Groundwork San Diego, the City of San Diego and SANDAG engaging more than 300 students and families in and outdoor bike event, including a bike ride led by local public officials. Cycle Southcrest is a collaborative effort to introduce the Southcrest and Shelltown neighborhoods and schools to The chollas Creek to Bayshore Bikeway Trail Project.

This event is great fun for all and hosts over 25 different booths for families to visit, music, giveaways, and food. Who doesn’t love food! It is going to be bigger and better then ever this year, so stay tuned for updates as we move along in the planning process.Cycle Southcrest (hi res)-135

FarmBlog: Water, Water, Everywhere…

By | Farm

Another week and the farm project is one step closer to fruition (or vegetable-ition, perhaps).

photo (4)

Yesss….. install the drip tape my minions! Do my bidding!


With a little creative plumbing, we were able to put in the drip irrigation and get all the beds irrigated.  As you might imagine it’s rather difficult to grow plants without a steady supply of water, even though we have a bumper crop of weeds this season.  A lot of people wonder what the benefit of drip irrigation is as opposed to traditional sprinklers or flood irrigation.  They come to me and say “Farm Manager, why drip irrigation?  Do you just enjoy constantly rolling and unrolling lengths of flexible tubing whilst plugging leaks?”

“Nay”, I say.  Drip irrigation offers a variety of benefits, especially in San Diego!  Drip irrigation is:

  • Extremely drought friendly!  Water is pushed out of spaced emitters in the line that travel directly to the root system or seed that you’re growing.
  • Easy to replace!  Have a leak?  Cut out that section and stick it back together with a coupling.
  • Smart Farming! When you spray water over an entire plant with a sprinkler there are a lot of drawbacks.  You lose most of your water to evaporation before it ever gets to the plants, AND what water remains on the leaves creates a great environment for bad bacteria to flourish.  Keep the leaves dry and put the water where its needed.
  • Flexible!  Literally and figuratively.  You can run poly tube and drip tape almost anywhere.

So that’s that.  With the field prepped and the drip tape out we’re almost ready to farm!  ALMOST.  This week we’re focusing on building a fence to keep out the pesky “nature” that enjoys eating what we eat.  Without a fence-line we’ll just be growing a buffet for ground squirrels and rabbits.


Stay tuned for more photos and updates!  As always, if you’re interested in volunteering, interning, contributing or otherwise interacting with the EarthLab Farm please contact me directly at

I love to answer questions and work with our community!

Our native plant propagation center is growing!

By | Farm, Uncategorized

We’ve been busy this past month building our propagation house and preparing our gallon growing area.  There are currently over a dozen species of California native plant seedlings growing in our propagation house.  They are loving the warm, sunny weather!   UCSD volunteers will finish the gallon run in March, just in time move our gallon containers out.  DSC00009

FarmBlog: Rise of the Planet of the Weeds

By | Farm

Happy New Year to all our faithful FarmBlog readers!

In the past few weeks we have made great strides in the development of the farm site.

Firstly, a huge thanks to Jacob Kissack and the CRU crew for making a fantastic contribution to the EarthLab project!  With their help we were able to prepare the farm site by flattening the field, cleaning up the trash, moving tons of gravel and generally being all-around swell folks.  Their assistance moved the farm that much closer to completion and we will always be thankful.

Secondly, our farm progress is moving right along!  In the past few weeks we have lined out the planting rows with twine, run the sub-surface irrigation and started the weeding.  So much weeding.  Did we mention the weeding?  Luckily, when that is finished the next step is to install the drip irrigation, build a fence to keep out varmints (I’m looking at you, gophers), fluff up the rows with some compost and then actually plant something!  Then, probably do some more weeding.  This farm has only been possible because of the excitement and momentum provided by the community, and we are all looking forward to growing some delicious and healthy fruits and vegetables to share with everyone.

And finally… a note about an internship opportunity for students or professionals interested in sustainable urban agriculture.  EarthLab is offering a few internship spots that will qualify for course credit at San Diego City Community College!  This internship requires a commitment of at least 12 hours a week and enrollment in AGRI270.  Additional internships may be offered for lesser hours or non-course credit on a case-by-case basis.  Interns will be asked to make a multiple month commitment and will learn the basics of building and running a small-scale urban farm (including crop/farm planning, irrigation, marketing, the certification process, and more.)

If you are interested in applying please contact Adam Graves at by January 19th.  Please attach a current resume as well as a brief note about why you’re interested in sustainable agriculture in an urban setting.

I will leave you with an inspirational photo of… an empty farm site.  But it shall not be empty for long…

Look at all that cheeseweed! Contrary to the name it is not delicious.

Look at all that cheeseweed! Contrary to the name it is not delicious.

Stay tuned for the next FarmBlog!

Garden Club 2015: Great News!

By | Community Support

475The MTM students did an incredible job to start off the New Year! More students attended than ever before, and they were enthusiastic and productive. Students helped to revitalize the garden grounds by spreading fresh soil and mulch across the dirt. Afterwards, they planted fresh crops of broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower,  peas, spinach,  swiss-chard, and lettuce. We concluded the day with a trip to the Mulberry tree…..delicious! The most fantastic news is that our Garden Club was a the recipient of a special grant, acknowledging our hard work and incredible program! Congratulations to all of us!


Ms. Proctor

Education Director, EarthLab