Coastal Roots Farm
In this podcast (Episode 1 – yes link coming soon!), we are talking to LyOr who manages the Food Forest and Vineyard of Coastal Roots Farm in Encinitas, California. Encinitas is about about 25 miles north of San Diego on the coast.
Coastal Roots Farm is perhaps one of the best places to visit for those who like super fresh and sustainably grown fruits and vegetables. Whether you are single, traveling with a friend or spouse or with kids, there are multiple opportunities for fun, learning, volunteering and access to great fresh vegetables and fruits.
At Coastal Roots you’ll be able to check out the 8 ½ food forest that will have a trail to the ocean. This might be the only trail in San Diego where you can pick fruit for free. The food forest has certainly attracted a lot of birds and wildlife. This food forest trail isn’t open yet – likely in 2018 or 2019.
The food forest contains a large variety of Mediterranean and subtropical fruit trees. You’ll find fruits like figs, mulberries, sapote, date palms, macadamia nuts and over 50 varieties of pomegranates. The fruit trees are now 1 ½ years old and about 5 feet tall. Some of the nitrogen fixing bushes and trees are over 15 feet. It is just starting to feel like a real forest.
Food Forest volunteers are welcome every Wednesday 8-11 AM. As a volunteer you’ll do mulching, planting, saving seeds, pruning, etc. You will also get to see the chickens in the silvopasture and soon goats and sheep.
Classes in animal husbandry and milking are coming in the future.
Other things of note in the food forest is the way they take advantage of vertical space by growing zucchini, tomatoes, pumpkins, and watermelons. Squash plants are providing shade and acting as mulch. You’ll notice swales (ditches on contours) were well planned before trees were even planted to harvest rainwater passively.
Tours are available
The vineyard is just started producing in September 2017. If you are in the area and it is September, they would love to have you as a volunteer to help harvest the grapes. I haven’t seen the details yet but one day they will be selling the wine too..
The vegetable gardens are immense. You can volunteer 2pm-4pm on Sunday or 8am 10am on Tuesday. Sometimes you’ll get to go home with some of the not so perfect vegetables. All ages are welcome to volunteer at the farm and food forest.
The vegetables from the gardens are sold at the Farmstand (next to the vegetable garden) and give to local foodbanks.
Coastal Roots Farm Stand is at 441 Saxony Road
Open 10-3 on Sunday, 2-6 pm Tuesdays
If you live in the area you can support the farm by buying a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box each week for 16 weeks. The CSA begins in Oct and lasts 16 weeks. The boxes are $28/week or $448 for that season)
There are also many events a month at the farm. See the website for more details.
Another reason for me to highly recommend Coastal Roots is that it is so close to a number of other eco-tourist places. The Butterfly Farms shares the same property as Coastal Roots. Both are located on the historic Paul Ecke Ranch which was the starat of the Poinsettia. Next door to Paul Ecke Ranch is San Diego Botanical Gardens formerly known as Quail Botanical Gardens. And just a few miles away are some amazing beaches. Moonlight Beach is an ideal place to take the kids.
See the blog post and podcast on Butterfly Farms