The New Year brings new beginnings for all, and 2016 is off to an exciting start with the opening of an expanded Native Seed Farm. The original 12-acre farm, created in 2009, has relocated and expanded to 14 acres, with 8 acres of growing area ready to be planted. You can help get the new farm site off the ground by planting seedlings that will be harvested for future habitat restoration projects throughout the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks.
Winter is the optimal season for native species planting, and 15,000 native plant seedlings need to be in the ground at the new farm site by the end of February. Public support has been crucial to the farm’s success from day one, and will continue at the new site with twice-weekly volunteer opportunities tailored to fit each season. Irvine Ranch Conservancy staff have spent the past year planning and preparing the site, and now members of the community have a unique chance to plant tiny seedlings that will have a huge impact on successful habitat restoration.
The new farm site is on Jeffrey Road just north of Portola Parkway, and includes improved facilities with parking near the farm entrance. The expanded site also allows for all stages of farming – cleaning and storing of seeds as well as harvesting and planting – to be more centralized, making the farm better suited to serve the needs of the projects it supports.
Work at the farm requires no experience, and all tools and training are provided on-site by highly trained Conservancy staff and volunteers. While eager and industrious children 8 and older can volunteer at the Native Seed Farm if accompanied by a parent or guardian, seeding does require sustained attention and fine motor skills, so plan accordingly. You can search all opportunities to volunteer at the Native Seed Farm here.
All programs are free with required registration, which closes at 4 p.m. the day prior to the event. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more details on these activities or to register, click on the titles above or visit www.LetsGoOutside.org/activities.