Entertainment kept people busy during the “Saturday at the Farm” event. Photo by Susan Branham

UC Hansen Agricultural Center’s first “Saturday at the Farm”

August 15, 2007
Santa Paula News
By Susan Branham Santa Paula TimesFrom the fresh-cut flowers adorning the front porch of the historic home, to the World War I Victory Garden, the UC Hansen Agricultural Center’s first “Saturday at the Farm” was a morning of fun, learning and sheer beauty. The Center, located near Santa Paula at the Faulkner Farm, hosted the special monthly program that offered self-guided tours of the gem of the valley, the Queen Anne style Faulkner House, and the surrounding grounds and gardens.Children enjoyed a music and storytelling time on the front lawn. “How to Plan Your Fall Garden” was the free lecture for those aspiring to a productive and beautiful garden, taught by certified Master Gardeners. A plant sale, and a craft activity­ – ­gourd painting, were part of the day’s fun activities. Demonstrations of goat shearing by Santa Paula 4-H members were favorites of the day.Jim Abing originally came from a farm background in Wisconsin, and now volunteers at the farm. After retiring from his career in Los Angeles, he moved to Ventura County. “I retired and moved to be in a semi-rural area,” he said. “It took me awhile to discover the farm.” Today he likes to talk about the farm and the opportunities for volunteering there. “I like the atmosphere here,” he said. “It is pleasant, and I like the camaraderie.”
Visitors to the farm were given a gift bag, which included a booklet. “Discover the Secret to Healthy Living” is filled with recipes and tips for a healthy lifestyle. The book recommends five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day, and offers tasty ways to prepare them. Creole Green Beans and Peach Crisp are some of the tempting choices. The gift bag also included a package of Fairy Tale, All America Hybrid Eggplant seeds.The farm is dedicated to both education and research. Small, individual gardens provide examples and information about different plants and garden designs. The farm’s Victory Garden is an example of a back-yard garden in the US during World War I when food rationing was a reality. The motto of the time was, “The seeds of victory insure the fruits of peace.”Future events at the farm include “Wednesday at the Farm” on August 29 from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. The afternoon will feature Garden education: “Photography in the Garden: Photographing Botanicals” and self-guided farm and garden tours. Admission is free and reservations are required at 805-662-6948.

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