[Palo Alto, CA] Stanford Educational Farm / Filoli Gardens - Or just how to learn gardening...

I’m kind of a plant killer, but I’d love to learn more about farming and sustainable food production, so I can eventually grow some seasonal fruits and veggies on my current non-existent farm.

Anyone ever volunteered at the Stanford Educational Farm or Filoli Gardens?

If so, can anyone comment on your experience?

If not, can anyone comment on how you got started farming/gardening? Any tips?

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I have not farmed, but I tend to think farming and gardening are two totally different endeavors. Farming requires scale, however small it may be, to sustain the farmer, whereas gardening can mean just a few raised beds.

If you haven’t gardened for food before, start small. A very common mistake people make is they start too ambitious and didn’t realize how much work it takes to work a small plot and how many things could go wrong, get frustrated, and give up.

A lot of work around growing food happens before you plan that seed/ seedling. If you are able to get your soil into top condition before planting, the hardest part is already past. (unless pests eat your veggies).

You are not in the Bay Area any more. If you are trying to figure things out around the Bay, this book covers the climate and growing conditions here.

Perhaps you can find some master gardeners around Tahoe to get you started on what grows best there, and growing tips for soil and climate conditions there.

If there is a community garden where you are. You can try starting via that route, with the support of fellow gardeners who knows.

Good luck.


@sck Thank you for the great advice. I will definitely check out the book. I will also take the advice of starting small. I’ve only been successful growing some herbs, but maybe with the book, I can learn how to grow some veggies for coastal weather. I don’t think tomato can grow where I am, but perhaps something that’s shade loving. Thanks again!!

I forgot to mention this. Check out these folks. Master gardeners should be able to offer advice specific to your local growing conditions.

Or you can also just do what I did. Just grow whatever you want to grow. and you will quickly find what works and doesn’t work in your garden.

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Thanks! I will check them out!

Just curious, what do you grow? What has been the easiest veggies?