Fairplex Snapshot: Spring in The Farm

We’re celebrating all things agriculture today in The Farm at Fairplex! We take pride in being a part of the American agriculture industry and today we’re opening our gates to the community for a first-hand look at life in an urban farm. Check it out:

Check out our Instagram story for more pics + vids! For more information on The Farm at Fairplex, The Learning Centers at Fairplex and all other programs associated with our campus. visit us at Fairplex.com.

Life On The Farm

The Farm at Fairplex has expanded greatly over the years. In 2014 we grew from a one to five-acre Farm, which now includes a kitchen, new crops, learning opportunities and foodie events. Here’s a quick look at what we’re up to this month:

Chef’s Potluck
About once a month we host a Chef’s Potluck, where chefs, sommeliers and other industry experts cook for one another and share ideas, best practices and community. They had a great turnout this past weekend:

New Crops & Food Projects
We’re constantly growing new crops and harvesting ripe ones. Last week our volunteers and Farm staff produced about 100 pounds of pomelo hoja santa marmalade in the kitchens. They also made kimchi using fresh Kohlrabi and Yellow-star carrots.

Fairplex Farm kimchi1 768x1024 Life On The Farm Kohlrabi and Yellow-star Carrots ready to be prepped

Our chickens are also doing wonderfully well! We recently welcomed Turkin and American Bresse chicks into the world.

Field Trips
With a new year comes new opportunities for learning! We started up our field trip program again at the start of 2017 and look forward to teaching new students about urban farm life and the basics of agriculture.

These are just a few of the things happening out in The Farm. We’ll be starting our Farm at Fairplex Dinner Series again in March, and our Career & Technical Education Center agriculture / horticulture classes will be using the facilities for on-hands learning.

Stay tuned for future updates! You can learn more about our Farm at Fairplex projects at fairplex.com/farm.

Fairplex Snapshot: How We Keep Our Animals Cool

This year our Farm has expanded to include chickens and rabbits (with more friends to come!) The intense heat isn’t fun for any of us, including our furry friends. Here’s how we’re keeping them comfortable:

We moved all our rabbits from their elevated nests and into pens. Rabbits naturally cool down by spreading out on dirt; their heat moves from their bodies and into the soil. They also like to dig and make burrows as the underground home tends to be much cooler than outside. We have provided plenty of space for them to do both things.

In addition to this, we also have fans and misters going, along with cold water bottles they can lean against while they feed.

We paid a visit this afternoon to see how they were doing and they look pretty happy to us!

Fairplex Snapshot: Farm Crops

Our hydroponics systems are doing well! If you recall from our last update, we had just planted Indigo Rose tomatoes in hydroponics chambers. As you can tell from the photo below, they’re growing very quickly:

Stay tuned for summer updates on the rest of The Farm! To learn more about The Farm at Fairplex, click here.

Welcome to the CDC Garden

Our five-acre urban farm provides food for the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel and serves as a classroom for our agriculture classes, but it’s not the only place where crops are grown on campus.

TLC CDC garden2 Welcome to the CDC Garden

Our Child Development Center (CDC) has its own special garden, tucked into a corner of the playground. It is here that students learn how to plant and sow a variety of fresh vegetables year-round.

TLC CDC garden3 Welcome to the CDC Garden

In addition to teaching students how to care for a garden, we’re also able to expand these little ones’ palates to numerous raw vegetables. We also teach students how to make things like kale chips, using ingredients from the crops they grow in the garden.

To learn more about the Child Development Center and our other student programs, visit tlcfairplex.org.

Urban Farming: Vertical Crops

At Fairplex we are constantly looking to improve water and energy conservation practices, especially at The Farm. One of the ways we do this is through vertical crops.

TheFarm verticalgardening 768x1024 Urban Farming: Vertical Crops

Vertical farming is essentially the practice of growing crops in vertically stacked layers to save resources and increase growth productivity. There are many benefits to vertical farming that may become a future necessity as our population grows and environmental impact takes center stage.

Pesticide Free: Vertical farming reduces the amount of pesticides being used and keeps crops as fresh as possible. The structure itself ensures that plants are less accessible to disease and pests that tend to plague traditional crops.

Water Conservation: Vertical crops take less effort to water and saves resources by using hydroponics (seeds placed in a solution of minerals dissolved in water.)

Harvesting Techniques: Generally speaking, vertical crops make for easier harvesting as there is no stooping needed. It is also ideal for gardeners and farmers with walking disabilities.

Aesthetics: Vertical farming provides depth and variety to otherwise horizontal gardens and farms. Our vertical crops are one of the most eye-catching parts of The Farm.

Vertical gardens have been growing in cities and homes for centuries, dating as far back as 3000 BC in the Mediterranean. This trend has increased in popularity over the years and will likely continue to do so as we look for drought-resistant ways to farm.

Learn more about The Farm at fairplex.com

Fairplex Snapshot: The Farm

If you visited The Farm during your visit to the LA County Fair, you know how beautiful and peaceful this area of our grounds really is.

But, did you know our Farm is one of the largest urban farms in Los Angeles? Yep. Our five-acre Farm is host to dozens of specialty crops such as fruits, vegetables and herbs.

In honor of our new Farm Field Trips Program, today’s snapshot is a glimpse of our Farm:

In case you’re wondering…

This new program is actually an extension of the FairKids Field Trips Program that brings 150,000+ students to explore agriculture, animal husbandry and STEM topics during the annual LA County Fair. 

The goal of this program is to teach students about the foods they eat, their nutritional value, where they come from, how they are grown/raised, the role Mother Nature plays on our food supply, sustainable agriculture, effective use of energy and water supplies and much more.

To learn more about this new program, click HERE.

Autumn at The Farm

The Farm at Fairplex is bigger than ever, thanks to the brand new expansion. If you visited us during the Los Angeles County Fair, you may have enjoyed a tasty flatbread wrap at The Farm Kitchen or taken a break from the heat in the shade of our new dining area.

Farm FieldPalmTrees 225x300 Autumn at The Farm Today I decided to take a stroll over to The Farm to see what changes are happening with the start of the new season.

As the largest urban farm in Los Angeles, The Farm is full of vegetables, fruits and herbs that are used daily at McKinley’s Grille (our hotel restaurant) and at our Table-to-Farm dinners.

The last time we visited The Farm was for a Fair-y Tale Wedding in late September. While all signs of lace and romance has disappeared, the rustic feel of the venue is very much alive.

Crops that were just beginning to sprout in the summer have grown at an impressive rate! In fact, some of the Farm was nearly unrecognizable from even a week ago:

Farm Overgrowth 1024x768 Autumn at The Farm Sunflowers and peppers populate a large part of the new Farm expansion 

At first glance, The Farm is deceptively calm. Upon closer inspection however, you will find an entire world, thriving with energy: buzzing honey bees, ecosystems and change galore. Throughout the day, our restaurant chefs and staff can be seen picking a number of ingredients for the day’s cooking.

Farm Sunflowers 225x300 Autumn at The Farm A quick peek at the McKinley’s Grille menu reveals a number of dishes like fresh salads, meats and even desserts that incorporate a number of veggies, fruits and herbs including chocolate mint, burrata squash and other delicious, nutritious options.

The menu switches up each season and it’s fun to see how each new crop is used at the restaurant.

We’re excited to see additional programming grow at The Farm in the next few years, including agricultural and horticultural learning programs, new Table-to-Farm dinner events and of course, activities during the Los Angeles County Fair. For more information about The Farm and McKinley’s Grille, visit www.fairplex.com.

Fairplex Snapshot: The Farm at Fairplex expansion

Do you ever wish you could have fresh produce plucked straight from your backyard? When you eat with us, that is exactly the experience you get. The Farm at Fairplex is one of the largest urban farms in Los Angeles and is host to dozens of fruits, vegetables and herbs year-round.

Today’s snapshot is a glimpse of our farm during the winter months:

Our winter crops are flourishing at the Farm at Fairplex. Lettuce, grapefruit mint, Valencia oranges, fennel, lemons, beets, carrots, spinach and strawberries are just a few of the crops currently thriving here. McKinley’s Grille incorporates our freshest produce into their seasonal menus.

It is always peaceful to take a stroll through the Farm at Fairplex, and we are about to expand the number of crops! The Fairplex farm expansion is expected to start this month, making room for more than 100 specialty crops. We can’t wait to see what it will look like!