Fairplex Snapshot: Life at The Farm at Fairplex

The Farm at Fairplex is teeming with life! While the carnival rides, food vendors and special exhibits have been packed away until next year, our Farm is open year-round. We took a visit today to see what our volunteers and staff are up to. Take a look:

Fairplex Farm turkens e1507066745681 768x1024 Fairplex Snapshot: Life at The Farm at Fairplex Our turkeys, chickens and rabbits are all doing great! One of our rabbits actually gave birth to 11 bunnies during the opening weekend of the Fair. Due to the high number of visitors last month, they are quite comfortable with humans and are calm as cucumbers with our field trip students.

Fairplex Farm bunnies e1507067013970 768x1024 Fairplex Snapshot: Life at The Farm at Fairplex Our usual field trips have resumed, now that the Fair is over. In addition to the care of our crops and Farm animals, our staff and volunteers are busy working with teachers and students now that school is back in session.

We saw students harvesting vegetables and fruit from our crops, participating in hands-on botany projects and getting a general real-life urban farming experience.

With the ending of the Fair, our Fall season has officially begun and we look forward to seeing what new crops and projects our team is working on as we near the end of 2017.

To learn more about the educational programs at The Farm at Fairplex, visit fairplex.com/farm.

Learning Opportunities in The Farm at Fairplex

Ever since our five-acre expansion, The Farm at Fairplex has served as a real-life classroom for students of all ages. Keep reading to see what programs you can join this summer:

Photo Mar 15 9 42 17 AM 300x225 Learning Opportunities in The Farm at Fairplex Farm Field Trips: K-12 students are invited to take a field trip to The Farm. Students have the opportunity to learn about urban farming, animals, crops, product and farm economics, and the importance of nutritious, wholesome food. It’s a great way to introduce students to California’s rich agricultural past!

All our field trips include educational hands-on activities and are aligned with California Core Common Standards. For more information on our field trips, including registration info, availability and cost, click here.

Fairplex Farm gardenclass 300x216 Learning Opportunities in The Farm at Fairplex Gardening Workshops: We’ve partnered with Green Media Creations to offer free community gardening classes this month!

Residents can learn how to remove turf from their yard and replace it with drought-tolerant plants. Topics include design considerations, soil preparation, irrigation systems and garden maintenance.

Classes are FREE, but registration is required. Choose between Friday, July 21, 6 – 8:30 p.m. or Saturday, July 29, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Click here to register.

For more information on The Farm at Fairplex, including upcoming events, volunteer opportunities and our history, visit us at Fairplex.com/Farm.

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.