Muir Ranch

John Muir High School

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Touchdown! #Gardenchat and #Supersowsunday Step Up for School Gardens Across the US.

Every year #gardenchat bloggers, writers, garden marketing co. reps, and yeah, gardeners spend their Super Bowl doing what plant nerds might be expected to do: garden. Specifically, the group discusses the season appropriate topic of starting seeds for SPRING! Hence #supersowsunday.

At the speed of social media, fearless #gardenchat diva @bg_garden asked for input from this farmer/teacher and he quipped, “Why doesn’t everyone in the industry/garden world start plug trays for local schools?” Yeah, why not. So here it is gardenistas, your opportunity to support your local farm to school program with something that kids and their teachers need: seedlings. AND hey it’s something you, and all of us gardeners, have.

So in the comments of this blog all you have to do is pick your local school district. Yes, district, as there’s not always a plant nerd at each school but 3 or 30 schools has a sure match.

Commit to a number of seedlings and when they’ll be available. List your @twitter ID and city/state and one of our Muir Ranch interns will be putting everyone in touch. It’s an awesome senior project for my kids and kids across the countryto get plants! Touchdown!!!


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Urban Ag Meet Crowd Funding


Happy New Years! With just 5 days and almost $2500 to go of its $10,000 goal Muir Ranch looks like it’s successfully entering the world of crowd funding to start of 2014.

Here’s the link to our indiegogo:

Since we are a little farm on the edge of the Rose Bowl in NW Pasadena and there is this parade thing in town this time of year we naturally thought, “Let’s do a ‘Pasadena Rose Garden’ and make a Toms shoes kinda’ buy 1/give 1 out of it!?” And that’s what we’ve done. If you buy a David Austin you get one donated to Muir Ranch too. Win/win, right?

We also have kale seeds, t-shirts, long table dinner tickets, and CSA vegetable and floral subscriptions on the campaign. Good stuff. Great prices. The full share of the CSA at $1000/50 weeks is 33% off the new 2014 price of $30/week.

We wish we wouldn’t have to do fundraisers to make ends meet around the farm. But training students how to be social entrepreneurs does have its costs. Fortunately, the method is the means and this campaign is an excellent hands on learning to for engaging your community (and customers) in doing good by doing good.

So please spread the word amongst your network. Only with your amazing support can we continue to grow (and eat really, really great food).



Farmer. Project Director.

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We Have A Few Dahlias.

In case you are wondering. It’s dahlia season around here at the ranch. We have over 2,000 plants in the ground thanks to our generous donors Easy To Grow Bulbs and Dan’s Dahlias

So, if you have a wedding, Bar Mitzvah, birthday, or dinner, I know a school farm that does excellent arrangements with the aforementioned dahlias. And did I mention the snapdragons, lilies, sunflowers or David Austin roses?


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Summer Begins.

Today we finish the last of our student-led interviews for Muir Ranch. We will gave about 15 paid interns this summer that are 80% funded by our CSA and the rest are covered by our farm dinners. Thanks again Nisha and all the guests!

I can’t say how proud of the team I am. Lali, Yesenia and now Manny have really stepped into my role of selecting the candidates, rating their skills, conducting OTJ interviews and balancing them with our needs and budget for the farm this summer.

As a teacher it’s a “wow, just wow” moment. It’s a, “Hey, they can do my job!” benchmark-thing and that frees me up to do more: order kale & squash seeds, give flowers away, set up farmers markets, write grants and, IDK, launch a @kickstarter. Little things?

Big things are figuring out how we grow Muir Ranch’s client base of satellite schools, EBT customers, delivery services and our overall impact in LA. We shouldn’t be the only school garden doing this. It’s a challenge. We also have to figure out how we fit within a high school as a nonprofit and social enterprise. Ah, a relaxing summer?

And I’m nearly at the end of this update and haven’t even mentioned how much we need an anchor person to help us launch our cafe and catering program. I guess with my student managers stepping up I’ll have time to write these posts more often. Maybe? Mos def, maybe.

One last wonderful thing. The kids and I came up with a short immediate-term wish list of predictable items: gloves, pruners and cleaning items. Yesenia, 15, mentioned that we needed more appropriate work clothing for the incoming farmhands. Sounds about right, right? She mentioned, “cute farm girl clothes.”
Overalls? Plaid shirts? Good stuff (so clean your closet and help us out; I did).
But somehow, our Manny and his brain lost the last part of that and decided “cute farm girls” was just enough. It’s never dull here. It’s never dull. Come volunteer and see for yourself.

- mud