Muir Ranch

John Muir High School

January 9, 2014
by admin

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.

June 21, 2013
by admin

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?


June 17, 2013
by admin

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


June 6, 2013
by admin

Volunteer. Feed Teachers. Feed Kids.

School garden and oh yeah, school food, peeps,

Take a look at last Saturday’s dinner. Huge thanks to the whole team and photographer David Kiang:

Nice, right? Look what school food could be.

Today is my last teaching day with the kids at Muir Ranch for 2012-13. My classes ended yesterday, but someone got suckered into a teacher’s luncheon for this afternoon. For student catering manager Z it’s her THIRD event in nearly a week and I’m truly amazed at her talent, vision and resilience. Sometimes it’s a total privilege to be a teacher. For those of you who are educators you know how hard it is to say that this time of year. So know I don’t speak lightly.

If you’ve been thinking about coming and seeing us in action, show up this AM from 8-1 and see some magic. Our student catering manager, Z, the student team, and chef Ernest Miller, need to serve 40. More mouths will show up. Lord knows we have food. Someone has to “cook” it.

Bring your apron. Bring your smile. It’s all hands on deck as we approach a taco bar and handmade ice cream adventure (OK, don’t let me write the menus). Check in at the volunteer office and head back to the ranch. We’ll be there.

I’m also really wondering what our catering program will evolve into, so let this opportunity serve the purpose of asking these questions.

1. What can school lunch be?
2. What kind of jobs can we create at Muir Ranch for students and mentors in food service and event catering?
3. How does the catering program support and be supported by the farm and CSA social enterprises at Muir Ranch (yeah, vertical integration, blah, blah, blah)?
4. Who is the crazy person with vision and balance that can create a program to do this on $1000/month just like the CSA while we figure it out???



Muir Ranch

May 27, 2013
by admin

Awesome Avocado Sauce!

3 Serrano peppers add more for spicier taste
1 ½ leeks, use the greens as well
3 Avocadoes
1 Teaspoon of salt
1 ½ cup of water
Small bunch of cilantro
5 tomatillos (green)

+Put the tomatillos with the cilantro, serranos, leeks, water, and salt in the blender. (Leave a little thick)
+ Add the avocadoes and then blend again, you chose of you want it thick or very liquefied