Your tax-deductible donation will help us improve our facility and expand our programs.
We live and work to create a more-robust, local food system by teaching people how to grow food in San Diego. We sprouted from community need fifteen years ago and now now have a vibrant five-year-old farm and teaching center where we are growing more food, teaching new farmers, and are gathering a community of those who seek a more delicious, more local, and more sustainable food system.
Wild Willow Farm & Education Center
Wild Willow Farm & Education Center is a six-acre working farm located in the southwest corner of the United States, less than three miles from the Pacific Ocean and two-thirds mile north of the Mexican Border. The farm is nestled along the banks of the scenic Tijuana River, and borders the river's stunningly beautiful estuary nature preserve. We're a 15-minute drive from downtown San Diego, with easy and quick access from most of urban south San Diego County.
Having opened our fields on the Summer Solstice of 2010, Wild Willow Farm is now in its fourth year of developing a farm and growing food while educating local citizenry about sustainable farming, permaculture and how to live sustainably in our region. The farm continues to evolve rapidly both on and off the ground.
Introduction to Small-Scale Farming
WINTER 2016 SESSION
Saturday, February 20 to Saturday, April 2
Mandatory Orientation: 9am-noon, Sat., February 20, 2016 at Wild Willow Farm
CLASSES at University of San Diego (Linda Vista)
Feb 24 to March 30
FIELD LABS at Wild Willow Farm
Feb 27 to April 2
Total Tuition: $500 (including registration fee)
Registration fee: $100 (non-refundable; includes required textbook)
Wild Willow Farm's Farming 101: Introduction to Farming course offers students an introduction to techniques and strategies for small farming or agricultural advocacy, or to simply grow more of their own food.
This six-week, two-day-per-week course is offered several times each year. With a horticultural and practical focus, students learn about soil fertility; tool use; till and no-till strategies; composting; sowing and transplanting; principles of irrigation; and pests, pathogens and beneficials. The last class is a discussion about building farm resiliency and a farm's relationship to many systems we must interact with: governmental, social, commercial, educational and regulatory. Classes are held on the campus of the University of San Diego on Wednesday evenings, with field classes and labs at Wild Willow Farm on Saturdays. This course is a prerequisite to becoming a Tier 1 Farming Student.
2016 Scheduled Course Dates
Summer Session (Intensive)
Two weeks: July 5-16
9am-3pm Tuesday-Saturday at Wild Willow Farm
Six weeks: September 24 to November 5
Mandatory Orientation: Saturday, Sept. 24
Wed. @ USD: 7pm-9pm, Sept. 28th - Nov. 2nd
Sat. @ WWF: Oct. 1st - Nov. 5th
Now enrolling for Full and Half Shares
Pickups in Imperial Beach, Chula Vista,
Mission Hills and Talmadge
You are invited to become a Wild Willow Farm Shareholder -- our version of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Each weekly or bi-weekly Share includes a seasonal selection of farm-fresh vegetables with occasional fruits, cut flowers, and herbs -- the equivalent of about one grocery bag full of just-harvested produce. Contents of your Share will vary based on seasons and production cycles, but we aim for consistent volume.
$25/week, deliveries every week
$25 week, deliveries every other week
Both Full and Half Shares are the same size and have the same contents. You may join any time shares are available. Half Share deliveries will begin subject to balanced weekly production.
New Drop sites sought!
You can apply to become a FarmShare drop site with five or more weekly subscriptions (locations south of Interstate 8 and west of Interstate 15 preferred). To find out more, contact Dorothea at
Volunteering at Wild Willow Farm
New Hours: Saturdays, 10am to 3pm (wet weather cancels)
IMPORTANT DATES: Farm volunteering is CANCELLED on these dates:
November 14, and December 26.
No experience necessary. No reservations required (except as noted below).
Volunteer for all or a portion of the hours listed.
Open Volunteering is for individuals, families or groups smaller than ten that need no additional facilitation and can be split up into tasks. Anything other than this would be a Group Activity.
Come to the farm and participate in your food system as we grow Wild Willow Farm. Often the best way to learn is by doing, and you'll get a taste of the myriad things a farmer does while preparing and growing San Diego seasonal plantings of vegetables, greens, medicinal and culinary herbs and cover crops.
On-farm chores vary widely week to week and depend entirely on what's happening at the farm that day. Usual activities include composting (hands-on learning every week), watering, bed prep, weeding, mulching, animal care, planting and tending a huge range of plants and more.
No reservations are required. We've got the gloves, tools and tasks; just come prepared for sunshine and dirt (sun hat, appropriate clothing, sturdy closed-toe shoes). Please bring a lunch.
We welcome people of all ages and abilities, but please leave your pets at home.
We are open for school community service hours. If you are under 18, please arrive with a parent or guardian to check you in and give you permission to participate (parents/guardians do not need to stay). Please let us know at check-in if you need us to sign-off on your required paperwork.
Court-Ordered Community Service Hours for Youth (17 and under): Youth may volunteer on the farm to fulfill court-ordered community service hours on a case-by-case basis only. Prior to coming to the farm, interested youth and parents must contact the volunteer coordinator by e-mail to make arrangements. This communication will help us make sure that the young person and our staff are prepared for the service hours. We will not verify any court-ordered service without prior arrangement.
Court-Ordered Community Service Hours for Adults: At this time, we do not allow court-ordered community service hours for adults.
You may bring kids of any age you feel suitable to be around a farm, including contact with dirt, bugs, biting ants, thistles and burrs, farm animals, tools, and nature. Rest assured we do not use any harmful chemicals on the soil or food we grow. Children must remain under your direct supervision or awareness at all times; we'll do our best to find appropriate activities for your family. Please no unacompanied children unless by prior arrangement, such as for school service hours. Wild Willow Farm does not offer childcare services and the farm is not a playground.
Volunteering with children under 10 years old: Volunteering activities are limited for younger children on the farm. We offer participation in a variety of activities, but it is important to note that children under the age of 10 are not permitted to volunteer in our vegetable fields. When available, volunteer activities for young children include feeding our goats and chickens, assisting with compost activities, weeding, and seed-saving.
Although volunteer activities are limited, your time on the farm is not. Young children and parents are welcome to visit the farm during public volunteer hours to walk, observe things happening on the farm, meet our animals, or even enjoy a picnic lunch in our barn.
On annual cool-season hiatus
Next scheduled: March 2016 (weather permitting)
Our farm is all about community, so what better way to say that than by hosting a monthly community gathering? On third Saturdays each month from March through October, we host volunteer opportunities, tours, a grand potluck meal, and bonfire.
Volunteering, Yoga, Farm Tour, Potluck, Live Music, Wood-fired Pizza, Bonfire and much more.
at Wild Willow Farm
click here for a map (we recommend you use our map)
(except classes or purchases; donations are always appreciated)
Check out photos from the May 2014 potluck,
Timeline for the Day
10am to 3pm: Farm Volunteering
4pm: Farm Yoga with Niina in the Classroom
4 to 7pm: Farmstand OpenPurchase freshly harvested WWF veggies and eggs. We'll have our super-popular "I like big beets and I cannot lie" WWF t-shirts on sale, courtesy of our friends at the Roots Factory in Barrio Logan ($15 donation supports our programs).
5pm: Farm Tour
Led by Wild Willow staff and students. See what we do, and learn why and how we do it.
Know your farmer, know your farm, know your food.
6pm: POTLUCK with farm-made, organic sourdough wood-fired pizza (donations requested).
Please bring something yummy to share!
6:00pm: Live Music by local musicians
Dusk: Fireside Community and Drum Jam BRING DRUMS
Something yummy to share (extra points for something homemade using organic, locally grown ingredients). Please label your dish and ingredients (share your recipes!).
Your own plate, cup and eating utensils help us keep this a zero-waste event.
Please pack out your recylables and trash.
Jacket and warm clothing. It gets surprisingly cold here at night.
We welcome everyone, but please leave your pets at home.
Children: You may bring kids of any age you feel suitable to be around a farm, including contact with dirt, bugs, thistles and burrs, farm animals, tools, and nature. Children must remain under your direct supervision or awareness at all times. Please no unacompanied children. Wild Willow Farm does not offer childcare services and the farm is not a playground.
About our potlucks: volunteering, free mini-workshops, farm tour, potluck, bonfire, drumming. Farming is all about food. And food is best when shared with community. At our potlucks Wild Willow gives thanks to our amazing community of students, volunteers, educators, fans and eaters of every stripe. Familiar faces and new smiles are always welcome to these joyous gatherings that include educational workshops, volunteer activities, farm tour, potluck dinner, and drum circle around our cob firepit. See photos from our May 2014 potluck taken by Gregory Berg.
Open House/Potlucks will resume in March 2016 (weather permitting)