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The little farm that could


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What a difference a few years make when you have enough sunshine, soil, water, and love to give! Just four years ago, SLO City Farm planted its first seeds. Now, the farm has truly come into its own. Still, plenty of folks have never stepped foot on this tucked-away gem sprouting with gorgeous greenery. Thousands of people driving south on Highway 101 between the Madonna Shopping Center and Los Osos Valley Road every day have no idea that they are indeed driving past the city of San Luis Obispo's Calle Joaquin Agricultural Preserve. Weird right? Within that preserve, you'll find a 19-acre parcel of class-one irrigated farmland (it's true, I've seen it with my own eyes). Owned by the city of SLO and managed by Central Coast Grown, the farm produces veggies that go into local school lunches. The land also plays host to farming programs for at-risk teens, and has become a gathering place for volunteers seeking a break from mundane desk jobs. Don't own your own yard? You can make your way to City Farm SLO and they'll hand you a shovel (this provides a great workout, too). If you've never seen this landscape for yourself, now is the time to throw on those overalls and pull on those boots. Swing by the second annual Fall Harvest Festival, slated for Oct. 21. You can check out the pergola, new deer fencing, and gardens lovingly tended to by the Pacific Beach Farm School program. Can't make it to the fest? No worries! City Farm SLO just opened a new farm stand where you can purchase fresh produce every Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. Something tells me this best-kept agricultural secret will not be a secret much longer.

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Hayley Thomas Cain is looking for a good pair of overalls. She can be reached at


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