Visit to Hidden Villa (Saturday 5/7)

On the farm

So OBVIOUSLY I am going to be a weekend farmer at the rate I keep visiting them. And by “weekend farmer” I mean “someone who mucks around in the dirt for about an hour and is slowly killing all her potted kitchen herbs.”

Still, in 2011, I’ve played with baby goats and made marmalade. I’ve even mucked a barn!

Last weekend, however, was off-duty for this seasoned hand. KO and I went to the distant hills of Los Altos, where our dear friend Soozbomb had accepted an apprenticeship. We citygirls went down strictly as visitors.

Walking in the woods

First off, Hidden Villa is HUGE. Much larger than Pie Ranch. There are several buildings for the education program, some for meetings and events, and one ramshackle White House where the interns live.

What does Hidden Villa do? Grow stuff and educate young folks about how to grow stuff. It’s a really awesome program, and has a great history too. From the farm’s site:

Hidden Villa was founded by Frank and Josephine Duveneck, who purchased the land in 1924 and offered it as a gathering place for discussion, reflection, and incubation of social reform. Over the following decades, the Duvenecks established the first Hostel on the Pacific Coast (1937), the first multiracial summer camp (1945), and Hidden Villa’s Environmental Education Program (1970). The Trust for Hidden Villa was established as a nonprofit in 1960


Although it was a bit cold, we got to have a tour in a golf cart! I got to eat fresh strawberries (only 1 or 2), harass some chickens, and take a hike with an awesome cat named Rosebud. (That evening there was an intern barbeque, during which Rosebub brought her own rat to the festivities!)

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, but I can’t wait to go down when the weather is warmer and maybe, y’know, help out a bit. I’m pretty great at it by now.


Oh hello


Something this way grows

Wee nest

Greenhouse cat

Want more?

Check out the Hidden Villa Calendar of events! If you’re in the area, consider their CSA!