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Daily Bowl was founded by Paddy Iyer. He and his team pick up produce, food products and cooked food from farmers markets, restaurant wholesalers and companies and then redistribute them to food banks like Centro De Servicios around the Bay Area. We helped Paddy load his Daily Bowl truck. Then he left to deliver goods. Next, we helped Centro De Servicios Team Members repackage crates of fruits and vegetables into family size bags for distribution to clients. Good examples of non-profit organizations reducing food waste by redirecting food to the community that may have otherwise gone into landfill.

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For our first road trip of 2022, we took advantage of a beautiful sunny day to drive down Highway 92 to Ouroboros Farms in Half Moon Bay. All 17 of us were excited to learn about both aquaponics and hydroponics. When we arrived, we were given a warm greeting by founder and owner, Ken Armstrong who gave our group of 17 a private tour of his amazing farm featuring an expansive 15,000 sq ft greenhouse with fish tanks circulating over 9,000 gallons of water. Ken explained his preference for koi fish due their ability to adapt to the year round temperatures in Half Moon Bay.

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Aquaponics uses aquaculture and hydroponics in a symbiotic relationship where fish and plants rely on each other to live. The main input to his system is fish food. In addition to selling the fresh vegetables to many local high end restaurants, they sell fish fertilizer in both liquid and solid forms. Ken believes produce grown using the aquaponics method has a significant improvement in taste. Here's how it all works.

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In the next photo, Ken demonstrates how seedlings are transferred from a greenhouse and onto rafts floating in water where they soak up the nutrients from the large fish tanks. With a few exceptions, most vegetables thrive using this method, according to Ken.

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Ken was even able to grow a fig tree whose fruit tasted delicious!

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If you're in or around the Half Moon Bay area, we highly recommend a visit to Ouroboros. To learn more, visit the farm's website at OuroborosFarms.com.

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At LEAF, we love to get out and about, take in new sights, and see how others have implemented their ideas for changing the world. In 2021, LEAF was invited to join our friends at StopWaste for a tour of City Slicker Farms in Oakland. This was an opportunity for us to see how other Urban Farms in the Bay Area are managed and to share notes and horror stories about working on a farm. 

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Upon our arrival, we felt right at home discussing how to get rid of bindweed, Bermuda grass and gophers. After all, we have years of experience with those pesky weeds and plant eating varmints. City Slickers is a food justice organization. Their West Oakland Farm Park is located in the light industrial area part of Oakland. It is a working educational farm with a small greenhouse, lots of chickens, a beehive, and a community garden with one of the biggest bunnies I'd ever seen—even bigger than our farm cat!

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Just as we do at LEAF, City Slickers grows thousands of pounds of food to share with their community. Their cute Town Fridge is stocked with veggies from their farm and food from restaurants and stores that they provide free of charge to those in need.

City Slickers’ Backyard Gardens program has built over 500 planter boxes in their members' yards so they can grow their own food. Below is an example of one of the raised garden beds that their members can enjoy thanks to a caring team of individuals who share with them the importance of growing your own food.

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This is just a snapshot of our visit to City Slicker Farms. We hope you’ll take time to drop by and see for yourself all the wonderful things they are doing. Stay tuned to our blog for more LEAF Travels updates that we’re eager to share with you!

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VISITING LOCAL URBAN FARMS AND ORGANIZATIONS

WHO ARE CHANGING THE WORLD