Farm Tours

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Hollyhill Hummingbird Farm has Tours!

Looking through our pictures and reading our text may be helpful, but walking around our Farm, listening to your guide, and freely asking questions, is another thing all together.

We hold tours at the Farm on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month. All ages are welcome. Your private tour will last about an hour, and highlight all the important aspects of Hollyhill Hummingbird Farm.

As an educational bonus; you and your group can be invited to take part in a seasonally based farm activity, just let us know.  For example, here are some kids who came with an Engineer from Tesla Motors helping out by planting seeds:

To skip past the Tour Highlights and find out how to schedule your visit, click here

 For groups of 10 or more people, please click here to learn about large group options.

Tour Highlights:

Our Chickens:
Each Chicken was held, one at a time, everyday from her first day of life, until she was two weeks old.  Then they were held weekly for health inspections until 6 months of age. All this holding bonded them with humans.  Our chickens  don’t mind kids or adults holding them, and this is a fun part of the tour!

Your tour will also include basic education on chicken care. If you would like more detail, such as if you are planning to get your own chickens, just let us know.

 

 

 

 

 

Our Biodynamic Veggie Garden:
Good farmers grow good vegetables.  Great farmers grow great soil! At our Farm, the chicken manure is caught using local straw.  The straw is then composted next to the coop along with excess spent grain from the Farm’s Craft Brewery.  This is the food for our veggie garden.

Besides learning our methods of soil improvement you will see how we pair up companion plants to fight pests.  For instance:  If you plant members of the allium family (onions, garlic, chives…) around your plants that aphids and carrot flies like, you may trick the pests and get a sweet harvest of both the crop and the allium.  We like to space our onions through our carrots to allow each onion to swell while the carrots catch the wasted light, getting thinned as they grow.

You will see first hand an eight year crop rotation (count the 8 boxes in the photo on the right!).  Each box was built with identical specs, and every winter we switch the crops to a new location of the garden.  Like a shell game, we move the crops so new pest babies born in the spring will not be right next to their parents’ favorite food.  Lastly, crop rotation helps plants live symbiotically over time.  What one plant takes from the soil, another gives.  Some give using further symbiosis, like the legume family (peas, beans, peanuts…) their roots team up with local bacteria to leave the ground with more nitrogen than it started!

 

 

Our Craft Brewery:
The Farm brewing process takes about 8 hours of time during the actual brew day and then it takes weeks or months before the brew is ready to drink.

We may not be brewing on the day of your visit; however, we will have the equipment set up, the fermenters filled with wort/beer, and our 2 kegorators (3 tap soda and 6 tap beer) for you to learn from during the tour.

If you want to learn more about brewing, please visit our Homebrew Page or our Volunteer Page and sign up to be a Brewmaster’s Assistant.

 

 

Our Orchard:
The orchard was planted beginning in January of 2012.  There are 28 different varieties of trees selected.  While focus was always on taste test winners, consideration was used to stagger harvests and have a few long term storage fruits.  The trail through the orchard was finished ahead of schedule (December 2012) and was documented by a photographer from the San Jose Mercury News.  Now that we have a trail up, you will be able to look at each tree close up!

The other side of the knoll is home to our Hop Yard…

 

 

Our Hop Yard (Now open for viewing from above and below!):

 

Hops are a perennial plant that regrows from a rhizome (root that stores energy like a potato) each year.  If you come in the spring you will see a little plant like on the right.  Summer has long vines growing over a rope (pictured above).  August we harvest flowers for brewing.  September – Spring, you will see last years vines.

This is a picture of one of our hops varieties (Cascade) as a baby.

 

 

 

See more! Lots of additional Farm Tour pictures here.

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How to make a reservation for your groups’ private hour-long guided Tour: *We meet new people by reservation only* (please click here to see info for large groups)

Please include the following things in your email to make scheduling easier:

A) Number of people in group – We suggest a donation of $4 per person.

B) Date and Time you prefer – We are open on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month for Farm Tours and Farm to Picnics.   Please tell us if you prefer mornings or afternoons.

C) Mode of transportation – We suggest a $10 donation for parking a gas powered car.  To promote sustainability there is no suggested donation for parking if you come via full electric vehicle, bikes, horseback, or by foot! Residents of Saratoga/Cupertino, Fremont Older Park has several entrances from your city.  It is probably faster to ride your bike or horse on over.  Even walking or jogging through the park is very possible.
 

Donations may be made through Paypal (Click Here) or Cash on the day of the Farm Tour.

 

You, and each member in your group, must fill out our online Waiver before you come for your visit.

 

  • Come!


We look forward to the chance to share our farming methods with you!


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Large Group Events:

   

Our Farm works because of symbiosis. Receiving is balanced by giving so that everyone can benefit from the exchange. Here are the 2 options that we offer to large groups, which reflects this mindset:

  • The Extended Tour

For large groups, as opposed to our regular tour, the fun and educational tour lasts 2 hours and includes an easy and fun farm activity. It’s a great way to see all and get involved in what we do at the Farm! We suggest donations of $4 per person, plus $10 per gas powered vehicle, for an extended guided tour of the Farm.

 

  • Tour and Work

This package takes at least 5 hours and includes: an hour long guided tour, 3 hours or more of volunteering on the Farm (with breaks), and concludes with a Farm-made lunch. All members of the group must be over 18 years old to participate. We suggest donations of $4 per person, plus $10 per gas powered vehicle and appreciate extra tips if you enjoy the great lunch!

 

  • Special Topic

If you see something that we do at the Farm that you think your group would like a special lesson on, let us know. We can create a learning package tailored for your group.

Carpooling is strongly encouraged. Guests must be over 21 years old and show proof of ID to try the Farm-made Craft Brew.

 

The enjoyment and education of your group is our top priority. The event can be tailored to meet your individual needs or desires.

If you have a different idea about how we can have a symbiotic relationship, let us know!

Contact us at  humbirdfarm@gmail.com to organize your group’s event at Hollyhill Hummingbird Sustainable Farm.

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