Fantastic Figures Await at the New Felton Library

Art Installation Heralds the Coming of the Library

By Felton Library Friends

The Felton Library Festival, which will be held on Saturday, May 20 from 12:00 to 4:00 pm, will feature an art installation of “Fantastic Figures” on the new library site just down Gushee street next to the Post Office. The free event includes art activities for all, food, information on the library project, a drawing for prizes, and live music by Patti Maxine and Friends, Ben Lonesome and the Highway Niners, Dave McClellan and Friends, and Young People’s Theater singers.

The small town of Felton, gateway to the San Lorenzo Valley, has been waiting for a new library for many years. The current library has long outgrown its tiny location in the historic Belardi building. Groundbreaking for the new larger library begins in 2018.

“It has been a long wait,” says Marilyn Robertson, longtime member of Felton Library Friends. “Now we are very excited and feeling rather celebratory.”

The garden art figures, conceived by a group of local artists, Robertson, and Felton Library Friend, Nancy Gerdt, will consist of a dozen larger-than-life sculptures “planted” in the field, each symbolizing the broad spectrum of patrons waiting to use the new library and the tremendous breadth of opportunities a library brings to the public.

Each figure, graciously donated by the artist, will be completely different, and materials will vary according to the artist’s vision. The idea of the waiting figures was the inspiration of Ben Lomond artist, Eileen Murray, who has constructed two such figures in her garden.

“I adapted the idea from the African nkisi, fascinating protective figures covered with hardware and nails, placed in front of properties in the Congo,” Murray explained. “They are very primitive and beautiful. The African figures were originally meant to scare people away, but ours are meant to entice. They are garden art.”  The African Queen, by Eileen Murray, pictured here, will be one of the figures up for auction starting on May 20, with proceeds benefitting the new library and Felton Library Friends.

Additional artists include Karen Asherah, Eleanor Carolan, Alexis Spakoski, Karen Close, Jennifer Hennig, Janet Silverglate, Sophie Webb, Bill Jurgens, Nina Moore, and Lise Bixler. For more information, visit: www.feltonlibraryfriends.org

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Copyright 2017 Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin. Originally published in the Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin April 2017 edition. www.santacruzmountainbulletin.net

Boulder Creek Village Farm – Epic Organic

by Julie Horner

Late May, late afternoon, and I found myself standing somewhat naked feeling but cautiously celebratory beside a big wooden box filled with several cubic feet of dirt. The afternoon sun had slipped below the tree line and I was under dressed but optimistic in shorts and a tank top. Shivering slightly, rental agreement in hand, I drove my stake down into the brown to mark my territory. I had just nabbed one of the last three remaining 6 ft. x 4 ft. raised redwood planting beds milled and handcrafted on-premises at the newly established Boulder Creek Village Farm. Brimming with beautiful organic soil, each bed represented an open slate promising months of fragrant greenery garnishing the south end of downtown Boulder Creek.

I’d missed the grand opening by a couple of weeks when most of the other raised beds had been snatched up by a throng of eager gardeners thirsting for a patch of sun in the forest. Beds were rented first come first served. Proprietor and pilot-turned-farmer, Brandon Parker, said that one person even attempted to camp out. “It was like an iPhone release,” he said. The camper lasted until about 3:00; other people were lined up before 6:00 in the morning. Brandon said, “It was fun, with donuts and coffee, everyone out meeting each other.” By the end of the event all but three beds were taken and 14 out of 18 beds were planted up that day.

Boulder Creek Village Farm occupies the vacant lot next to Boulder Creek Village Wash, which has been in Brandon’s family since 1974. Brandon tells me he’s got new machines coming in – giant front-loaders – “so you can wash your king sized bedspread.” He’s busy refurbishing for a 1950s retro feel, putting in a coffee machine and stepping up the popular drop-off wash service. But he wondered how to make use of that adjacent lot.

He eventually decided it would be best to “open the space up and give it to the community.” While somewhat disconnected from the main thrust of Boulder Creek downtown, “I want people to walk down,” enticed by the curb appeal.

The raised beds of Village Farm occupy about 1/3 of the available space. He pictures having outdoor movie nights, “big long tables for farmers’ dinners,” and live music with small acoustic bands. “I’ve already had a car show with everything from a brand new 2016 souped-up Mustang to 1950s rat-rods. And there’s always the farmers market idea, which proved problematic for some behind the Odd Fellows Hall – maybe at Village Farm the instance would be more inviting from the street with room to unfurl and plenty of parking.

First he’ll get a feel for running the farm operation smoothly by growing it in stages. “In the years to come, it can be as big as the people want it to be. I’m really open.” Some will want to return next year to grow vegetables in the beds, and he’ll be adding gardening classes and workshops. “I like the idea of having cool things for the community to come together.”

The lot gets a full 12-hours of sun in the summer and gets its water from the laundromat. He’s already looking into creating greywater and rainwater catchment systems for the farm and tapping into solar power for the laundromat. Those who joined the farm received the raised bed, soil, amendments, access to water, and tools, “all they have to bring are plants and themselves.” Gardeners and the curious can access the farm from sunrise to sunset seven days a week or walk or drive by any time to peer inside.

“I love Boulder Creek, love the community, and I want to do something positive for the area. The farm has turned out to be nicer than expected…people come out with their kids with watering cans; I can hardly wait to see them pick their vegetables.”

Brandon sees the big picture. “A lot of things need to be changed, and we’re starting at a small level to bring that change.” He’s hoping to set an example by motivating people to eat healthy by growing their own vegetables. “Healthy living is becoming cool. We went so far one direction toward pre-processed foods, now we’re pulling back the other way toward epic organic.”

“We can speak with our dollars. Patronize places that support healthier living.”
A lifelong resident of Boulder Creek, Brandon is thankful to the community for helping out. “The beds were built by Steve Maurer, and Tyrone ‘Ty the Tractor’ Clark brings his rig down from Bear Creek to help move dirt – he’s awesome, stops by to help out. Redwood Edible Gardens donated heirloom tomato starts at the grand opening, Linda Skeff helped line up the cardboard and wood-chips for weed abatement, and Lisa Harwell has been a big driving force behind getting things going.”

Boulder Creek Village Farm started as “just a short grass weed field, an open dead lot,” Brandon says. Now all kinds of herbs, leafy vegetables, berries, watermelon, squash, and pumpkins grow. “I want it to be a community space. I wanted to do something pretty.”

Brandon welcomes ideas for future projects that will improve the space and he’s looking for experts who will host classes throughout the growing season. Message Brandon on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/Boulder-Creek-Village-Farm-1534468396845546

Visit Boulder Creek Village Farm: 12890 Highway 9 Boulder Creek, CA. 95006

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Julie Horner is a writer and Irish style musician living in the Santa Cruz Mountains, CA. This story was originally published in the Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin, June 2016: http://mountainbulletin.com/article/valley-business-boulder-creek-village-farm-epic-organic/

Boulder Creek Village Farm – Epic Organic

By Julie Horner

Late May, late afternoon, and I found myself standing somewhat naked feeling but cautiously celebratory beside a big wooden box filled with several cubic feet of dirt. The afternoon sun had slipped below the tree line and I was underdressed but optimistic in shorts and a tank top. Shivering slightly, rental agreement in hand, I drove my stake down into the brown to mark my territory. I had just nabbed one of the last three remaining 6 ft. x 4 ft. raised redwood planting beds milled and handcrafted on-premises at the newly established Boulder Creek Village Farm. Brimming with beautiful organic soil, each bed represented an open slate promising months of fragrant greenery garnishing the south end of downtown Boulder Creek

I’d missed the grand opening by a couple of weeks when most of the other raised beds had been snatched up by a throng of eager gardeners thirsting for a patch of sun in the forest. Beds were rented first come first served. Proprietor and pilot-turned-farmer, Brandon Parker, said that one person even attempted to camp out. “It was like an iPhone release,” he said. The camper lasted until about 3:00; other people were lined up before 6:00 in the morning. Brandon said, “It was fun, with donuts and coffee, everyone out meeting each other.” By the end of the event all but three beds were taken and 14 out of 18 beds were planted up that day.

Boulder Creek Village Farm occupies the vacant lot next to Boulder Creek Village Wash, which has been in Brandon’s family since 1974. Brandon tells me he’s got new machines coming in – giant front-loaders – “so you can wash your king sized bedspread.” He’s busy refurbishing for a 1950s retro feel, putting in a coffee machine and stepping up the popular drop-off wash service. But he wondered how to make use of that adjacent lot.

He eventually decided it would be best to “open the space up and give it to the community.” While somewhat disconnected from the main thrust of Boulder Creek downtown, “I want people to walk down,” enticed by the curb appeal.

The raised beds of Village Farm occupy about 1/3 of the available space. He pictures having outdoor movie nights, “big long tables for farmers’ dinners,” and live music with small acoustic bands. “I’ve already had a car show with everything from a brand new 2016 souped-up Mustang to 1950s rat-rods. And there’s always the farmers market idea, which proved problematic for some behind the Odd Fellows Hall – maybe at Village Farm the instance would be more inviting from the street with room to unfurl and plenty of parking.

First he’ll get a feel for running the farm operation smoothly by growing it in stages. “In the years to come, it can be as big as the people want it to be. I’m really open.” Some will want to return next year to grow vegetables in the beds, and he’ll be adding gardening classes and workshops. “I like the idea of having cool things for the community to come together.”

The lot gets a full 12-hours of sun in the summer and gets its water from the laundromat. He’s already looking into creating greywater and rainwater catchment systems for the farm and tapping into solar power for the laundromat. Those who joined the farm received the raised bed, soil, amendments, access to water, and tools, “all they have to bring are plants and themselves.” Gardeners and the curious can access the farm from sunrise to sunset seven days a week or walk or drive by any time to peer inside.

“I love Boulder Creek, love the community, and I want to do something positive for the area. The farm has turned out to be nicer than expected…people come out with their kids with watering cans; I can hardly wait to see them pick their vegetables.”

Brandon sees the big picture. “A lot of things need to be changed, and we’re starting at a small level to bring that change.” He’s hoping to set an example by motivating people to eat healthy by growing their own vegetables. “Healthy living is becoming cool. We went so far one direction toward pre-processed foods, now we’re pulling back the other way toward epic organic.”

“We can speak with our dollars. Patronize places that support healthier living.”

A lifelong resident of Boulder Creek, Brandon is thankful to the community for helping out. “The beds were built by Steve Maurer, and Tyrone ‘Ty the Tractor’ Clark brings his rig down from Bear Creek to help move dirt – he’s awesome, stops by to help out. Redwood Edible Gardens donated heirloom tomato starts at the grand opening, Linda Skeff helped line up the cardboard and woodchips for weed abatement, and Lisa Harwell has been a big driving force behind getting things going.”

Boulder Creek Village Farm started as “just a short grass weed field, an open dead lot,” Brandon says. Now all kinds of herbs, leafy vegetables, berries, watermelon, squash, and pumpkins grow. “I want it to be a community space. I wanted to do something pretty.”

Brandon welcomes ideas for future projects that will improve the space and he’s looking for experts who will host classes throughout the growing season. Message Brandon on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Boulder-Creek-Village-Farm-1534468396845546

Visit Boulder Creek Village Farm: 12890 Highway 9 Boulder Creek, CA. 95006

 

Julie Horner is an Irish folk musician and writer living in the Santa Cruz Mountains, California. Email: leap2three@gmail.com

Originally published in the Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin: http://mountainbulletin.com/article/valley-business-boulder-creek-village-farm-epic-organic/