Terranea Blog

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A Day at Terranea’s Farm

Written By Lauren Bergloff, Terranea’s Naturalist and Green Team Leader

On Friday, January 6, our Engineering intern Cathy and I went to Catalina View Gardens, which is located about 1 mile away from Terranea and across the street from Abalone Cove. Catalina View Gardens is one of the most beautiful properties I have ever been to! When turning in, the drive is lined with lemon trees and you can see a vineyard on top of the hill. There are avocado trees, olive trees, and citrus trees - all at first glance.

We started our tour at the greenhouse, which is made out of rocks and is architecturally unique and fascinating. We walked through the greenhouse onto the patio and gasped at the view! It is called “Catalina View Gardens” for a reason! From that lookout point, we could see Abalone Cove, the Wayfarer’s Chapel, Catalina Island, and Terranea Resort. Outside the patio, there is a plot of land that is currently filled with pineapple sage, bok choy, radishes, and much more. A lot of the greens from this plot are used at bashi.

There is a gorgeous vineyard below the greenhouse that is full of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Throughout the property, there are apple guava, lemon, orange, pink peppercorn, and many other trees. We were able to taste apple guavas for the first time and they were delicious! The flowers of the pink peppercorn trees are used on some of mar’sel’s dishes to add a fresh spice and gorgeous garnish. Because of all the rain, lots of mushrooms sprouted up across the property as well!

After all this, we finally made it to the Terranea Resort Garden which is about 1/10 of an acre. Right now, there is a cover crop covering most of the land, which will put nutrients back into the soil. By a large peppercorn tree is a big pile of compost, which consists of coffee grounds from sea beans, hay, twigs, clippings from the garden, and mulch. Eventually, this pile of compost will become nutrient rich soil that will be put back into the garden!

As our last stop, we went to a shaded area with various bins, filled with what looked like dark and moist soil. This soil was created in a process calling vermicomposting, where worms eat scraps of food to produce castings (otherwise known as worm poop)! These castings are then used as nutrients for plants. Surprisingly, the soil was odorless and felt incredibly soft. Another thing being produced is a liquid called worm tea. Worm tea is made by mixing molasses and liquids accumulated from vermicomposting. There is a spout that comes out of the vermicomposting bin for easy access. The combination leads to a rapid growth of bacteria, which is beneficial for the growth of plants.

The main focus of this trip was to learn about all the produce being grown at the farm and to spread the word of all the awesome things that make Terranea so sustainable!  Cathy and I are reintroducing the Green Team at Terranea in 2017 and we are opening it up to all associates. Our next field trip is a kelp forest cleanup led by our kayak guide, James Felgar. After it rains, the storm drains empty into the ocean and we want to make sure we clean up the kelp forest as soon as possible!

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