5K Trail April 14, 2014
Running on the farm has become more of a common sighting. The field crews used to watch, fascinated, by folks running along the fields at their lunch breaks. Now it is often a daily occurrence and has been something that no longer gets the yips and shouts of encouragement that it used to. I have set a goal for myself, that I routinely fall short of, which is to run 3-4 miles, three times a week. This, coupled with eating all the vegetables that get delivered to my home (yes, your farmer subscribes to his own CSA), is my plan to stay healthy and fit for life.
My wife, Moyra, had a great idea — why not put a 5K course on the farm? With that said, the whole family had a fun time downloading aps that mapped a route and measured its distance. The first attempted routines were too short, the next too long, and finally, with the appropriate number of field borders added to the main course that runs a circle around the north part of the farm, a 5K trail was set.
It is quite fun to travel along. It starts at the event site and goes along the citrus and apricot orchard. The Satsuma mandarin blossoms are open. They are, without a doubt, my favorite smell on the farm — just beating out my second favorite smell on the farm, which is dry soil as it gets its first drops of water on it. The apricots are on the tree, tiny and green, blending into the color of their leafs for the season. At the end of the orchard the trail goes down a ramp and runs north between two fields, one that is getting cherry tomatoes transplanted into it, and the other that will house the melons for the summer.
The next sections follow the canal, which has some water in it now but will soon be dry. The course crosses the canal over our stout equipment bridge and then does a loop around the first planting of heirloom tomatoes, which have been in the ground just long enough for them to start sending new leaves up. After the tomato field, the path follows Cache Creek and does a loop through a wild area that generally causes some type of wildlife to run or fly with you. I have run alongside deer, hawks, turkeys, rabbits, coyotes, ducks and quail in this precious part of the farm.
After the wild area, the trail weaves around some fields that are fallow now or planted in cover crop. These will be the home of the peppers, eggplant, melons, kales and chards. The last field is planted with beets and carrots, the south end which is ready to harvest and the north end populated with plants that have just germinated. The final stretch follows the canal back toward the event site and the 5K marker is just before the small John Deere color-coded (green and yellow) walking bridge that gets people back the event site.
Pretty cool! Hope you make it to our farm sometime to see this trail and its seasonally planted fields for yourself.
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