Our two-acre farm and community hub in the heart of Roseland welcomes you! Bayer Farm is located on the ancestral home of the Southern Pomo people, past, present, and future. We recognize them as the first people and the first stewards of this land. We are on occupied territory and acknowledge the ongoing devastation of colonization.
Tour the community garden plots teeming with vegetables and fruit. Explore the orchards and herbal medicine teaching garden. Watch bees and butterflies land flutter about California native plants. Learn at free workshops on composting, seeds, and planting from master gardeners. Study herbs and cooking with healthy, fresh foods with Farming for Health. Admire the garden as it changes with the seasons. Maintain your own community garden plot or lend a hand at a garden workday. Meet for a potluck or a picnic under the shade of a heritage oak tree.
Bayer Farm has it all, bringing the joy and awe of nature into the city.
How to Get Involved
- Join us for a volunteer workday.
- Volunteer for the Free Summer Lunch program (in partnership with Redwood Empire Food Bank).
- Tend a community garden plot.
- Participate in programs like iRead Outside, Farming for Health, IOOBY, or Summer at Bayer.
- Join us for a potluck or seasonal gathering.
- Students from local schools are welcome to visit the teaching garden! Please contact us in advance to arrange a date.
Born of a historic collaboration between LandPaths, City of Santa Rosa, and Sonoma Ag + Open Space District, Bayer Farm is a community garden with old barns and other agricultural and natural features that brings the joy and healing power of nature to an urban neighborhood.
The farm rose from a confluence of happenings at LandPaths in the early 2000s. First, our staff had become uncomfortably aware of the fact that Sonoma County residents that identified as Latino/a/x were not participating in our public outings. “We weren’t seeing any Latinos on our outings,” executive director Craig Anderson told California magazine in 2017. “Everyone tended to be white, progressive, and middle to upper-middle-class. Our mission is to foster a love of the land, but were were missing a very big part of our community.”
In 2002, LandPaths secured a grant for staff diversity training. Soon after that, we hired Magdalena Ridley, a young activist who was born and raised in Roseland. Magdalena joined the organization at a time when staff when were becoming intrigued with community-based agriculture, pitching a community farming project on a five-acre property on West Avenue in Roseland. At the time, the predominantly Latinx community was not incorporated into Santa Rosa, and lacked the parks and infrastructure that help make a neighborhood safe.
The City of Santa Rosa, which had purchased the long abandoned weed-ridden vacant lot, liked the idea of a city park with an agricultural component. Magdalena hit the pavement, organizing door-to-door walks to hand out flyers and convening neighborhood meetings to drum up support for the project.
In 2007, when LandPaths was officially handed over the land for stewardship, staffers cut a hole in the fence and Magdalena, with a group of kids from the neighborhood, planted the first plot.
Open to the public in 2007
A few weeks later, the farm officially opened to the public. In a short amount of time, Jonathan Bravo was hired as the farm’s bilingual garden specialist. A former math teacher in Mexico, he learned to farm on the job and proved to be more than adept as a community liaison, not just with Spanish-speaking families, but with the Congolese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Bosnian, and Laotian families that tend garden plots.
Jonathan continues to be a force to be reckoned with at Bayer Farm, where he coordinates weekly potlucks, volunteer workdays, delivery of soil, compost, and seeds, cultivates heirloom wheat, and coordinates volunteers for the free lunch program and other robust activities at the farm.
Buzzing with activity
Bayer Farm has also become a community hub. On any given day you might see children getting ready for a carpool to Owl Camp or a Vamos Afuera outing to the Petaluma River, volunteers prepping a garden bed with compost, Farming for Health members studying herbs and nutrition, IOOBY students examining worms in the organic soil, or vegetables being prepared on the grill for an upcoming celebration.
Executive director Craig Anderson says that Bayer Farm’s impact on LandPaths cannot be underestimated. “When we tried to convince Spanish-speaking people to come on our hikes initially, we failed miserably. But now we have lots of Spanish-speaking folks on our outings, with more signing up all of the time. We’ve been able to hire from the Roseland community. More than a third of our staff is now bilingual. Bayer Farm was the bridge. It didn’t just allow Roseland to connect to the land. It allowed us to connect to Roseland. The farm made it all possible.”