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Yummy Tummy Farms In The News

Exciting news that the San Jose Mercury News has finally published the story about Yummy Tummy Farms and here is the link to the story as it appears on their website:

Here is the story reformatted with some current pictures from the farm that I felt were more relevant than gratuitous advertisements for the cable company, a hospital, and a apartment homes, but the ads may be different for you- lucky you.

Bringing The Farm Home In An Urban Environment


Mosaic Staff Writer

Posted:   07/07/2012 07:17:59 PM PDT


Farmer Donald w/ his son Liam showcasing the first peach of the season

On an average weekday, Donald Sturman pulls into his Almaden Valley driveway in San Jose around 5 p.m., looking impeccably professional in a collared shirt and tie. He disappears inside his house for several minutes, then emerges in a T-shirt and denim shorts — his farming gear.

In his free time, financial analyst Donald Sturman likes to get his hands dirty. He calls himself “Farmer Donald” and his garden “Yummy Tummy Farms.”

Sturman is one of a growing number of San Jose residents who grow their own food for health, happiness and sustainability.

“The core values of Yummy Tummy Farms are to promote suburban farming, be more self-sustainable, and reclaim domesticity,” Sturman said.

He lives on a quarter-acre lot, practically every square inch flourishing with tomatoes, carrots, eggplants, avocados, herbs, blueberries, apricots, apples and more.

“The rule of the farm is: grow what you want to eat,” Sturman said. “Grow what you love.”

How does a man with a full-time job manage a full-fledged farm? He has help.

“I call it the apprenticeship program,” Sturman said. “If you’re willing to contribute some labor, I’ll teach you something for free.”

Sturman advertises on Craigslist and for volunteers to assist in tending to his backyard beehives, bottling jams and sauces, maintaining a drip irrigation system, composting with worms, and making his garden grow.

In return, he shares his bountiful harvest and his extensive knowledge about food and farming.

“Not only are gardening and farming relaxing,” Sturman said, “but the flavor and nutritional content you can get are unparalleled. Grocery stores are never going to beat local food. Everything I need is right here.”

Sturman also thinks urban farms can help solve problems like child obesity and diabetes. He wants to use Yummy Tummy Farms to encourage local children to eat healthier foods.

“If you can influence the child correctly when they’re young, they have a relationship with their food and a vested interest in it,” Sturman said. “Let’s get children excited about the whole imagery of digging in with your hands and getting that earth connection.”

Aside from the health benefits, Sturman claims growing produce at home also makes financial sense.

Certain fruits and vegetables, such as avocados and heirloom tomatoes, are cheaper to grow than to buy.

Sturman hopes the idea of Yummy Tummy Farms will spread, inspiring more people to grow their own produce at home.

“I try to tell people: Just plant one thing,” he said. “Take care of it, take pride in it, and use it for inspiration to plant something else. Take small steps.”

As a long-term goal, Sturman dreams of using Yummy Tummy Farms to start a local “produce share” system similar to the monthly gatherings in San Jose’s Willow Glen neighborhood. This would allow farmers to focus on growing specific products and exchange their harvests with each other.


 Honey Bee swarm at Yummy Tummy Farms- San Jose, CA


3 responses »

  1. Susan McLucas

    This is so excellent!

  2. Hi Donald,
    I’m Julia and I work at Veggielution Community Farm. We heard about your project from being mentioned in this article together. If you haven’t been out to the farm before, I would like to invite you out for a tour. I would love to see your garden sometime as well. If you are interested please email me: JuliaL at Veggielution dot org.

    Thanks for doing such great work!


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