About this listing
Ever wanted to escape to a quiet farm, but still have all the cultural perks and pleasures of a city? Farm fresh eggs every morning, pick veggies from our farm garden, enjoy a lazy weekend in our wonderful backyard...
The Fossel Farm's Large Sunny Flat is a spacious, light-filled three bedroom flat with hardwood floors throughout, with views of the farm from every window. Some nice big southern, eastern, and western exposure windows give it great light throughout the day. There are three bedrooms plus large living room, large farm kitchen, and one full bath. The beds are one king size in its own bedroom, one queen size futon in its own bedroom, a bunkbed with a full mattress below and a twin above (works for 3), and a twin daybed and queen pull out couch in the living room. This is why it has 3 bedrooms, 6 beds, and accommodates 10 across these 10 "sleepspots". There are a ton of wooden toys, special items, and picture books for the little ones. The bathrooms and the farm kitchen have tiled floors, and the kitchen has a new dishwasher, as well as a classic Gafford & Sattler stove from the 40s, and large fridge. Zero-VOC paint throughout.
The Fossel Farmhouse is an Edwardian style two level house, built in 1911, still a bit rough around the edges here and there in proper urban farm style, but resounds with charm from every corner! It was renovated 16 years ago, with continuing improvements ever since, most of them handcrafted by your hosts. The exterior of the house is newly repainted with great fresh colors. Brand new top-of-the-line Samsung laundry machines at the back of the house in a greenhouse style laundry shed to share. The foundation is bolted and sheerwalled--very earthquake safe.
Our Edwardian Farmhouse sits on a large fully-fenced double lot with a generous front yard, huge backyard, and two side yards. There is a small backyard lawn with kid's football/soccer goal, copper firepit on custom brick hearth, 2 "shed quarters" (our backyard offices), ping pong table, three outdoor table eating spaces, outdoor movie screen and projector (when hosts are present), kids area (with sandbox, little theater, toys a plenty, art/craft easel, mermaid and dragon), teak lounge chairs, our own little micro-brewery, handcrafted double red brick pizza oven with grill (in process), outdoor carnival lighting, lots of potted plants (succulents, aloe, orchids, bougainvillea etc), and two shade umbrellas for the tables. The property offers very nice indoor/outdoor living.
Fossel Farm's beautiful vegetable gardens consist of 25+ raised beds (always changing but some usual food plant suspects: chard, kale, mixed greens, arugula, potatoes, tomatoes, basil, strawberries, beets, beans, edamame, rhubarb, onions etc). As one of your hosts is also an expert in plant dyes, we grow specialty dyes such as indigo and madder, as well as a range of other color producers. We have 6 chickens on the north side of the house, our Angora rabbit "bun bun", and keep two active beehives on top of our art studio/shed--out of harm's way--but great for those who may be interested. You can enjoy some seasonal vegetables from our garden and cook yourself a farm fresh egg or two while you're here. Currently the front yard features morning glory vines, a lemon tree, Neroli orange tree, false bamboo, roses, potato vine, as well as an expanding herb garden and a sitting area for two with brick patio. Lastly, there are four raised beds on the sidewalk with succulents and California poppies, as well as a peach and a walnut tree.
Interaction with Guests
Fossel Farm has a busy urban farm rhythm with always lots of chores around the property, as well as your hosts' dynamic livelihoods that extend out into the local neighborhood and greater city beyond. There is most always one project or another going on, though most guests will find it very peaceful compared to staying nearly anywhere else in the Bay Area. It has a quietude and calm that resounds despite its urban location. When we are here as your hosts you may well see us frequently, particularly if you spend time at the farm and in the gardens. If you want to retreat however we are just fine with that as well. It's what you make of it.
Right in the heart of the great little neighborhood of lower Shattuck Avenue just south of downtown Berkeley (where Shattuck goes down to two lanes), Fossel Farm is surrounded within a few blocks by local cafes (Nomad, Renaissance, Jumpin' Java), restaurants (Los Cilantros, Smokey J's BBQ, Flaco's Taco's, etc), small loft developments, and a friendly neighborhood Irish pub (Starry Plough). Foodie favorites like Crixa Cakes, Sweet Adeline's Bakery, Emilia's Pizzeria, Easy Cajun, and Alchemy Collective are easy walking distance. Both Whole Foods and Berkeley Bowl, widely regarded as the best community market in the East Bay, are five blocks away. The neighborhood continues to develop rapidly with new restaurants and amenities opening all the time.
Fossel Farm is 2.5 blocks to Ashby BART train station, and has a #18 bus stop right outside that takes you to either downtown Berkeley and beyond) or Downtown Oakland (and beyond). We are a 15-25 minute walk or 5-10 minute bike ride to the businesses and nightlife of downtown Berkeley, the Elmwood, Temescal, as well as UC Berkeley/CAL. 5 minutes to 24/580/880 freeway onramp. Walk Score of 89.
The neighborhood also offers plenty of long-term parking that's good for a week or more if you pay attention to the signs and avoid monthly or bimonthly street cleaning. Parking is 2 hours in front of the house, but only 8am-6pm each day. At times there is a parking space available on the property, feel free to inquire.
Other Things to Note
We are offering you the special treat of life on a farm right in the heart of the city, where things are a little different than you may expect and refreshing new experiences await you at every turn. So give yourself time to adjust and sink into the uniqueness of the place, it really is something special.
We have young kids so Fossel Farm is very kid friendly with all the basic amenities you'd need. That said, it is a farm, so hand sanitizing and watching your children as they encounter new things is always a good idea.
In just a few words, our rules are to live with openness, curiosity, and respect for our family Farm.
Scott was a good host, he welcomed us to make sure we had everything we needed. The beds and bedding were very comfortable and the kitchen is large. The three bed rooms were perfect for two couples and one child. The home is located a shot walk from a BART station, one stop from downtown.
Restaurants, coffee shops and grocery stores are within walking distance. The pictures of the home are a true representation of what we found.
The reservation was canceled 18 days before arrival. This is an automated posting.
The reservation was canceled 20 days before arrival. This is an automated posting.
Thanks so much for a rad and welcoming spot! We had a group of 6 friends in town for a wedding and stayed at the farm for 2 nights. Scott smoothly coordinated with us on our somewhat confusing travel schedule. The house was extremely pleasant, it was great waking up to the sounds of chickens cooing below. The neighborhood had plenty of coffee/food options and was convenient to our travel needs. The residents below were friendly and mellow. Thanks for making your spot available!!
My family and I came in town for a wedding and thought staying together would be more fun (and afordable) than all getting our own hotel rooms (there were 5 adults, 2 teens, and 2 young children). This house accomodated us all and was overall a very fun experience. ...A few things to note - as exciting as the "farm" experience was (and it truly was, especially for the young kids), it's good to know that the ground outside is covered with dead bees - which means no barefeet (it also turned out that there were 2 bees inside and my mom stepped on one). And since the space is all on the second floor and the windows didn't have screens, we just had to make sure our small kids understood that they could not play near the windows. If you have impulsive kids - maybe make sure the windows are closed and don't show them how easy it is to open. Also, when dusk fell we looked for the light switches and had a hard time finding them in two of the rooms. Scott (who happened to be staying in a room that connected to the house) heard us stuggling to figure it out, and came over and helped us. Lastly, I thought it would be worth mentioning that we also had planned to cook some dinner in the oven, then found out it was not in working order. Pizza delivery it is!
I would mention that although I've noted a few inconveniences, my family as well as myself truly enjoyed our time and would stay again. It really is a fun, comfortable home that we all enjoyed. Other positives to note - We had three cars between us, and we were all able to find close street parking. The rooms felt clean and welcoming. We felt like we all had our own space and even with our large number we felt like we all had moments to ourselves. The kids loved visiting the chickens - they even got to help feed them! (Check the bottom of your shoes for chicken poop!) :) ....the neighbors who live below were very friendly and we all spent time in the backyard talking and playing ping pong (if you're lucky they'll play banjo for you too!).
Once again, overall everything was fine and worked out (even sharing the one bathroom! - we did just fine)...I would recommend and stay again, if Scott would have us. :)
Life on a farm has its unexpected encounters with nature at times, it is true, and I'm glad Kazia was conscientious enough to note that it is currently the season when the bee population drops and they can be found more plentifully on the ground in the garden. The windows do have dowels for placing in the tracks to keep them closed and safe for children wherever needed, which has worked just fine for our two young children, ages 2 and 4. I only wish Kazia had taken me up on my offer to use our other modern oven in my apartment upstairs, as our classic 40s Gaffers and Sattler oven does indeed go on the fritz some time!
We had a nice time at Scott's place. The location is very good (5 minutes' walk from the Bart, in a quiet residential area), and the apartment is cosy, clean, and beautiful. We loved the backyard farm/rabbit/chickens/bees, as well as the antique touches throughout the apartment; it was quite a unique experience. Scott responded to messages very quickly and was friendly and helpful. There was no hot water on the second day, but Scott fixed it immediately once we told him about it. I would gladly go back!
This was a great location. 5 mins walk to BART and to Berkeley Bowl and we could walk easily to downtown Berkeley and to Rockridge. Lovely yard was great for meeting the neighbours who we hung out with. Bit crowed for 7 of us, especially as only one of the two bathrooms listed was working. The other was under construction (but we were not told this). Overall a good place to stay and the hosts have created a relaxed Eco-friendly space. A genuine neighbourhood experience.
Hi Val, just sharing here what I shared with you privately. So sorry about the bathroom, as it has been under construction and we neglected to tell you. Sometimes with three kids, chickens, dog, cat, bees, fish, and a bunny we miss something along the way. I am glad, as you told me, that it was ok in the end and that I could at least offer you an apology for our oversight.
This host has 36 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
About the Host, Scott
Scott grew up on a quiet hundred acre farm in Maine. His connection to nature has been lifelong. He attended high school at St. Paul's School in Concord NH. Scott did his undergraduate work in global systems theory at several schools and his graduate work in integral philosophy at California Institute of Integral Studies. After a successful start in residential real estate, Scott shifted to the internet. A founder of multiple angel-funded startups, Scott's work in high tech has been built around themes of neighborhood, social capital, innovation, and sustainability. He is currently an MBA Candidate in Sustainable Business at the Presidio School of Management. Scott lives with his family
of five on a budding urban farm in Berkeley. His wife Sasha is a Professor at the California College of the Arts in textiles with a specialty in natural dyes, and runs the non-profit Permacouture Institute. Scott's three kids are Finnegan age 15, Bergamot age 5, and Beckett 3. Scott is an avid backyard gardener who keeps chickens, cultivates bees, and brews his own beer. In his free time he is working on a young adult fiction novel.