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 (phone number hidden) 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.