Northwest Adventures

I just got back from a 10-day adventure in the Northwest in honor of my sisters wedding. My fiance and I drove from the hot Sacramento Valley into the hills and mountains of Northern California and Southern Oregon, and slipped into the cool, foggy Northwest. I love hot, dry weather. Being in the Northwest reminded me of winter, damp, cool and dark. But I must admit, it was wonderful to eat handfuls of raspberries, salmon berries and gooseberries, none of which grow well in Davis. With that said, I could not be happier to be back in the hot and dry desert, where melons ripen before September and tomatoes are sweet and tangy.

  Ruby Queen Corn

It is amazing how quickly things change on the farm, everything is growing, growing, growing! In only 10 days all of the corn was picked and sold. Luckily, I was able to scavenge some Ruby Queen Sweet Corn, a variety I was looking forward to. Before I left, I was not sure our tomatoes would ever ripen, yet this past weekend we were able to pick baskets full of red, orange, pink and purple cherry tomatoes. The trees of course are dripping with fruit, white and yellow nectarines, peaches and apricots. The bounty is still in full swing!

I am lucky to be part of a farm partnership that allows its partners to run off in the middle of the summer. In most other farming situations, I would not have been to leave the farm for 10 days at such a busy time of the season. Partnerships allow for flexibility, which lets farmers not only fulfill their responsibilities to the farm but  also to their family and friends. Thank you Marisa, Aubrey and Emma for letting me be part of my sister’s wedding extravaganza!

-Sasha

Peach/Nectarine Salsa
Adapted from Tom’s Kitchen (http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/07/toms-kitchen-grilled-pork-tacos-spicy-gazpacho)


4 ripe peaches/nectarines (or apricots…..)
1 small clove of garlic
1-2 fresh hot chile peppers, such as serranos
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Lime
Cilantro (optional)

Chop all ingredients and mix in a bowl. Eat with chips, white fish, chicken, tacos, etc….

Rabbits

If only rabbits really just ate carrots. The reality is, they are just as smart and wily and sarcastic (oh trust me) as Bugs Bunny, but really, they will eat anything, including plastic. They saunter down the rows of green beans nibbling off the growing tips, one by one. Amazingly, they don’t actually eat the beans, just the shoots and the flowers, which stunts the plants. But even worse, they have discovered our MELONS. I can’t tell you how heartbreaking it is to hunt around for these sweet gems, only to find the baseball-sized melon half eaten. They are voracious, and we honestly worry about our melon supply.  Did we plant enough for the CSA and the rabbits too?  We’ll find out!

What are we doing to control them, you ask? Well, we put up a fence. That worked for about two months until they started wriggling underneath it. Then they started having babies and the babies can get through the holes. I think we might have a benevolent coyote or a raptor, because one morning we arrived and there was a rabbit all tangled up in the fencing, missing a head. Let me explain, before you get teary eyed, that these are not cute cuddly rabbits. These are jack-rabbits, the lean, steely eyed, quick-witted ones that will out-smart you and then go eat your drip tape. Oh, yes, they’ve been chewing holes in our drip tape, which is probably the worst of their crimes. It means that each time we irrigate, it’s a farm circus for hours, as we run around trying to patch all the leaks springing from rows all over the field. What a headache. But I digress. In terms of pest control, we also have Gus. Gus is Aubrey’s ridiculously small, achingly adorable side-kick of the canine persuasion. If you are too close to the ground, he will attack your face with kisses until you fall over.

Gus our lean, mean, (albeit small) rabbit-hunting machine

He also hunts baby rabbits. He would try for the adults but his legs are much shorter. Much, much shorter. But his hunting skills are on the up and up.  Go Gus! Sasha is getting better at catching the babies by the hind legs. She got one back in June, and I relocated it to the Putah Creek Reserve, but not before getting attached (because I am a sucker for baby anything and I was concerned it wasn’t going to have enough food. I know, it’s embarrassing.)

Sasha exhibiting her rabbit-catching skills

Our current rabbit plan is to find where they are slipping in under the fence, and stake it down with some irrigation staples. We are also thinking about putting up some cardboard along the bottom two feet of fence to block their view of our oasis of food, and keep these babies from squeezing through the holes. Hopefully they can’t jump more than 5 feet high.  Ha.  I won’t make any bets on that.  The rabbit battle continues!

-Marisa

This week in your boxes:

Full share:

July Flame peaches (transitioning to organic)
Brittany gold apricots (transitioning to organic)
Flavor top nectarines (transitioning to organic)
Onion
Garlic
Basil
Parsley
Sweet corn
Cucumbers (organic from Mike  Madison’s farm, Yolo Bulb)
Chiogga beets
Cherry tomatoes
Shishito peppers
Jalapeño (hiding in the basil bag)
Chard
Okra
Summer squash (not organic from Susan Ellsworth)

Half share:

July Flame peaches (transitioning to organic)
Brittany gold apricots (transitioning to organic)
Flavor top nectarines (transitioning to organic)
Onion
Garlic
Basil
Cucumbers (organic from Mike  Madison’s farm, Yolo Bulb)
Parsley
Tomato
Jalapeño (hiding in the basil bag)

Fruit share:

July Flame peaches (transitioning to organic)
Brittany gold apricots (transitioning to organic)
Flavor top nectarines (transitioning to organic)
Triple crown blackberries (not organic from Bridgeway Farms)

Recipe of the week:

Sauteed Shishito Peppers (half share folks, you’ll receive Shishito peppers in the coming weeks)

Shishitos are a delicately sweet and usually mild pepper from Japan. They are often likened to Spain’s famous Padron peppers for the flavor. They are best when picked green and small. We love them sautéed in garlic and olive oil with a dash of coarse sea salt on top for a tasty snack.

Ingredients:

1 basket of shishito peppers

2 tbsp oil oil

2-3 cloves of garlic

Coarse sea salt to taste

Heat the olive oil on medium to high heat, add  garlic and peppers at the same time and toss. Sautee until peppers are slightly browned and wilted. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve. Yum.

Enjoy!

Royal Blenheims

Today Sasha and I sat with a box of newest apricots to come on the scene: the Royal Blenheims. We carefully inspected them for color, taste, and texture in order to determine what they look like when they are ripe enough to eat, when they are overripe, and when they are immature. It only took about 10 of them, and it was a delicious experience. We learned that the Blenheims are tastiest when they have a bit of green on them. If they are completely orange, they start to get a bit smushy or mealy and then lose their flavor. If they are mostly green, they are hard and too tart. So the apricots that we will put into your baskets and sell at the farmstand will have good orange/yellow coloring on the “shoulders”, but there will also be some green on there somewhere.
After the farm I came home and looked up more information on Blenheims and turns out, we aren’t the first to discover this!
“The Blenheim is both sweet and tart with an intensely aromatic scent of honeysuckle. The apricot ripens from the inside out causing fruit pickers to develop specific harvesting habits for the apricot that included picking fruits that still had a faint green tinge.”
http://www.slowfoodusa.org/index.php/programs/ark_product_detail/blenheim_apricot/
Just wanted to make sure you all knew we were giving you green fruit for a reason.

The other exciting thing that happened on the farm today is that we were filmed for America’s Heartland, a TV Series on PBS. Many thanks to Liya Schwartzman of California FarmLink for suggesting The Cloverleaf’s collaboration with Rich as a land-linking success story. For those of you that don’t already know this story, California FarmLink helps prospective farmers find land, and land owners find farmers. Emma and Sasha went through FarmLink last year to find Rich Collins and Bridgeway Farms.
At this weekend’s filming, we each interviewed with the crew for about 15 minutes. They also filmed us doing our thing on the farm, which included picking apricots, pounding tomato stakes, setting up the farmstand and selling to customers. It was nerve-wracking for each of us to be in front of the camera, but it was also fun. Luckily, none of us knew at the time that this show has 1 million viewers! We will let you all know when it’s going to be aired. We always knew that farming would be our ticket to fame and fortune! 😉
-Marisa

Garlic Harvest

At the end of a farm day on Sunday, I craved pizza.  It was all I could think about.  At first I assumed our 12 hour work day had just stirred up a fierce appetite–but this craving was so specific.  I realized that my senses had been filled all day with the smell of fresh garlic.  We spent much of the day Sunday digging up our garlic that has been growing since November.  

In the winter, when our onions and garlic were the only plants in the ground, we tended them diligently.  But as the season moved forward, they lost our focus, and we lost sight of the garlic in a forest of dandelions.  Emma started referring to the northern edge of the field as the wild side.  I stressed that if we let the weeds grow too tall, we may lose the garlic.  But I heard a piece of advice from a fellow farmer that has quelled my worry (for more than just the garlic).  The advice was: sometimes, doing less is the best thing to do.  

Did leaving the weeds improve the garlic?  Not likely.  But by letting the weeds grow in the garlic, we could turn our attention to other crops and balance our time a bit.

And to our delight, we began to harvest garlic on Sunday and it is beautiful and fragrant, and will be a staple in your CSA boxes throughout the season.  And after transporting the garlic to storage, its smell will be a staple in my car for at least as long.    

After harvesting garlic, we hang it in bunches to cure it.  The stalks dry out completely to help prevent rot, and the flavors settle in a bit so the garlic is not so strong as when we first harvest it.  The garlic you’re receiving today has been curing for about a week.  You can use it now, or you can hang it up in your kitchen and let it cure for another couple of weeks.

Either way, its fragrance will make you crave pizza too.  If I were you, I’d roast the entire head of garlic and add roasted garlic cloves as a pizza topping.

How to roast a head of garlic:

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1-2 tsp. olive oil

Method:
Peel off the outer papery covering of the head of garlic.  Using a sharp knife, slice off 1/4″-1/2″ of the tops of the cloves, so that the inside of each clove is exposed.

Place the head on a square of aluminum foil (unless you have a small clay pot for roasting garlic.  In which case, I am envious).

Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the cloves, and use your fingers to spread it around well.  Fold up the foil over the top of the clove, so that it is fully enclosed.  Either place the pouch directly on the oven rack, or you can place it on a pan (or muffin tins work well if you’re roasting multiple heads of garlic).
Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until the garlic is soft and lightly browned.  Remove from foil and remove individual cloves from paper. 

-Aubrey

Yummy Yummy Yummy

This past weekend was hot, I mean 100 degree hot. In that type of heat, you cover every inch of skin and wear a ridiculously large hat that covers your face, neck and shoulders. But even with all of that protective clothing, I was burning up and there was no amount of water that could keep me hydrated. I stumbled out of the field around 3pm, almost the hottest part of the day. Marisa was behind the farm stand selling cold and tasty popsicles to sweaty, hot and uncomfortable tourists stuck in the central valley heat. There sitting behind our tables topped with beets, chard, blackberries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, jams and nuts was a box of “seconds”. Seconds are fruit that we do not sell because of bruises or small nibble marks from birds. My personal opinion is that seconds are the best because you know they are ripe.


I picked up a baseball size apricot, it smelled like every apricot dream you ever had and it was just soft enough that I knew its juice would drip down my chin. I took a bite and just as I thought, the sweet juice rolled down my chin streaking my shirt. I normally am not one to brag, but our Robada apricots are some of the most delicious stone fruit I have ever eaten. I may even go so far to say, they are some of the best fruit I have had since I moved to California. When you get one just right, they are intoxicatingly sweet and aromatic, and their skins are just sour enough that they offer a depth and complexity not experienced in peaches or nectarines.

I did not grow up with apricots and until this summer, I did not understand why people went crazy for fresh apricots. To start with, the trees themselves are fussy. They don’t like to be pruned in the winter like most stone fruit, they send tall flimsy branches up to the sky to create sails that crack and break in the wind, and they seem to be susceptible to everything. Even fresh apricots had been disappointing, every one I had eaten was too sour, too mealy or too bland. But I can now say that I am a lover of apricots and I get what the fuss is all about. When you can find that perfectly ripe apricot with just the right texture, smell, and flavor, your tastebuds are in for a ride.

* Note. Our peaches, apricots and nectarines are in transition to certified organic.

-Farmer Sasha-

Weeds!

One of the first things you may notice on our farm (and on many organic farms) is the weeds. We have a lot of them! The four of us spend a large portion of our time weeding, or trying to ignore the weeds, and then compulsively pulling a weed out when we’re supposed to be walking by. Today, however, I wanted to write a short ode to these silent and plentiful participants on our farm.

Image
Marisa checking out the chickweed

Our farm is infinitely more weedy than our neighbor’s, who uses this nifty tool called RoundUp. When we compare our barley/mustard field to his wheat fields, we see why organic grains cost so much at the store.   We put a massive amount of work into keeping weeds at bay so our crops can grow to full size.  

However, I also like to look at those weeds as the most biodiverse part of our farm. While a neighboring field will have likely 99.99% of one plant genotype, I would estimate that our field (in addition to the 40+ crops) has at least 15 dominant weeds and some 20+ rarer ones. After a recent day of weeding, our farm is likely comprised of 60% crops and 40% weeds.  We do the majority of our weeding by hand, so we’re in close contact with both our crops and some unexpected gifts.  While weeding a recent bed, we realized that okra and zinnias had reseeded themselves from last year and are now flourishing.  Rather than pulling them and calling them ‘weeds’ for being out of place, we just extended our drip lines so these now get plenty of water to keep growing.  We would never have noticed this had we been eradicating every weed from the farm. 

This isn’t to say that we aren’t hoping to do some tractor weeding sometime very soon (really, really soon). Many long-term farmers buy bigger and more powerful tractor equipment every year that they farm specifically to make weeding an easier task. It’s pure economics. But what are the real costs and benefits of both? You hear a lot of talk from scientists saying things like, “we need appreciation of biodiversity as a public good with economic and societal value.” So, can we find some of this value in our weeds?

We think so.  For one, you can eat them! We have a couple very tasty weeds on the farm: right now lambs-quarters and purslane are the main ones. This winter we had chickweed, miner’s lettuce and of course the ever-present dandelions. Mustard raab is quite tasty if you get the right variety when it’s tender and well watered.

This winter I met a farmer and scientist from Italy, Adolpho Rosati, who asked if we sold our weeds. I explained that I would feel ashamed to put these out at  market – it would feel like hoodwinking our customers with a crop we hadn’t paid for or intended to grow. He exploded with a list of reasons why I should proudly offer weeds to customers. Adolpho runs a bed and breakfast in Italy where he shows visitors how to make entire meals out of weeds. He explains to the visitors how they can increase their nutritional value of their diet by eating more biodiverse foods. They also end up eating foods that are supremely well suited to grow with minimal inputs in their climate and location.

We currently have a lush bed of lambs-quarters growing on the farm.  When I mentioned the idea of putting these weeds in our CSA baskets, Aubrey immediately said “No way!”  However, when I brought up the idea a second time, she agreed to cook a bunch of them and see if they met her standards for tasty greens. And guess what? They are really tasty, even for a greens connoisseur! Aubrey tried them both in a salad and as sauteed greens and enjoyed their texture and nutty (but mild) flavor in both dishes.   

We included lambs-quarters in the CSA baskets this week and we hope that our members have a new sense of appreciation of what they mean for our farm. And if they like them, we’ll continue to include an occasional taste of the wild side of the farm in the baskets.  

Image
Emma harvesting lambs-quarters

And So It Begins!

                      -Early morning barley-
 
This Wednesday will be the official start of The Cloverleaf 2012   season. On Wednesday our CSA (community supported agriculture) members will find their way to our Davis drop-off location and get their first box of delicious vegetables! We are extremely excited to be launching our CSA and to begin feeding our community. But we are also concerned. As beginning farmers we know that there will be some bumps in the road, but this feels like pothole heaven.
Last summer, when Emma and I started The Cloverleaf, our tomatoes grew faster than we could keep up with and our newly-planted melons took over the furrows in a blink of an eye. We did the necessary soil sampling in the fall, added soil amendments in the winter, and did our best with proper irrigation and planting. Unfortunately, this year, our summer bounty is in the ground and it is not growing. Between the four of us we have over 10 years of farming experience. We have labored over the reasons for the lack of germination and poor growth of transplants. Do we not have enough wind protection? Are our pest pressures too high? Was our bed prep not deep enough? Did we water too much? Did we water too li ttle? With all of these possibilities,  no clear answer has presented itself. Luckily, our early summer greens, beets, herbs, garlic, onions and turnips are happy, healthy and growing. Because of this we will have vegetables for the next few weeks, but beyond that we are unsure of the future. Do we replant? Start over? Can we afford to start over? These are the types of questions we are facing now, just as we start harvesting for our first CSA baskets.
What we do know is that we need to keep moving forward, continuing to talk to farmers, extension advisers, doing our research and adding a little fish emulsion here and a row cover there. We are trying our hardest to overcome the challenges of growing produce on land that we do not yet fully understand. Despite these initial setbacks, I have faith in our collective farming ability to find a way to have melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, basil, corn and all the rest of our summer crops covering our little plot of land and filling our CSA boxes with a plethora of summer produce.
                                         -Delicious turnips!-
-Sasha Klein

The Craziest People

Well, that would be us … who decided to start farming on the side of I-80. When Sasha and I first looked at the land, I wasn’t sure about it – it was a 16 acre parcel in the middle of vast, large scale agriculture with a prime view of the highway. Now we have two more partners (Marisa and Aubrey) who have joined this wacky venture. It is a far cry from the cozy Capay Valley. No rivers or lakes nearby; all our water comes from the vast buried river that is our groundwater. But over the last two farming seasons, I’ve grown to love this little piece of land and also all the unpredictability that comes with it.

The noise from the highway is actually surprisingly quiet and soothing – we are always surprised when we look up from weeding carrots and we’ve forgotten about I-80 altogether. We always daydream west, to the beautiful view of Berryessa Gap, but occasionally it is nice to turn east and face the traffic head on.

Other things are less soothing – our locked shed was broken into this week and the most random and infuriating list of farming tools was stolen (two trowels, one hula hoe, drip valves and goof plugs, a weed-wacker that took us two weeks to find, our donated bike). I can’t imagine that whoever stole them could find as much value as we did from those rusty looking tools.

Our road-side stand comes with both the good and the bad. We are always amazed to think that 20,000 people drive by Kidwell exit every day. What an enormous potential market! I always smile at the traffic when driving home on the tractor – maybe one day, someone will wonder about what that tiny tractor is doing and stop at the stand. I’ve met friends at the stand that I went to high school with in New Hampshire and haven’t seen since. Of course, some of the customers are less than ideal – in addition to our loyal customers, we just love the people who drive by the stand (which is all of 120 square feet) super slowly, look us directly in the face, and then peel out when leaving. Or the people who call out from the window for us to carry them a melon. This is a different way of meeting your farmer.

We have a vision for our road-side stand, which is always being revised as we encounter opportunities and obstacles. My original thought is that we would complete revolutionize the highway pit stop! You could get a farm-fresh smoothie, some healthy snacks of vegetables and nuts, maybe an extra treat of a pie, go to the bathroom in a composting toilet – perhaps someday in the future, use our solar-powered wi-fi and fill up on biodiesel. Certain things change for the better – our friend Sarah from Pop Nation is going to be bringing us some delicious popsicles, made from the fruit on our farm, to sell at the stand. Pies and snacks are in the works for this year as well. The toilet – well, not so much. It turns out it is completely illegal to have any kind of composting toilet in Solano County. We are only allowed to have either flush toilets and use up our groundwater resource (and install a leaching field) or have a porta-potty and have people truck our waste, mixed with some questionable blue chemicals, to who knows where. I’ve worked on multiple farms with beautiful composting toilets, and shoveled them out to fertilize some big apple trees, but not here. Bike smoothies – also not allowed in Solano county. I think we’ll figure out some alternative solutions – we’ve got our thinking caps on. Starting a farm can lead you down some mighty interesting (and unexpected!) paths.

Two weeks ago, we had a visitor who took the cake for unpredictability. We met a pigeon racer, who drives about 160 male and female pigeons from Berkeley to our farmstand a couple of times a year. I briefly talked to him last year, but didn’t understand at all what was going on. I got the full story this time. He releases the female pigeons first who fly straight from Davis to Berkeley roughly at the speed of a car. About a half hour later, he releases the male pigeons that over time are trained that the first guy to Berkeley gets all the honeys. These pigeons are fast! He likes the farmstand location so much because, from Kidwell exit, I-80 points directly to Berkeley. Along the way home, the pigeons recognize the truck and will fly right alongside. The flock merges with traffic, crosses above the truck and then behind, swooping back and forth in a game of pigeon tag.

I like to think of the pigeons flying west, along with the vast, murmuring flood of traffic, above the imperceptible flow of our groundwater to the sea. In just a few weeks, some of our vegetables will join the migration. Who knows what effect that will have: whether the people coming by the stand will decide that stealing from beginning organic farmers isn’t worth it or whether they’ll decide that was the best popsicle they’ve ever had, and come back for more.

Gratitude

March 31, 2012
The past few months have been incredibly busy at the farm. We realized a hair too late that we didn’t have our equipment situation quite set up, and had to scramble to figure out how we were going to till and shape our beds this year. Last year we contracted out our bed-shaping and planted on 60” wide beds. This year, we realized that we’d like to use a tractor for weeding, but the only tractor we have available creates 44” wide beds, which would only smash the edges of our current beds. So we reached out to some local farmers for advice, suggestions, and help. Mike Madison lent us his chisel plow. Chris Hay lent us a tool bar and some furrowing shovels and discs for bed shaping. And our landlord Rich Collins decided that he needed a rototiller for his tractor anyway. So he bought one, and we get to borrow it. Now we were set up to take down our old beds and build some new ones. How lucky are we?
I’ve wanted to write this entry about gratitude and generosity for a while now. Since we started on this crazy venture, we’ve all been blown away at how generous and supportive the greater farming community has been around us. Rich giving us a deal on the land, the orchard, providing us with irrigation tanks, and letting us use his equipment was in itself an incredibly generous gesture, and the only way that we were able to make this farm work in the first place. But so many other people have helped us along the way; we decided that we need to share these experiences.

It started with Carl Rosato, renowned organic peach farmer, famous for his incredible flavor and quality, (of his peaches, that is) agreeing to come out and give us some advice on pruning our peach orchard. Carl came down on the way to EcoFarm and I met him at the orchard to prune some trees. He worked over two entire trees with me, explaining his decisions at each cut.

Image
Carl giving me a peach pruning lesson

It was invaluable to get these lessons from a master, to have them on video, and know where we stood in his opinion. It turns out Carl is also a soils guru, and he happily interpreted our soils tests during a two hour chat with Aubrey at EcoFarm. She walked away from that with a sheet full of calculations on amendments that we needed to add. Like I said, how lucky are we?

In the last two months we’ve gained so many mentors, notably Carl (who patiently answers our emails and desperate phone calls), and Mike Madison. Mike feeds us a delicious meal and then lets us barrage him with questions, and was ready with advice and equipment when we were stuck.

Mike helping us load his chisel plow to borrow

Paul Underhill of Terra Firma asks us the questions that none of us have thought of yet, and answers our emails at midnight. Chris Hay invites us over to explore his array of equipment, patiently explains how he uses each one and whether it would be useful to us or not. Then he sends us home with bags of grapefruit (and an attachment for our tractor).

Empty tool bar that Chris lent us – looks better with discs and shovels

And last but not least is Rich, our landlord and yet another mentor, who lets us cut our teeth on a brand new rototiller (that story in a few weeks) and sends us off with a hacksaw to cut the PTO shaft to the right length, calling behind us, “Just make sure you measure more than once!” with his typical good-natured wink and huge smile.

We don’t even know how we can possibly start repaying these people, to whom we owe such a debt of gratitude for sharing their knowledge, expertise, implements, and most importantly, their time. Theoretically we are all competitors, and there’s absolutely no good business reason for them to help us out so much. But the world needs more farmers, and from this perspective, it makes sense for the farming community to stick together and help each other out. Maybe the best way to say thank you is to take their lessons and turn them into skills, do our best to make this farm a success, grow good food, survive in the market, and make this farm work. So, here we go. A huge thank you to all of our mentors for your time and efforts. We hope to make you proud!

posted by marisa

Spring Progress at The Cloverleaf

April has arrived quickly at The Cloverleaf and the season is in full swing.  Our farmstand will be open and our CSA up and running in just under eight weeks.  The past few months have required extensive preparations to get the farm ready to actually do its job: grow food.

Here’s a snippet of what we’ve been up to in the past few months.  In the field, we mowed cover crop; plowed last year’s beds to prepare beds for planting; added compost and limestone to make the soil healthier; planted (and weeded!) garlic, onions, strawberries and potatoes;and now we are beginning to plant the crops for our CSA and farmstand.  We pruned hundreds of trees in the orchard, weeded and mowed, and watched patiently for fruit set.  

At our home bases we have set up our CSA; done our due diligence to get the business up and running; created our crop plan, and read, read, read about how to become better farmers.

We are all very excited for the selling season to begin so we can share our work with you.  And throughout the season, we’re hoping to share a bit of our story as well.  On this site, we’ll write a bit about our work throughout the year, including some of the challenges we face and the learning that accompanies our hardest moments.  We are quickly learning that what helps new farmers the most is shared knowledge.  We’re receiving knowledge from skilled farmers everyday, and we’re hoping to pass our experiences along to others interested in the process of growing and selling food in California. 

Please follow along.  Click “follow us” on the right of the page to receive email updates, or add our blog to your google reader, RSS feed, or whatever tool you may use to stay on top of blogs and news you follow.