Monthly Archives: August 2015

FarmShares Week of August 31, 2015

Bushel

Cherokee Purple Heirloom Tomatoes & Green Bell Peppers — Alemaya Farm • Lemon Thyme —Good Humus Produce • Charentais Melon — Riverdog Farm •   Plus everything in the Peck

Peck

Hansel & Gretel Eggplant & Summer Squash — Alemaya Farm • Red Flame Grapes — Capay Canyon Ranch • Summerfeld Fuji Apples — Coco Ranch • Genovese Basil— Good Humus Produce • Fairtime Peaches*— Manas Ranch • Mixed Corno di Toro Peppers — Riverdog Farm •

Bite

Cherokee Purple Heirloom Tomatoes, Green Bell Peppers & Summer Squash — Alemaya Farm • Red Flame Grapes [...]

News From the Farm | August 31, 2015

My sister recently asked me to participate in a project to get writers, scientists and artists to write letters to their children’s children, telling future members of their own family living at the turn of the century, what it was like to be alive during and after the historically crucial events of the U.N. climate talks in Paris at the end of 2015.  The project is a national effort of alternative weekly newspapers that will connect with millions of readers.

To Future Farmers,

I can’t imagine what it will be like for you, so many years in the future, but I hope that some elements of the California landscape are still there for you. I hope that the terrifically productive, deep soils that grow so much sweet and sustaining food will endure. I hope that the beautiful full moon will still be floating across the night sky encouraging seeds to sprout and grow. 

When the oak trees that I planted here at Full Belly Farm are 100 years old they will still be youngsters.  As teenage oak trees, they will tower over the comings and goings – native Californians watching the changes coming over the landscape. Sometimes I try to imagine the lifespan of the oak trees on our farm.  Some of them were here when the Indians roamed.  All of them have their roots deep in the California soil.  I hope that some of the oak trees that I planted will still be here for you, the future farmers, overseeing your planting, weeding and harvesting. I hope that they will still be healthy in your time. But if the climate has changed drastically, what will happen? 

Growing food and tilling the soil, or working with sheep and cows as we do, can all take a toll on the land.  Today, agriculture is condemned as the cause of many environmental problems.  Maybe in your time farmers and farmland will be recognized as a key to the solution. Soils and oak trees – these are huge reservoirs of carbon that we farmers can either squander or increase. 

Many farmers that I have met are learning to be carbon stewards by keeping soil covered: with legumes that feed the soil; or hedgerows that harbor pollinators; or trees like the oaks, that take carbon in from the atmosphere, use it to grow, and pass it into the soil where it feeds soil microbes and is eventually stored for millennia. These farmers know that agriculture, so dependent on weather, will be one of the first victims of climate change.  But taking matters into their own hands, not waiting for researchers and policymakers to catch up, these farmers are acting on the knowledge that millions of acres of farmland hold the key to returning huge quantities of carbon back to be stored in soil.  

Some of the discussion at the U.N. climate talks at the end of this year will be about efforts to encourage farming practices that will slow down climate change. An annual 0.4% growth rate of the global soil carbon stock would absorb and store the equivalent of 75% of current annual greenhouse gas emissions.  Increasing the carbon content of agricultural soils today will secure the ability of farmers like you, years in the future, to grow food for your communities tomorrow. Knowing the ingenuity and creativity of the farmers of today, I predict that the movement to turn agriculture into a key part of the climate change solution will bear fruit.  Even if the global policymakers can’t agree, the farmers need nothing more than their observations of the oak trees, the soil, the moon and the sweet food that results from their efforts to know that too much is at stake. The time to act is now.

–Judith Redmond

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FarmShares Week of August 24, 2015

Bushel

Cherry Tomatoes — Alemaya Farm • Ya Li Asian Pears —Hamba Kahle Farm • Sage — Riverdog Farm • Okra — Spreadwing Farm •   Plus everything in the Peck

Peck

Bennings Green Tint Squash & Traviata Eggplant — Alemaya Farm • Red Flame Grapes — Capay Canyon Ranch • Summerfeld Apples — Coco Ranch • Lemon Cucumbers— Say Hay Farm • Early Girl Tomatoes & Little Sweety Peppers — Riverdog Farm •

Bite

Red Flame Grapes — Capay Canyon Ranch • Summerfeld Apples — Coco Ranch • Ya Li Asian Pears —Hamba Kahle Farm • Little Sweety Peppers — Riverdog Farm • Lemon Cucumbers— [...]

News From the Farm | August 24, 2015

It was my parent’s 32nd wedding anniversary last week. To me, along with wishing them a happy day and giving them a big sloppy smooch on the cheek, this also meant working along side them on the farm on another hot summer day. 

There are challenges and incredible benefits to working with my family members. As sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers, we are all joined in the valiant effort of trying to feed the souls and bellies of those who surround us. Additionally, we all try to remember to ask how weekends went, how children are, and check in with each other on a personal level. During these long summer days, it would be easy to slide into work and forget that we are family. 

I am the youngest of the Muller/Rivers family. Known to many Full Belly Farm customers as ‘the one who never comes to the farmers markets’ (unfortunately true, due to the fact that my mental math is far inferior to those older siblings who attend weekly). Beyond my farmer market shyness, I am also beginning to be known to some as Full Belly Farm’s ‘in-house florist,’ a title I much prefer. 

As the youngest of four, I have always had an adventurous spirit. My older siblings returned to the farm after their time at their respective universities without hesitation. Though my first inclination was to rebel against this trend, I, too, excitedly moved back from college about a year ago after completing my studies in Sociology at the University of Oregon. My goal in coming back home was to find a way to combine my interests of farming and art into an enterprise on Full Belly Farm.  

I always chuckle when people scratch their heads as I tell them that I am aspiring florist and farmer – they have clearly never met my mother. If they did know my mother, Dru, they too would be aching for a few beds to plant flower seeds and searching Craigslist endlessly for a few acres or a barn to test out the ‘farming lifestyle’ for awhile. 

My mother makes farming look incredibly romantic. With her soft windblown hair, bright blue eyes, innocent smile and calloused hands, she makes even the toughest farmers crumble like the softest loamy soil in pure adoration. Even goats, known to be the most stubborn of the farm animals, follow her as she leads them confidently across the farm. 

She is truly a goddess in farmer form, and is known to many-a-future-farmer enthusiast as one of the pioneers of organic farming. She, along with a few others helped to start one of the first campus gardens in the United States at UC Davis, and in the 1980’s went against the conventional grain and began a sustainable and organic farm in Northern California. If that doesn’t sound exhausting enough, while working full time to create one of the most fertile farms in California, my mother and father (with the help of interns, crew members and fellow farm owners) also raised four adorably-blonde-energetic-screaming children.

When I was young, my mother would spend hours filling buckets with flowers to arrange for markets. While she worked, her hands a blur of clippers and blooms, I napped in the back of trucks and in boxes, exhausted from my days of difficult exploring. As I grew older, I began trying to master the names of the many different types of flowers we grow and started to learn how to arrange our organic flowers into creations – bouquets and flower crowns and love potions.

Bouquet

Full Belly Floral is now a subset of Full Belly Farm and has grown into an enterprise from which I can offer uniquely arranged and sustainably grown flowers for weddings and events. Most importantly, I get to do what I love every single day while enjoying the company of my family and extended family (those interns, crew members and farm owners who help raise me). It is exciting to have the support of our longtime customers – those who have been with us since the beginning and have helped nurture our farm’s growth.

If you would like to learn more Full Belly Floral and flowers we grow here on our farm, I would encourage you to sign up for one of the floral arranging classes I will be teaching in the next few months. I will be leading a hands-on farm fresh flower design workshop at the Hoes Down Harvest Festival on Sunday, October 4th (www.hoesdown.org). For more workshop information, please visit http://fullbellyfarm.com/events/full-belly-floral/. 

–Hannah Muller

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FarmShares Week of August 17, 2015

Bushel

Oregano & Slicing Cucumbers — Good Humus Produce • Ya Li Asian Pears —Hamba Kahle Farm • Green Beans — Riverdog Farm •   Plus everything in the Peck

Peck

Crookneck Squash, Green Bell Peppers & Hansel Eggplant — Alemaya Farm • Red Flame Grapes — Capay Canyon Ranch • Summerfeld Apples — Coco Ranch • New Girl Tomatoes— Full Belly Farm • Genovese Basil — Good Humus Produce •

Bite

Hansel Eggplant — Alemaya Farm • Red Flame Grapes — Capay Canyon Ranch • Summerfeld Apples — Coco Ranch • New Girl Tomatoes — Full Belly Farm • Ya Li Asian [...]

News From the Farm | August 17, 2015

You are all invited to the 28th annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival taking place on the weekend of October 3rd and 4th at Full Belly Farm. Make a corn husk doll, paint a gourd, tour the farm, make ice cream, or try your hand in any step of the process from sheep to shawl. Dozens of hands-on workshops are offered on topics like organic fruit trees, grass-fed beef production, cow milking, herbs and flowers, small farm equipment and more! All of these activities are included in the price of admission. We have our music lineup chosen, from the contra dance led by Driving with Fergus to Wolfthump, the Dixie Giants and The Humidors.  

The Hoes Down is hosted by dozens of Capay Valley Farms and community organizations. The real muscle of the day are hundreds of volunteers who become a part of the Hoes Down by giving their time at one of the food booths, in the children’s area, in the parking lot — or in many other ways.  Volunteer shifts are 3 or 4 hours and we appreciate all of our volunteers by offering them free entry and camping. We are ready to sign you up for your shift — You can contact the Hoes Down volunteer coordinator through a portal on the Hoes Down web site volunteer page — we’ll get right back to you.

All proceeds from the Hoes Down are donated back to community organizations that participated in the weekend. For more information: http://www.hoesdown.org.

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