March 25, 2019

Stuck In Spring

apricots

Farm News

The fruits of spring’s spectacular bloom of our apricot trees are visible – literally. They are tiny, but recognizable green apricots. The flowers that attracted the pollinating insects are still hanging on, but barely. They are beat up and drying, but like parents, they are happy to be upstaged by the little ones. From the branches of the rusty, red apricot bark, true leaves are beginning to emerge. Soon those leaves will shade out the branches and provide much needed protection to the apricot gems.

Fields


The spring vegetable patch is beautiful. The early morning rays of sunshine make the colors sparkle. Chards, kales, fennel, bok choy, radishes are all in their unique patches covering the field like a quilt. Next to them, the patch of sweet pea flowers stands tall, painting the field with a different brush. It is so easy to pass every day and see the subtle changes from day to day without seeing it in its entirety. I stop and soak it in. For context, I think about the golden, yellow hills and the miserable summer heat that is on its way, I rationalize to myself that appreciating this a little more today will make one day in the summer easier. 

On a different note, I got properly stuck the other day. You would think that after all of these years, I would be experienced enough to avoid this comical mishap, but that seems not to be the case. I left a field onto a county road and turned toward the farm office when I meant to turn toward town. Thinking I was clever enough to save a few minutes by avoiding turning around, I looked around and noted that there was no traffic or law enforcement in sight, put the truck in reverse with the intent to back into the field from which I came. I missed the road and backed up directly into the drainage ditch on the side of the road. Putting the truck in four-wheel drive didn’t help. I was stuck, stuck. 

Standing on the side of the road, I surveyed the damage and clearly needed something to pull me out. With no tractors in sight, I thought through the people I could call and ranked them based on who would give me the hardest time for my bone-headed move and picked the person on the bottom of the list – Ricardo. Before he arrived, someone on his way home from work in a diesel pickup asked if I needed a hand. We chained the front of my truck to the back of his, and in no time, I was out. Let’s keep this between us, and keep the farm team on a need-to-know basis!

Make sure to find us on Instagram @farmfreshtoyou and @farmerthaddeus.

March 4, 2019

Winter Transition

Winter Transition

Farm News

This is the month when winter transitions to spring, but I certainly cannot feel it. Skies are clear. Grass is green, and the fruit trees are thinking about breaking their buds into flowers but it is too cold. The early morning ice on my windshield and the sheets of ice on the puddles are holding onto winter.

Winter Transition


By midday, I am reminded that spring really could be just around the corner, and I am not the only one on the farm who feels this way. The field of cover crop by the creek that was just mowed down is at the stage for some serious courting. A group of hens scratch and peck at the vegetation paying little attention to the boys who are doing everything they can to steal the show. With their chests puffed out, their heads pulled back and their tail feathers on display, they strut slowly around, dragging their wings while trying to decide if they are there to impress the hens or scare the competition. It is really fun to watch, and they really don’t seem to care about me or the team working in the field next to them.

Winter Transition


Behind the green John Deere tractor, three spools of black drip tape unroll as three beds each receive one line of drip tape injected four inches down and six inches offset from the middle of the row. This job takes one tractor driver at the end of each row. He raises the implement up, cuts the drip tape off, turns the tractor around and heads down the next set of three rows. The work is going quickly and without issue. Tomorrow, we will lay out the submain and begin coupling the drip tape to the submain, which is connected to the pumping and filtering station by the canal. By the end of this week, weather permitting, we will have the system installed and will be ready for the tomato plants that are scheduled to arrive from the greenhouse at the end of the month.

Winter Transition


On my way back to the shop, I pass the harvest crew. With my window open, I hear them whistling and chatting as they work. The smell of fresh garlic invades my pickup.

Garlic
Stopping to get a closer look, I can see that the garlic might still be a little on the small size for ideal but getting started a little bit too early is better than getting started too late. Never in all my years of farming have I ever felt on time for anything.

Make sure to find us on Instagram @farmfreshtoyou and @farmerthaddeus.

February 21, 2019

Love on the Farm: Mary and Joe

Love on the Farm: Mary & Joe
Joe started working for Farm Fresh To You over a decade ago, and shortly after starting with us, he brought his wife Mary on board. Joe will be celebrating 11 years as a delivery driver this May and Mary, our Route Delivery Operations Manager - the mastermind of our logistics department, will be celebrating 9 years in June.

February 19, 2019

Rushing Water And Deep Mud

Rushing Water and Deep Mud 1

Farm News

It’s hard to walk around the farm with all the mud; driving is even more difficult. There are a few main graveled drives through the farm that are drivable, but even those leave the trace of the wheels through the gravelly, muddy mixture. Parking next to the canal bridge, I get out and start walking down the roads. There is a squishing and crackling sound under my feet. Since sometime last night, the rain stopped for a moment. There are deep clouds hanging overhead, but nothing is falling from them besides their shadows.

Love on the Farm: Samantha & Brandon

samantha and brandon 3

Brandon and Samantha started dating in 2013 and have spent quite a bit of time on the farm. Samantha is a super nanny and has watched all 12 of Barnes-Barsotti kids. Samantha and Brandon are frequent visitors to our Farm Fresh To You farm events and festivals.

February 15, 2019

Love on the Farm: Michael & Liz

Love on the Farm: Michael & Liz

Michael and Liz met in San Francisco, but their relationship flourished in Yolo County, where Liz is from.

February 14, 2019

Food From The Heart

Food From The Heart
Happy Valentine’s Day! Call us romantics, but we’re feeling the love here at Farm Fresh To You today. We love all of our farm box members who support local farmers, organic produce and sustainable practices. We love our family of passionate employees who share in our values and work hard as a team. We also love all of the amazing artisan food purveyors that we get to work with. If there’s one thing we really love, it’s delicious food, and it’s even better when we get to share it with you! Today we want to take a moment to introduce you to some of our partners that make their food with love.

We Love Jam

The owners of We Love Jam began making jam for fun from the Blenheim apricot tree in their backyard. Each summer, they picked fresh fruit from the 80-year-old tree and made jam to share with their friends and family. On a whim, they sent some jars to food magazines, and Food & Wine magazine loved it so much they called it the best jam they’ve ever tried in their February 2002 issue. Overnight, what started as a hobby became a successful business.
“We still make everything by hand and source our fruit from local farms. Everything is made in our own custom-made commercial kitchen. As owners, we are directly involved in every facet of this business. It doesn’t get more hands-on than this. It is very rewarding working with local farms and making our customers happy.”
We Love Jam

Theo

Theo is passionate about changing the world through chocolate. As the first Organic and Fair Trade certified chocolate factory in North America, they believe that the finest chocolate should be created in an entirely ethical and regenerative fashion.
“As a company rooted in cocoa, our mission is to create a more beautiful, compassionate, and enduring world by responsibly making delicious and inspiring products for everyone. This is why our co-founder Joe Whinney pioneered the first supply of organic cocoa into the US in 1994, and we remain committed to making amazing fair trade and organic bean-to-bar chocolate today. If you’ve ever had a Theo treat, we hope you’ll find that our love for creating delicious chocolate is evident in each bite.”

Theo

Old Dog Ranch

Old Dog Ranch is a fifth-generation family farm on the Calaveras River in San Joaquin County, California. The family has lived and farmed at the ranch since 1912. Growing up on the ranch (which is named for two of the family’s beloved, long-lived canine companions), Mollie Sitkin loved experimenting with ingredients picked from the fields and orchards just outside her kitchen door. Today, Mollie makes the Old Dog Ranch line of walnut snacks and walnut butters with organic Chandler walnuts from an orchard her father planted the year she was born.
“I’ve always loved serving delicious things to people and seeing them smile, but being able to grow the ingredients and make the snacks healthy takes it to a whole new level for me. Freshness and growing high-quality walnuts are the most important thing for our family business.”

Old Dog Ranch

Upper Crust Bakery

Upper Crust Bakery started baking bread 33 years ago in 1986. It was started by a husband-and-wife team Mo and Trudy Kalinsky in Northern California. Together, they made a perfect duo. He was passionate about the science of bread baking, and she was the face of the business and an amazing salesperson. Their son grew up in the bakery learning the craft.

Their son, Lorin, ended up building a career for himself in entrepreneurship and technology. He started a family of his own, and they split their time between living in the Bay Area and France. In 2013, his family relocated back to California. His love for baking was rekindled and with his parents’ blessing, he took over the business in 2017.
“It’s an exciting time to be in the good food business. We feel privileged to live in what is one of the most fertile, productive agricultural regions in the world. People are passionate about supporting local agriculture and eating well. Because of our presence at dozens of farmers markets across Northern California, our bakery has established unique links to many of the family farms and agricultural producers in our region. We source local ingredients and support local agriculture whenever possible, and we are proud to provide good food to our community.”
Upper Crust

Chivas

About 15 years ago, founder, Donna, learned about the nutritional benefits of drinking raw goat milk and decided to buy two French Alpine goats. Receiving 2 gallons of fresh milk a day, she taught herself to make cheeses, yogurts, ice creams, and eventually, soap! Donna used to have what her kids would call “alligator skin” -- super dry and flaky -- but, her homemade goat milk soap transformed her skin! Her friends and family loved the soaps so much too, that she kept making more. With the help of her daughter, Lauren, Donna’s DIY home project soon turned into what is now Chivas Skin Care. Donna and Lauren created the business because they wanted to share with others the same wonderful products that Donna had formulated for her family.
“Farm-fresh milk is the number 1 ingredient in all of our soaps, making each bar ultra-rich and creamy. Goat milk is the foundation of our soaps, and we believe that a high-quality soap like ours should be the foundation of any skincare routine. The better quality the soap, the less lotions and potions are needed. 
We use high-quality and all-natural ingredients in our soaps, which make them only that much more gentle, soothing and nourishing for the skin. We use food-grade olive oil, plant-based, essential oils, sustainable palm oil, and fair trade shea butter. We do NOT use any fragrances, perfumes, artificial colorants, preservatives or the like. When you read our ingredients list you can understand each ingredient. We always joke, “you really could wash your mouth out with this soap."
Chivas Skin Care

How To Add Their Delicious Products to Your Delivery:

CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. Market is open from noon on Thursday until 6 pm, 2 days before your scheduled delivery day. After you confirm your produce items, click the orange button "Confirm and Continue To Other Farm Products" to add the products to your delivery.

Not part of our farm family? Find out if we deliver to your neighborhood.

February 13, 2019

Love on the Farm: Thaddeus & Moyra

Love on the Farm: Thaddeus & Moyra

Thaddeus and Moyra met at the San Francisco Ferry Building in the summer of 2004. Moyra was home from college, working at Bay Crossings and Cowgirl Creamery, and living with her parents. Thad was working at our Farm Fresh To You store and splitting his time between living on the farm and in San Francisco.

February 12, 2019

Love on the Farm: Gavin & Lilly

Rooting Around: Our Farm Blog

In general, Gavin and Lilly did a lot of falling in love on the farm. Gavin lived on the farm and would travel to SF on weekends to see friends - and that's when he met Lilly. They were at a mutual friend’s birthday party where he offered her a Candystripe fig from the farm. One fig led to another, and they spent most of the party exchanging summer stories and dancing until the wee hours.

Love on the Farm: Ambler & Ben

IMG_3193
Ambler and Ben first met when they were teaching at the same school in New Orleans. It was love at first sight! After many years of dating, they decided to make it official, and tie the knot.

February 9, 2019

Love On The Farm: Freeman & Carol

Love on The Farm Freeman & Carol 3
Freeman and Carol met in high school in the FFA (Future Farmers of America) and competed against each other in public speaking competitions. She was 15. He was 16 and had a truck.

February 8, 2019

Love On The Farm: Jordan & Rosch

Love On The Farm Jordan & Rosch
We've got a few more stories we'll be sharing over the next few days of how friends, families and folks you maybe have never met before have celebrated and found love on our farm. It’s an honor that you, our community, share these everyday extraordinary moments with us.

February 7, 2019

Love on the Farm: Max & Raemonn

Love on the Farm: Max & Raemonn

We love hearing stories of true love found on the farm. Max and Reamonn first met at our Capay Tomato Festival and we’ve loved seeing them back on the farm for the festival year after year.

February 6, 2019

Know Your Farmer: Redwood Hill Farm

Know Your Farmer: Redwood Hill Farm
In 1968, Kenneth and Cynthia Bice moved their family from the city of Los Angeles to the redwoods of Sonoma County to establish their own farm, complete with ducks, chickens, rabbits, goats, pigs, and sheep. Their three children became involved with 4-H and began raising their own goats.

January 24, 2019

Unique and Specialty Citrus Fruits


It's citrus time! These bright, refreshing fruits are an especially fun treat when it's dark and cold outside. Plus, with all the Vitamin C, eating citrus is a great way to stay healthy through the winter months.

January 17, 2019

5 Winter Soups to Warm You Up

nantes-your-average-carrot-and-butternut-squash-soup-2


Winter has definitely arrived with a vengeance this year! But do not worry, we have the cure-all for these grey stormy days and that is a simmering pot of soup on the stove. Soups like Sweet & Spicy Vegetable Pasta Stew and Onion Soup Gratine, which we promise will warm you from head to toe. We want to make sure you stay warm and nourished this cold season, so here are 5 winter soups that are sure to keep the chill at bay.

Know Your Farmer: Nona Lim


Nona Lim
Nona Lim is the founder and CEO of Nona Lim, and is a former professional athlete who wants to offer clean, Asian inspired foods to fuel your healthy and active lifestyle. Based in Oakland, Nona Lim discovers the power of food as functional medicine. As an athlete she always strived to be ahead of the game and sought natural ways to gain a competitive advantage.

January 11, 2019

Know Your Farmer: Rebbl

Know Your Farmer: Rebbl


In 2011, Dave Batstone set out to find a creative solution to the human trafficking problem in Peru. Through his non-profit, Not For Sale, he already had accumulated nearly 11 years of experience in raising money through anti-trafficking awareness campaigns. However, through his organization’s efforts, he learned that nearly everything that consumers buy contributes to forced labor and exploitation.