June 13, 2016

Our Start at Farmers Markets


Our farm has always been on the cutting edge of distribution systems that connect a farm’s produce directly to the consumer. It is a little known fact that the reason our farm started was because my Dad got the city of Davis to agree to let him use their insurance to start a farmers market. Once he knew that a farmers market was going to start, he found a quarter of an acre to grow some stuff to sell at the market! He was worried that farmers and the people of Davis wouldn’t take to his innovative idea right away, so he had better grow something. He needn’t have worried – people showed up to see what this new farmers market idea was all about.

This market is still going strong today 40 years later. Prior to the market’s start in 1976, there was no way to sell produce grown in a different manner because retail stores were the only organizations that sold produce, and they were only interested in produce that was grown with the latest technologies of synthetic fertilizers and fancy, new herbicides and insecticides.

My parents believed that food could be grown without these things. They also knew that society wanted food grown in this way.

By the time I made it onto Earth in 1980, farmers markets were the main income source for our family. Waking up really early to hand load the van for the farmers markets is not one of my favorite childhood memories. However, the farmers markets were this country boy’s only interaction with society. It is at the farmers markets that I learned people liked what we were doing (being on the farm, fresh produce was not that exciting to me). It was at markets that I learned to do arithmetic, and it was at markets that I realized how big the world really was.

The extension of our market stand is Farm Fresh To You that brings produce direct to your doorstep. It is this connection with individuals like you that continues the development of a new distribution system that brings the seasons from our fields to your home.

My brothers and I have made a commitment to join our farmers market staff at least once a month to train up our own kids and to talk directly to people about produce. In August, we will celebrate 40 years of the founding of the farmers market and our farm by handing out our delicious, mini seedless watermelons.