Featured Farmer Spotlight: Judith Redmond of Full Belly Farm

Every week, we’ll spotlight a FarmsReach Featured Farmer. Our Featured Farmers are brimming with great ideas and knowledge to share with the farming community. Feeling a spark of curiosity? There’s no question too simple or tough. Ask a question or add a Conversation and we’ll be sure it’s answered within a day or two.

This week, we’re featuring Judith Redmond, one of the dedicated owners of Full Belly Farm, a certified organic farm located in the beautiful Capay Valley of northern California. Their farm has been certified organic since 1985, where they strive to continue supporting local food systems and creating a strong local food economy.

FarmsReach: How many years have you been farming?

Judith Redmond: 28 years

FR: How many generations of farmers are in your family?

JR: No farmers, just gardeners.

FR: Which question(s) are you most asked by other farmers?

JR: People often ask “How big is the farm?” They think of acreage as a proxy for lots of other things. Sometimes I answer with information about acreage, but I also tell them about the number of families supported by the farm, the diversity and productivity of the farm or the activities supported by the farm in addition to crop production!  All are ways of showing how complex food and farming is.

FR: How did you get into farming?  What do you love most about it?

JR: My grandfather loved to garden and I loved to garden with him.

FR: What was the most important piece of advice you received when you were getting started?  Or, what single piece of advice would you give a new beginning farmer?

JR: If you can’t pick it up, roll it!

FR: What are you most excited about that’s happening on your farm?

JR: A new generation of farmers has arrived on the farm full of great ideas.

FR: What do you feel is the next big thing (or most exciting thing) in agriculture?

JR: Well, we’re going to start picking some red watermelons soon!  They’re called crimson sweets, and they’re BIG!

FR: Tell us a little about your CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).

JR: We distribute about 1,100 boxes to families every week, throughout the Bay Area, Sacramento, Davis and Woodland. Eating out of a CSA box can make a big difference in a family’s relationship to food and cooking. You have a more profound understanding of your local climate and food shed, you become a better cook and you feel healthier!  (FR note: If you’re interested in signing up for the Full Belly Farm CSA, read more!)

FR: Where can customers find your products: markets, restaurants, stores, etc?

JR: We go to the Berkeley farmers’ market on Tuesday afternoons, San Rafael farmers’ market on Thursday mornings, and Palo Alto farmers’ market on Saturday mornings. We also make deliveries to a number of stores and restaurants. Specific details are on our website.

FR: Which aspect, skill or part of farming do you feel is your “specialty” or favorite?

JR: The farm is both an intense work space as well as a place where many people and other creatures live.  I think a lot about balancing the competing needs to make it efficient and sustainable versus my desire for it to be beautiful and nurturing.

FR: Which piece of equipment can you not live without, or what would your dream new equipment be?

JR: The forklift and the ice machine are pretty indispensable.  In our dreams, our equipment is quiet, has no emissions and never breaks in the middle of a work day!

FR: What do you like to do in your free time?

JR: Well, I just keep on farming… uh, did you say free time?

FR: Anything else you would like to share?

JR: Family farmers feed the world!

Learn more about Full Belly Farm and their vibrant farming community. Become a member of their CSA farm box program and visit them at one of their farmer’s markets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation