A New Community-Based Sustainable Seed Marketplace

SeedLandingBanner

 

Since 2011, FarmsReach has been working with nonprofit, academic and farmer partners to identify how we may best contribute to improving the quantity and quality of non-GMO, untreated seed purchased by production farmers.

After a few years’ research and input from farmers, seed dealers and seed breeders, we were excited to “unveil” the Sustainable Seed Marketplace pilot at this year’s Organic Seed Alliance conference, and we invite your feedback!

Continue Reading →

Farmers Guild Field Day: Table Top Farm with Arron Wilder

arron_wilder_table_top_farm

Arron Wilder (left) and Farmers Guild members discuss economic challenges of small-scale farming

Written by Evan Wiig of The Farmers Guild & FarmsReach.

At 2 a.m. last week, a cool draft launched Arron Wilder from his bed. In bare feet, he went running outside into the autumn night toward his car. With a hurried twist of the ignition, there above the dashboard shone a little thermometer: just below forty degrees. Arron went back to bed.

In the few years since starting Table Top Farm, a three-plot diversified vegetable farm in west Marin County, the soil has gotten as much into Arron’s head as it has beneath his fingernails. “Farming is cut throat in the most literal way,” Arron said to a group of fellow members of the Farmers Guild visiting his farm last week. “If I didn’t come out at 2 a.m., when it feels like it’s going to freeze, I’d lose my seedlings and my income.”

Continue Reading →

Team Member Spotlight: Tiffany Nurrenbern ~ Bringing Farmers Together!

320528_10150403992549073_1831019680_n

Today we are excited to feature the latest addition to the FarmsReach and Farmers Guild team, Tiffany Nurrenbern.

For those who don’t know her already, she has been working in food and farming for many years, most notably at Roots of Change (ROC), where she coordinated and led the California Food Policy Council, a council of councils across the state. Prior to ROC, she worked in communications at Gigantic Idea Studio, which specializes in marketing of environmental programs.

After a great first few weeks helping to get the first Mendocino Farmers Guild and Sonoma Valley Farmer Guild rolling, we sat down with Tiffany for a casual Q&A to introduce her to the FarmsReach community:

FarmsReach: What are your thoughts moving from agricultural policy to farmers and ranchers directly?

Tiffany Nurrenbern: I think that though we all come from different vantage points, most people would agree that we need a food system that brings health to our people, our communities, and our environment. It’s going to take a lot of people working on different fronts to make that a reality for everyone. At the core of the issue is ensuring that farmers can farm in a sustainable and profitable way that enables us to feed our communities more affordably. Policy change can help us to remove barriers that make this work harder and incentivize a new path forward, but that conversation can feel very far away when you’re busy making sure that your crops get to market. I’m excited to be working directly with farmers to support their work on the ground, and provide links to the conversations happening off the farm that impact them.

Continue Reading →

Farmers Unite in Mendocino: the First Farmers Guild Gathering!

IMG_8397

Written by Evan Wiig of The Farmers Guild & FarmsReach.

Never have I had so much fun preparing for a potluck. Last week I drove north from my home in Sonoma County to attend the very first official gathering of the Mendocino Farmers Guild! Inspired by Gowan Batist, a young Fort Bragg-based farmer and founder of Eat Mendocino (a project for which she spent over a year eating nothing grown beyond her own county), I decided that for my part I’d bring a Mendocino-only dish. With the help of my friend, chef Matthew Elias and locavore grocer-extraordinaire Scott Cratty, in a one-day “gleaning spree”, we experienced first-hand what this burgeoning local food shed has to offer.

IMG_8382

All Mendocino-sourced dishes

For the pasta dish, we used flour from Doug Mosel’s Mendocino Grain Project, pastured pork from the McGruder Ranch in Potter Valley, beautiful tomatoes from Floodgate Farm out near the coast, eggs from the Brady Family Farm, and olive oil from a local orchard. Even the salt, thanks to Gowan’s sea-side harvesting, came from Mendocino!

Continue Reading →

Put Your Hoes Down ~ A Weekend Celebration!

IMG_8274Full Belly Farm knows how to have a good time!  This past weekend marked the 26th annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival, which brings together over 6,000 people of all ages from Northern CA and beyond.  Under the hot sun of the Capay Valley, it’s fun to find some shade and relax with a beer, or stroll around and take in the breathtaking views of fields, orchards and rolling hills.  Or, take advantage of their jam-packed program of live music, local food, workshops, creek bathing and camping. We did it all!

Full Belly Farm, founded in 1985, is a pristine 300+ acre operation and is considered one of the best examples of diversified organic farming in CA.  The farm grows an amazing variety of over 80 vegetable, fruit and nut crops, as well as poultry, sheep, pigs, goats, and several cows.  One of their main priorities is the long-term environmental stewardship of the land, and for this, the farm focuses on regenerative systems such as nitrogen-fixing cover crops that improve soil organic matter, and planting habitat area for beneficial insects and wildlife.  With almost 30 years of trial and error under their belt, Full Belly Farm has worked hard to nurture the land so that each year leaves it more fertile than the last.

Continue Reading →