Jacques and Amy Neukom — Neukom Family Farm

Jacques and Hazel Neukom at Neukom Family Farm in Willow Creek.

Jacques and Hazel Neukom at Neukom Family Farm in Willow Creek.

http://foodforthought.yoursavinggrace.net/audio/18_FFT_Jaques_Neukom.mp3

Peach orchard at Neukom Family Farm.  Jacques learned from one of the oldtimers about the Willow Creek peaches that were famous for their flavor.  Jacques and Amy dry farm peaches for a superior flavor -- this type of farming doesn't require watering or tracking the water to make sure you don't dilute the delicious fruit flavors -- they also use this technique to be more sustainable as farmers.
Peach orchard at Neukom Family Farm. Jacques learned from one of the oldtimers about the Willow Creek peaches that were famous for their flavor. Jacques and Amy dry farm peaches for a superior flavor — this type of farming doesn’t require watering or tracking the water to make sure you don’t dilute the delicious fruit flavors — they also use this technique to be more sustainable as farmers.
plants around the base of the trees provides a living mulch, bring in beneficial insects, and in the case of sweet peas can also help fix nitrogen.

plants around the base of the trees provides a living mulch, bring in beneficial insects, and in the case of sweet peas can also help fix nitrogen.

Asian pears and willow creek peaches

Asian pears and willow creek peaches

Neukom Family Farm -- organic produce available at local farmers market and recently started a small CSA by selling 50 shares -- those 50 people will receive a box of fresh organic produce each week during the growing season.

Neukom Family Farm -- organic produce available at local farmers market and recently started a small CSA by selling 50 shares -- those 50 people will receive a box of fresh organic produce each week during the growing season.

Painfully beautiful artichoke -- I've never seen such spines on the flower of an artichoke, but the color is outrageous!

Painfully beautiful artichoke -- I've never seen such spines on the flower of an artichoke, but the color is outrageous!

I'm a sucker for chickens -- because this is an organic farm the chickens must be kept from coming in contact with the produce.  The chickens had their own large area to roam -- happiness is being a Neukom chicken!  Jen, who is working on the farm, is keeping bees -- they live in their hive on the roof of the house since bears are a common problem in this area of Willow Creek.

I'm a sucker for chickens -- because this is an organic farm the chickens must be kept from coming in contact with the produce. The chickens had their own large area to roam -- happiness is being a Neukom chicken! Jen, who is working on the farm, is keeping bees -- they live in their hive on the roof of the house since bears are a common problem in this area of Willow Creek.

Just when I was starting to melt...Jacques, Amy, and the rest of the gang invited us to have lunch with them.  Jacques explained that they take turns fixing the lunch meal -- one person will take off at 11 a.m. and prepare it -- everyone eats around noon, but then they take off in the afternoon.  How long they take off depends on how hot it is, tomatos can cook in the time it takes to get them to the shade.  Time for a swim at the river, walking distance away from the farm....still they work 10 hours a day!

Just when I was starting to melt...Jacques, Amy, and the rest of the gang invited us to have lunch with them. Jacques explained that they take turns fixing the lunch meal -- one person will take off at 11 a.m. and prepare it -- everyone eats around noon, but then they take off in the afternoon. How long they take off depends on how hot it is, tomatos can cook in the time it takes to get them to the shade. Time for a swim at the river, walking distance away from the farm....still they work 10 hours a day!

Rita Jacinto and Laurie Levey, Flying Blue Dog Farm

Jennifer with the "plant geek" Rita Jacinto at Flying Blue Dog farm --- after Jennifer whined about not having enough asparagus, Rita went into her field and picked some for her and Jessica...we arrived to get an interview and left with fresh asparagus -- these are two generous ladies!

Jennifer with the "plant geek" Rita Jacinto at Flying Blue Dog farm --- after Jennifer whined about not having enough asparagus, Rita went into her field and picked some for her and Jessica...we arrived to get an interview and left with fresh asparagus -- these are two generous ladies!Jennifer with Egyptian Walking Onions -- they become top heavy, fall over and the seed heads root causing the plant to spread by "walking"Rita shows off her bees to Jessica -- these boxes are different from standard pre-built hives, they allow bees to build their combs at an angle within the box.peeking inside the home of Rita's bee friends

The bees come and go -- we couldn't get enough of them!

The bees come and go -- we couldn't get enough of them!

http://foodforthought.yoursavinggrace.net/audio/
17_FFT_Flying_Blue_Dog.mp3

The greenhouse at Flying Blue Dog -- you can visit Rita and Laurie and Flying Blue Dog farm which is located 2 miles E. of Willow Creek -- turn on Christian School Road and follow the signs to Flying Blue Dog.  Laurie and Rita carefully blend their own potting soil to ensure your plants a longer life in the pot -- they know some people don't get them planted right away and want these plants to thrive.
The greenhouse at Flying Blue Dog — you can visit Rita and Laurie and Flying Blue Dog farm which is located 2 miles E. of Willow Creek — turn on Christian School Road and follow the signs to Flying Blue Dog. Laurie and Rita carefully blend their own potting soil to ensure your plants a longer life in the pot — they know some people don’t get them planted right away and want these plants to thrive.

Tom O’Gorman – Trinity River Farm

Trinity River Farm is located along Hwy 96.  Turn left (in Willow Creek) on Hwy 96 if heading east on 299 from the coast.  Tom O'Gorman, the owner has a passion for trees -- if he is available see if he will give you a tour of his property.

Trinity River Farm is located along Hwy 96. Turn left (in Willow Creek) on Hwy 96 if heading east on 299 from the coast. Tom O'Gorman, the owner has a passion for trees -- if he is available see if he will give you a tour of his property.

customers at Trinity River Farm store.

customers at Trinity River Farm store.

A new aspect of Trinity River Farm -- you can rent this lovely space to have a dinner party or wedding -- Trinity River flows in the background -- twinkling lights strung in the trees above.

A new aspect of Trinity River Farm -- you can rent this lovely space to have a dinner party or wedding -- Trinity River flows in the background -- twinkling lights strung in the trees above.

Trinity River Farm sells plant starts as well as produce in the summer.  Most farms we have visited sell at the farmers markets and/or local grocery stores.  Trinity River Farm is one of the few that sells entirely through their roadside stand.
 
lovely old barn on the property

lovely old barn on the property

Still wet from an early May storm, Tom's fields are awaiting planting -- on both sides of his field are fruit trees that will be bearing fruit later in the season.

Still wet from an early May storm, Tom's fields are awaiting planting -- on both sides of his field are fruit trees that will be bearing fruit later in the season.

There are several greenhouses on the property.

There are several greenhouses on the property.

Eddie Tanner, Deep Seeded Farm CSA

http://foodforthought.yoursavinggrace.net/audio/14_FFT_Deepseeded.mp3
To listen to the interview with Eddie Tanner click the link!

Tomatoes in Arcata?…Do you have Greenhouse envy too? — I sure do!

Have you been wanting to grow tomatos...but you live on the coast?  Here is your answer!  Even a small home greenhouse is adequate to produce all those hot-weather crops we expect from the inland regions!
Here is your answer! Even a small home greenhouse is adequate to produce all those hot-weather crops we expect from the inland regions!
CSAs allow the member to support the farmer at the beginning of the year so that farmers don't need to take out expensive loans.  Members then come to this shed during the season and gather a basket of fresh produce.  The chalk board will list the number and type of crops that members can choose from.

CSAs allow the member to support the farmer at the beginning of the year so that farmers don’t need to take out expensive loans. Members then come to this shed during the season and gather a basket of fresh produce. The chalk board will list the number and type of crops that members can choose from.

Eddie also teaches a class on Organic Gardening through the Office of Extended Education at Humboldt State University in the spring semester — call (707) 826-3731 to be added to the mailing list for the next class.

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Frogs loving their habitat at Eddie’s Farm!

BIG Beef Tomatoes!

Zucchini were ready as early as April this year…grown in the giant greenhouse.

Tofu Shop – Matt Schmidt

bags of soy beans are ground and cooked

Soy beans arrive in large sacks -- The first step is soaking them overnight in filtered water. Then they go into the left side of this contraption where they are ground -- then info the big pot on the right where they are cooked. http://www.tofushop.com

Beth Dominick – Sacred Grounds

Jennifer cupping

Jennifer in heaven with a very dark roast...mmmmm....

http://foodforthought.yoursavinggrace.net/audio/
12_FFT_Sacred_Grounds_12.mp3
We visited the roasting operation at Sacred Grounds -- you can stop by for a cup of coffee at their coffee bar!
We visited the roasting operation at Sacred Grounds — you can stop by for a cup of coffee at their coffee bar!
 
The interview with Beth Dominick aired on the KHSU Homepage on
August 21, 2009
Coffee Roaster

Beans are roasted in small batches, approx. 22 lbs. This type of roasting allows a lot of control over the process, adjusting temperature and timing to achieve a perfect balance.

http://foodforthought.yoursavinggrace.net/audio/
at_the_coffee_roaster.mp3

Coffee Beans from Bali
Once the samples are tested for quality using a lot of different measurements — selected types are ordered and arrive in 150 lb sacks!
Tim Dominick measuring coffee beans for roasting

Tim Dominick measuring coffee beans for roasting -- small batches assure more control over the process.

Beth Dominick checks the quality of the coffee beans

Beth Dominick checks the quality of the coffee beans

Cupping the coffee

Cupping the coffee -- this allows us to sample coffee for consistency -- in this case we were also able to compare several different bean types and roasting styles for a variety of criteria.

Check out their website!