Caterina Lewis-Perry and Michael Kein, Fresh Roots Humboldt

I met Caterina Lewis-Perry and Michael Kein when I strolled into the screening of a film about urban farms at the Jefferson Community Center in Eureka.  The community center was bustling with activity — small children were coming out of child care, and women and men of all ages were streaming into the room for the screening.  I arrived early (“as usual” I can hear my friends saying) and tucked myself in exactly in the center of the room near the projector for best viewing.

We watched the film and ate the nice healthful snacks that were prepared — and after a lively discussion ensued.  All of us were wondering — how do we make this work?  how do we feed people who live in the heart of the most urban areas of our cities, including Eureka.  Areas that are known as being “food deserts” devoid of real shopping areas that offer fresh produce.

Caterina and Michael talked about their small CSA located on the small plot that their home is on.  There, in the heart of the food desert, was an oasis!  Imagine the possibilities!  If lawns were turned into gardens, and if city ordinances were food friendly (water issues, farmstand issues, bee issues, chicken issues….you know…), we could have these lifelines running throughout cities — like arteries or veins…ok, enough with the metaphor.

I introduced myself to the group explaining who I was and why I was there — and Caterina graciously said “oh!  we love your show!”  Whew — sometimes I do wonder if people listen.

To hear more about what Caterina and Michael are up to listen here and check out their website.

Farmer Jayme Buckley, Bayside Park Farm

Located on Samoa Blvd in Arcata on a well situated piece of semi-rural loveliness is the Bayside Park Farm and Farmer Jayme grows a variety of crops for the CSA.  The greenhouse helps, kicks up the heat so members receive a bounty of tomatoes and peppers as well as the cool weather crops that the coast is famous for.  Located adjacent to the CSA Farm is a collection of plots that community members can rent to grow their own food.  To hear more about the Bayside Park Farm, listen here to the interview.

Find out more about the Bayside Park Farm.

Siobhan and Geoff, Black Sheep Farm

Black Sheep Farm is on a small plot of land in Bayside, run by two people who do a lot of the work the old fashioned way…by hand.  Siobhan and Geoff are two escapees from the world beyond Humboldt where everyone strives to make more money than their neighbor and no one knows how much is enough — I say all this because I am very familiar with that world which is the reason I live here!  Check out their website — especially their recipe section (oh yes, the photo section is beautiful too)…they use the term “curate” to talk about how they prepare the food, and their simple food becomes beautiful works of art in their hands.

the interview

Ed Cohen, Earthly Edibles CSA

Ed Cohen from Earthly Edibles talks about dry-farming veggies in lovely and sunny Korbel.  One new feature of this CSA is that they are offering Canning Classes!

To listen to the interview, click here.

Shakefork Farm – Chickens

FullSizeRender(6)Melanie and Kevin Cunningham from Shakefork Farm CSA are know for producing grains in Humboldt County.  They recently began a new venture, raising “meat” chickens for sale to the public.  To hear about this new venture and to find out how they are raising these chickens listen to this interview

Happy chickens race forward every morning to be the first ones on the new grass

Chicken’s eye view of the tractor

Chickens have access to all the fresh grass and unsuspecting bugs with each move — along with ability to feed on organic feed at any time

Shakefork CSA Farm – Kevin Cunningham

This is the "after" photo -- isn't she delicious looking?!

Grain Shares 2011/2012 Available Now!

Barley, rye, oats, wheat, buckwheat, corn, flax, dry beans — whole, cracked, stone-ground.

10-12 lbs of grain per month for 10 months of the year.

$450 for a full grain share.  $275 for 1/2 grain share.

Distributions are held on the first Thursday of the month at Redwood Roots Farm in Bayside.

Contact: Melanie and Kevin Cunningham, shakeforkfarm.com  — 707.498.3546   7914 State Highway 36, Carlotta CA 95528

Kevin and Melanie Cunningham have been raising grains for sale and have the Shakefork Farm CSA — and now they are selling Pastured Poultry.  I took the leap and encourage you to do it too — I bought 10 of the beautiful birds all packaged (just the was I like ’em) and I can now delve into the reaches of my freezer and pull one out whenever I want.  Steve and I have been arguing (amicably) continuously about the bird we are going to cook up tomorrow for our good friend Sanford — arguing about who gets to cook it and how it is going to get cooked.  After all — this is our first bird…a lot of expectations…a lot of thought… and soon to be roasted for dinner, then shredded for enchiladas, and then the carcass boiled down into a nice soup —

Update — We both roasted the chicken — we used a recipe from the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook — it was fabulous, crispy on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside.  Yay Pastured Poultry!

Isn't she lovely?!

To listen to the interview with Kevin Cunningham go to:

http://foodforthought.yoursavinggrace.net/audio/
11_FFT_Kevin_Cunningham_11.mp3

This interview aired on the KHSU Homepage on August 14, 2009

Redwood Roots CSA – Erin Derden-Little

To listen to the interview with Erin:

http://foodforthought.yoursavinggrace.net/audio/02_FFT_Erin_Derden-
Little_02.mp3

This show aired on KHSU on June 12, 2009

For more information about Redwood Roots CSA:

www.redwoodrootsfarm.com/

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!

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.