I am a member of Placerville Natural Foods Co-op, where I often buy kale. At the High5Kitchen we go through several bunches of kale each week so I like to make sure I have multiple sources. This January, PNFC purchased its kale from Sierra Foothill farms Mama Earth and South Fork Farm. Once local sources are depleted, PNFC purchases its kale from organic farms located in the Coastal Range’s Capay Valley, 90 miles northeast of San Francisco. Since we can never have too many vegetables I have a standing veggie order delivered to the ranch each Thursday from Capay Organic and their CSA, Farm Fresh To You.
Ben and Mary Woods and Ben’s mom, Shirley Woods started Somerset’s Mama Earth Farms in 2007 on land that was a flat, bulldozed subsoil hard-pan. Using permaculture techniques, their intuition, 50-60 chicks, truck loads of local manure compost, leaves, straws and other good organic matter they created water absorbing swales and “bio pits”–a rich soil now home to their organic fruit trees, berries, vegetables and herbs.
South Fork Farm is a ten-acre certified organic farm located south of Coloma in the Sierra foothills. Owned and operated by Jaclyn Moyer and Ryan Dorsey, the land, which is part of a 272 acre property and is leased from the American River Conservancy, was the site of the first Japanese colony in North America, the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony.
Operation began in the fall of 2012. They grow vegetables, small-scale grains, fruits, and flowers using minimal tillage techniques to avoid unnecessary disturbance of soil structure and drip irrigation when possible to conserve water. Cover crops, crop rotation and over 50 varieties of produce help defend against pests and maintain soil fertility.