We bought this farm in the late 1990s and moved our three children onto a bare piece of land. No house, no running water, no electricity.
Our 55 acres of prime pasture and farmland in Vacaville, CA, had been untended for 30 years. The first few weeks we installed what we could and set up a temporary home. Then we settled in and looked at the land, wondering what we could do. As time rolled along and we understood the land better, our vision began to emerge. We started by planting olive trees with our family and offered the experience to our children to connect them to this new life.
Later I got the idea to start a chicken farm. At first it was simply about feeding people, supporting my family and being able to afford this farm. I believe deeply in the satisfaction of a hard day’s work. Over time, subjects that had been on the fringe of our belief system before have taken on everyday importance. We’ve immersed ourselves in issues of community land use, the true cost of feeding people, workers’ rights, and the humane treatment of animals.
Today, Soul Food Farm is working on redesigning the farm and adding layers of diversity that will allow us to have products and food that is harvested all year long. We are gearing up to extend the olive orchard and making planes to plant more fruit trees. Think of heirloom peaches, apricots and pears. Our lavender partnership with Morning sun Herb Farm is growing and our line of products is expanding. Rose and I started making lavender essential oil a few years ago and now have added hydrosols, culinary salts and bath products to our line of herbs and lavender that we grow here at the farm. The really big news is that we are working on a farm store and hope to have a lovely farm shop open here at Soul Food Farm next spring. We are imaging the “farm store” to be a place where we not only sell Soul Food Farm goods, but also local farm food being produced in our region. Pleasants Valley Road is a historical agricultural area and small farms still produce beautiful, pesticide free food. We want to show them off and build community. We have grown up over the years and think of farming now as a way of life that changes and requires flexibility.. We are taking what we have learned from a decade of farming pastured chickens and dreaming of a farm with functionality, beauty and the time to share the fruits of our labors.