MEET THE FARMERS

Introducing the farmers & ranchers who are currently part of Kiss the Ground’s Farmland Program.

The Kiss the Ground Farmland Program funds training and soil testing that supports producers (farmers and ranchers) in transitioning landscapes and adopting management practices aligned with the principles of regenerative agriculture.

Farmer: Nathanael Siemens

Products Grown/Raised: Almonds, Lamb

Fat Uncle Farms practices dry farming which is not a yield maximizing strategy; rather it allows nature to dictate the true sustainability of agricultural production in a region. Dry farming is the practice of raising crops without the use of supplemental irrigation. All the moisture that the plants receive are from rainfall and gathered from the atmosphere or subsoil. Fat Uncle Farms practices silvopasture in which they have intentionally combined trees, forage plants and livestock together as an integrated, intensively-managed system. Connect on Instagram @fatunclefarms.

Farming, agriculture, livestock and crops

Farmer: Mathew Rose – Stark

Products Grown/Raised: Dozens of different foods from Asparagus to Zinfandel

Be Love Farm is developing a model of a diverse food production system, believing variety to be more resilient to world and climate unrest and more fun. We produce dozens of different foods from Asparagus to Zinfandel. Thus we are jacks of many trades and masters of none. While some of our fruits and veggies end up at our restaurant, Gracias Madre, in the Mission District of San Francisco, our ultimate goal is to have friends come visit us, stay a while and experience the earth’s bounty immersed in the beauty and community of Be Love Farm. After one season of annual production, our fields are returned to perennial grasses as pasture for cows and chickens to restore fertility for at least two years. Perennials grasses draw down carbon out of the atmosphere and into the soil faster then any other plants. Bovines with their four chamber stomachs (a living vat of probiotics, their manure is alive with life force) are our partners in fertility restoration. Their unique physiology allows them to extract the solar energy locked in the cellulose of grasses and deliver it to us in the usable form of meat and milk. Trees create the container for our fields, trees shade give the crops a break from the sun, reduce the wind and thus evaporation, moderate surface temperatures, and bring up minerals from deep in the earth by distributing their fallen leaves on the surface. We consider soil restoration the highest prerogative for humanity. Not only to mitigate climate change but to restore health to people and communities throughout the world. Connect on Instagram at @belovefarm.

Cuyama Lamb

nature

Farmers: Jenya Schneider and Jack Anderson

Products Grown/Raised: Lamb (Meat & Wool)

Cuyama Lamb uses their flock of fine wool sheep for range improvement—including restoration of native ecosystems—as well as fire fuels mitigation and orchard management. They work in the Cuyama Valley as well as in coastal Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Their goals are to grow healthy soils, support and regenerate native California grassland, shrub, and forest ecosystems, sequester carbon, and provide affordable and high-quality lamb for the people. Connect on Instagram @cuyamalamb.

Duvarita Vineyard

Duvarita Vineyard

Farmer: Brook Williams

Products Grown/Raised: Wine

Brook Williams has been in the wine industry for over 30 years now mostly working for wineries in finance, marketing and general management until she finally purchased several existing vineyards, today the Duvarita Vineyard group, in 2012 and 2013.  One was already Biodynamic and the other she converted to Biodynamics. In 2015, Brook and team purchased one of the neighboring properties which had significant prime farmland which she felt obligated to improve and keep productive. Since she has been learning and reading as much as she can over the past few years about biodynamic farming principles for crops outside of grapes. The Kiss the Ground Farmland program is the continuation of her experience i that journey. Connect on Instagram @duvarita.

Farmer: Mikayla Birschbach 

Products Grown/Raised: Grass-fed Milk

Mikayla is a beginning farmer enrolled in the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship. Through the apprenticeship program she has the opportunity to start her own farming business, which began with renting an 80 acre farm and managing the farm and animals on the farm regeneratively. Mikayla desires to farm in this way because she wants to promote and foster healthy soil, animals, and environment on and around the farm.

Spring Rise Dairy is a 20 cow dairy farm located in northern Minnesota. The mission is to produce high quality milk from regeneratively grazed and managed dairy cows for our customers. They focus on using regenerative farming practices to allow their farm to be economically and environmentally sustainable. Through the farm they want to provide a viable and attainable model of a dairy farm, and to show how dairy farms can thrive. Connect with them on Instagram @springriseregenerativedairy.

Kandarian Organic Farms

Farmer: Larry Kandarian

Products Grown/Raised: Ancient Grains & Seeds, Legumes, Pollens, Herbs

Kandarian Organic Farms are connecting people to the land through real food produced on our small, but mighty farm on the Central Coast of California. Modern agricultural practices favoring efficiency and profit have erased much of nature’s diversity and nutrition from modern diets, but Kandarian is changing all of that. They select our crops for their benefit to the earth and for their nutritional, cultural and culinary value to humans. They grow plants, herbs and grains that tell rich stories. They observe and honor the needs of our farm’s small ecosystem. This means we maintain our crops’ genetic integrity without modification and we celebrate biodiversity. Our methods put quality and care first so we harvest and process crops when they are at their peak and ship them to you in containers that lock in goodness and minimize cost and our carbon footprint. Connect on Instagram @kandarianorganicfarms​.

Farmer: Molly Taylor

Products Grown/Raised: Pastured lamb & poultry, olive oil, lavender, honey, eggs

Our ranch is regenerative in the sense that it is a lens we use when making critical management decisions. We want soil health to inform what cover crops we plant, when we move our livestock, and how we maintain our orchards. It isn’t the sole language we adopt when discussing management decisions, but it does mean that if it’s going to damage our soil we consider that a loss of valuable carbon, water, and nutrients. When you consider these losses on a landscape scale, they matter to our bottom line, the health of our animals and crops, and to those who consume them. Connect on Instagram @pt.ranch.

Nuss Farms

Products Grown/Raised: Garlic, Sunflowers, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Wheat, Corn

Nuss Farms is a fifth-generation family farming operation in California’s Central Valley, strategically located in the San Joaquin Valley. We farm over 1,000 acres of a wide range of primarily specialty crops, including garlic, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, sunflowers, and wheat. We have always had a focus on environmental conservation and sustainable practices, but we are focusing more of our attention and resources on regenerative agriculture as a way to focus more on the end consumer, soil health, and environmental impact.

Ave 33 Farm

Farm

Farmers: Ali Greer & Eric Tomassini

Products Grown/Raised: Diverse vegetables, fruit trees, cut flowers, edible garnish 

Avenue 33 Farm is located 3 miles east of Downtown Los Angeles and supplies produce and cut flowers to restaurants, chefs, and the community. Quality produce and sustainability drive how they cultivate our hillside. The 1.2 acre urban farm focuses on using regenerative practices to grow nutrient dense food and ensure our hillside will be fruitful year after year.  They strive to increase biodiversity, build soil, and create a draught resilient ecosystem, and are focused on sharing our knowledge and growing practices with anyone looking to channel their green thumbs through work days, classes, tours, and collaborating within our community. They hope to be a resource for people looking to grow food and an example of how underutilized land can help us rethink our urban landscape. Connect on Instagram @ave33farm.

Anderson Ranch

Anderson Ranch

Farmer: Neil Anderson

Products Grown/Raised: Wheat, Barley, Safflower, Canola, Grain and Grass Hay, and Cattle

Neil Anderson is a 6th generation farmer who watched people farm his whole life, wondering “why are you doing it that way?” He’s tried new ways to farm, succeeded at some and failed at others, and has found what works for the Anderson Ranch in Birds Landing, CA.

Farmers:Wil and Carly Crombie

Products Grown/Raised: Tree-Range™ Chicken, Hazelnuts, Elderberries, Chestnuts, Oak (for timber), Sugar Maple and countless other crops and species across the farm and homestead.

Wil Crombie is a farmer and filmmaker living in Southern Minnesota. He and his wife Carly homestead their land they lovingly call the Organic Compound. They have been gathering friends and family for nearly a decade working on restoration projects there. Wil is also a co-owner of Regeneration Farms and the Tree-Range™ Chicken brand, a food business and network of farmers raising chickens with tree crops. Trusting in the momentum of this work, Wil and Carly became the first commercial scale site for this regenerative brand. Since then they have transformed 40 acres of his family’s land from a conventionally farmed cropland into a thriving ecosystem. Together they planted over 20,000 trees and shrubs and began integrating animals along with perennial and annual alley crops – returning natural cycles to the once monoculture landscape.

His prayer is that he can share this story of restoration, community building and business development with the world and somehow play a role in bringing about a healthier food system and healthier communities. He wants to see farms across the landscape growing trees, integrating livestock, increasing biodiversity, healing our soils, replenishing our aquifers and generating healthy food and lifestyles. They think farmers deserve a decent living wage and citizens deserve healthy food, and that that should and can be achieved while regenerating the planet’s ecosystems.

Wil has witnessed this potential on a small scale in their backyard and have participated in taking this vision broad acre on his family’s land. He have also been blessed to witness this transformation on many other farms across the Midwest. This connection to the land and community is what makes this work so inspiring for the Crombie’s, and the desire to heal the planet is what drives them to do the work that they do. Connect on Instagram @organiccompoundmn or @regeneration_farms.

Donate to Fund a Farmer Scholarship

Our Farmland Program provides scholarships for producers to attend trainings and provides the technical support needed for them to successfully transition to soil focused regenerative agricultural management practices. 

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