The seeds for Terra Firma Farm were planted in the late 1980s when Paul Holmes began farming a few acres in the hills west of Winters with a few friends under the name Sky High Farm. Paul developed a following for his garlic, tomatoes, and other vegetables as one of the founding members of both the Davis Farmers Market and Berkeley Farmers Market. Sky High Farm was also one of the original members of California Certified Organic Farmers, prior to official state and federal recognition of organics.
In the early 1990s, Paul hired Hector Melendez-Lopez and Paul Underhill (Pablito) as employees. Pablito became a partner in 1993, when the name of the farm was changed to Terra Firma, and Hector joined on in 2005.
Terra Firma started its CSA in 1994 with a few dozen acquaintances at a single drop site in San Francisco’s Mission District (Capp Street). As word spread and the CSA slowly grew to include other sites in the City, the East Bay, and Sacramento. The farm grew as well. We rented additional fields for growing vegetables and leased small neglected or abandoned fruit orchards to augment the vegetables. We currently provide food for about 800 subscriber households farming around 150 acres of vegetables and 50 acres combined of fruit and nut orchards.
Before he became a partner in Terra Firma, Hector became one of its landlords when he and his family purchased 25 acres of land we were already farming, in 1999. In 2003, with the critical help of CSA subscribers, Paul and Pablito were able to finally purchase 80 acres of land. With the addition of Hector to the ownership team in 2005, Terra Firma has secure tenure on fully half the total land we farm.
Like the households of many of our subscribers, Terra Firma is a non-traditional version of a “family farm”. Nonetheless, Hector’s mother wife, Elena, and son Hector Jr., work in critical positions on the farm.
LATEST RECIPESCorn, Tomato and Red Onion Salad
Grilled Sweet Corn in the Husk
Terra Firma Potato Salad
Tomato, Green Bean & Red Onion Salad
Vegetable Saute with Cherry Tomato Salsa Cruda
Chilled Zucchini-Spinach Salad with Sesame & Pickled Ginger
Stir-Fried Chow Fun Noodles with Spinach
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The Gourmet Diet of TFF Jackrabbits
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Celebrating the 4th with Immigrant Foods
Sweet Corn. Tomatoes. Watermelon. These are items that many Americans associate with the Fourth of July holiday. Yet in most parts of the U.S., it is simply impossible to harvest a crop of any of them by July 4th. Even with … Continue reading
Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to our survey about the CSA box price increase. About a third of subscribers responded, which gave us a very good sample size and confidence in the data. Anyone who responded … Continue reading