News From the Farm | March 19, 2018

Hi All! My name is Ben Culver and I am the newest intern at the farm. The other interns and I have started our own project and I’d like to share with you guys what we’re getting into! 

We are starting a little market garden behind the mechanical shop, where some of past interns have also done projects. Right now we have twelve 100-feet by 2.5-feet beds prepared with various different treatments. Six of our twelve beds are largely inspired by [Read more…]

Another Potential New CSA Site

Full Belly is looking to start another new pick-up site in the Pinole area. The pick up day will be on Friday with the hours to be determined. See our web site to place your order. Please help us spread the word and tell your family, friends and co-workers about this new CSA site – Thanks!

Add These Delicious Treats to Your CSA Box

We can deliver the following products with your CSA box to your pick-up site.  For additional information about any of these products email or phone us (800-791-2110).

Carrots Tea Cakes – $10 for a 1 lb loaf.

Candied Walnuts – $8/ half pound.

Candied Citrus Peel – $8 for a 4-oz jar.

Apricot Jam – This delicious jam is made from Full Belly organic Apricots plus a little organic sugar and lemon juice. $8 for a 9-oz jar or $90 for a case of 12.

Peach Jam – Made from Full Belly organic peaches, plus a little organic sugar and lemon juice. $8 for a 9-oz jar or $90 for a case of 12.

Tomato Jam – The only ingredients are Full Belly organic Early Girl tomatoes, organic sugar and organic lemons.  A nice short list of ingredients and a perfect balance between sweet and acid. $8 for a 9-oz jar or $90 for a case of 12.

Marmalade – Bright and sweet, our marmalade is made with Full Belly Farm organic navel oranges, organic lemons and organic sugar.  We make our jams and marmalades in small batches to preserve the flavor and color of the fruit. $8 for a 9-oz jar or $90 for a case of 12.

Safflower Oil – Our organically grown safflower makes oil that is a deep, rich yellow color.  This oil is buttery and earthy in flavor.  It can be used in high-heat cooking.  Stored it in a cool, dark place, it will keep for a year after opening.  You can order 250 mL ($12) or  500 mL ($20).

Olive Oil – Organically grown olives pressed on a non-organic certified press.  $15 for 250mL  or  $27 for 500mL.

Red Tomato Sauce  – Made with Full Belly organic tomatoes harvested at the height of the summer when they are full of incredible hot summer flavor.  The sauce is made from Roma tomatoes. Other ingredients are organic salt, rosemary and oregano.  The bottles are shelf stable until opened — Refrigerate after opening. $12.00 for 24-oz bottle, $120 for a case of 12. 

Fermented Olives – These Ascolano olives have been fermented and have a mild effervescence. They are tangy and bold.  Ingredients are Full Belly Farm organically grown green olives, water & salt. $8 for a pint.

Pomegranate Juice – Unpasteurized and not diluted — this juice is just the pure product pressed from our organic pomegranates harvested late in the fall of every year.  This juice is an incredible source of vitamin C — it’ll cure what ails ya! The juice is frozen when we put it into your CSA box, but is likely to have started to defrost by the time you get it home.  Please store it in your refrigerator. $7 for a pint  or  $13 for a quart

Lamb Bone Broth – This broth is made by simmering lamb bones overnight. It is incredibly rich and satisfying.  Enjoy a fortifying cup straight from the bottle, or use it to make soups and risotto. The broth is put into your CSA Box frozen, but may start to thaw on the trip to your refrigerator.  We suggest that you keep it refrigerated and use it within 5 days. $15 for a quart.

Whole Egg Pasta – Sent to you from our freezer.  Store it in your refrigerator and use within 5 days. $8 for 12 oz

Pizza Dough – For a 14-inch pizza. $6/ dough ball. Frozen when we ship it, use within 3 days.

Sesame Seeds – $5/ quarter pound

Walnuts – $12/ pound 

Cornmeal – Contact us for information about the  corn varieties that we offer as cornmeal or corn kernels. 

Sun Dried Peaches – $5/ half pound

Sun Dried Figs – $5/ half pound 

Wheat Flour –  Contact us for information about our heirloom wheat flour varieties, also sold as wheat berries. 

News From the Farm | March 12, 2018

Hannah and Dru today continuing their passion.

“It wasn’t as if the flowers themselves held within them the ability to bring an abstract definition into physical reality. Instead it seemed that…expecting change, and the very belief in the possibility, instigated a transformation.”

The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

My daughter Hannah and I share a passion for cut flowers. Actually passion might be too light of a word – obsession might be more appropriate.  We scour seed catalogs for endless hours in bed, read blogs, follow hundreds of flower growers on social media, and go to flower meetings on Sundays –our one-day off.  We beg for cuttings, attend conferences and belong to the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (who knew this even existed!) We go to seed swaps, have flower growers to the farm, lead workshops.  We lie in bed at night worrying about rain, frost, drought and wind.  Oh yes… AND we grow 15 acres of cut flowers at Full Belly Farm.  [Read more…]

News from the Courtroom: Glyphosate

A federal court hearing in San Francisco is turning the public spotlight onto the science surrounding the safety of one of the world’s most widely used pesticides, a weed killing chemical called glyphosate (branded Roundup) that has been linked to cancer and is commonly found in our food and water and even in our own bodily fluids.  More than 3000 plaintiffs suing Monsanto allege that exposure to Roundup caused them or their family members to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Plaintiffs claim that there’s a link between Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Two experts called to the stand contended that the study linking glyphosate and cancer has “serious issues and flaws” and should not be given much weight by the judge, who has to decide which scientific evidence a jury should consider if the case makes it to trial. The research at issue, the Agriculture Health Study, investigated risks associated with pesticides among users in North Carolina and Iowa over several decades. The study was backed by the National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health.

The judge presiding over the case for the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, actively questioned witnesses about their research. A pathologist said research showed about 60 percent of farmers had glyphosate in their urine after a day of application.  A decision is expected in the next few months.

News From the Farm | March 5, 2018

Open Farm Day Saturday March 24

Full Belly Farm Open Farm Day is coming up soon on Saturday March 24th.  It is likely to be a beautiful Spring day, perfect for an outing to the country.  It is your opportunity to enjoy the lovely flowers growing in our farm fields, visit our lambs, take a tour of the farm, and picnic on pizza from our wood-fired oven.

A visit to your local family farm is a way to get back in touch with where your food is coming from. Maybe you will figure out something more about the people who are growing the cabbage, potatoes and collards that you get every week in your CSA box. Or maybe you will enjoy the opportunity to smell a handful of the soil at Full Belly — soil that has been managed organically since 1985. Maybe you will just want to bring a friend and picnic on the green lawn in the Spring sun, a time to get away from city sounds. [Read more…]

News From the Laboratory: Nutrition of Organic Foods

I recently came across a great web site put together by my friend Chuck Benbrook.  The web site is a source of science resources and information about food and food policy.  Here’s a nutrition nugget that I thought might interest readers:

“Most consumers initially seek out organic food in the hope of avoiding pesticide residues, food additives, genetically engineered ingredients, and a long list of other substances that certified organic farmers and organic food companies cannot use.  

“Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture has officially acknowledged that organic farming systems lighten agriculture’s environmental footprint, combat global warming by sequestering extra carbon in the soil, and promote biodiversity. 

“In recent years science has identified another reason to purchase organic food — improved nutritional quality.

“A solid body of research now confirms that on average, and across production years, regions, and different soil types, organic farming increases the concentration of a variety of health-promoting nutrients in plant-based foods (fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts).  While this body of work has not convinced everyone that organic food is more nutritious, it has clearly moved the scientific consensus in that direction.”

News From the Farm | February 26, 2018

I love my woodstove. Every cold night in winter, I fall more and more in love with the glow of fire, its warmth, comfort, and protection. So as I sit by the wood stove, penning this note, stoking another evening log into the firebox, I can’t help but wonder how the young and emerging seedlings out in the greenhouse are faring on this rapidly freezing night. With so many young plants, most of which are very cold sensitive, checking in on them like I did with my own children sleeping in the night, is pure instinct. After a week of substantially low temperatures and freezing weather, the safe haven of the greenhouses have been nearly breached, as heavy frost has encased the poly sheathed hoop houses and fatal cold has endangered plants closest to the outside walls. In the past, I have woken up to “frozen and fried plants” many times over the years, so I know that growing plants in a greenhouse is a 24/7 responsibility. Tonight, on this especially cold evening, I will check the greenhouse one more time before I go to bed. 

[Read more…]

Spread the Word

Being the busy farmers that we are, we don’t usually have time or budget to work on marketing our CSA program.  If you would like to help your community access fresh, local, organic, nutritious fruits and veggies from Full Belly Farm, we can send you our 8.5 x 11 flyers.  We can make the flyer specific to your pick-up location, and we can send them electronically or leave hard copies at your site.   Thanks!

Veggie Tips

Beets:  A trilogy of recipes on our web site fit this week’s box well — Roasted Beet Salad, Julienned Carrot Salad and Leeks Vinaigrette

Carrots: See our Recipe of the Week


Broccoli Raab or Mizuna:  These wonderful greens have some welcome winter bitterness in their flavor that we hope you enjoy.  Use like other greens, lightly cooked over rice or pasta.

Collards: Here is a delicious recipe for your collard greens: Heat some oil and cook some bacon until crisp.  Remove the bacon, add some chopped leeks to the pan and cook until tender.  Add a little bit of chopped garlic and cook until just fragrant.  Add the collard greens, coat them with the bacon fat, then add a cup of water or chicken broth, cover the pan, and simmer for 30 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper, a bit of lemon, and some red pepper flakes.  Add back the crumbled bacon.  

Leeks:  Leeks can be featured braised or in soup.  On the other hand, they are a great beginning to veggie stir fry.


Salad Mix/ Lettuce

News From the Farm | February 19, 2018

What was most notable about the farm this last week was how a series of gently warm afternoons created just sufficient enough enticement to inspire many plants and crops into an explosion of blooms and young leaves.  The nights and mornings were cold, which meant cold fingers in the packing shed when the first of the day’s harvested crops arrived to be rinsed and packed.  But by early afternoon the days were warm, and the blessings of life were impossible to ignore in this beautiful Valley.

At this time of year many of our fields are growing cover crops.  These are crops that we grow to feed the soil — we don’t harvest them for sale.  Cover crop roots harvest deep nutrients and bring them to the surface for future crops.  Cover crop leaves harvest nitrogen from the air.  When turned back to the soil these crops build organic matter and feed microbial life, and those microbes in turn play a miraculous part in feeding the crop roots that follow in our fields.  

[Read more…]

Veggie Tips

Broccoli:  Broccoli is a real super food, and one that aids in digestion, lowers cholesterol, and increases mineral uptake into the body.  It also boosts the immune system, protects the skin, and improves ocular health.  In sum: eat your broccoli!! It is REALLY good for you!

Purple Carrots: These carrots are earthier than their orange counterparts, and, to the delight of my children, will turn your mouth purple when eaten raw.  Our favorite way to eat carrots is to cook them in a small frying pan with a little bit of water, a little bit of honey, a little bit of salt, and a little bit of butter.  No exact recipe needed here, just toss it all in the pan and simmer until the carrots are tender.  

Dino Kale: If you don’t like eating kale by itself, try adding the shredded leaves to soups or pasta!  I love it sautéed with olive oil and green garlic, with a bit of lemon juice and salt, and topped with a strong goat cheese.

Butternut Squash: If you are tired of eating butternut as a savory dish, try making it into a pumpkin pie, or adding some purée into your favorite muffin recipe.  I love it in sweet things and has so much more meat than a traditional pie pumpkin.

Leeks: I absolutely love the buttery flavor of leeks.  A member of the allium family, leeks can be used in place of onions, garlic, or chives.  The easiest way to clean leeks is to chop off most of the tough green top (leaving a little bit), and then make a cut right down the middle of the light green and white parts, splitting the leek in half.  You want to leave a bit of the top uncut.  Then turn the leek so that the uncut half is facing up, and make another cut down the middle, so that the leeks is cut into fourths.  Holding the uncut bit at the top, swish the ribbons of leeks at the bottom in a bowl of water. 

Rutabagas: A rutabaga is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip, and the leaves are also edible as a leaf vegetable, like kale or chard.  The rutabaga originated in Scandinavia, where it grows wild.  It can be roasted, baked, boiled, added to soups, or eaten raw in salads.

News From the Farm | February 12, 2018

103rd Annual Capay Valley Almond Blossom Festival

Every February, the Capay Valley celebrates the number one cash crop in Yolo County: the almond or “ahh-mand” as they are pronounced around here. While we can all agree that a glass of almond milk is delicious, in our area, local farmers don’t only grow them for their juice. They are also roasted, turned into butter, made into soap, and even eaten in ice cream!

[Read more…]

Open Farm Day

You are all invited to join us at the farm on Open Farm Day, Saturday March 24th. Details will be available soon, for now we wanted you to get it on your calendar.

Veggie Tips

Broccoli: The word broccoli comes from the plural of the Italian word “broccolo,” which means the flowering head of a cabbage.  You can boil it, steam it, roast it, or my favorite way: blanch it quickly, dry it well, and then blacken it in a cast iron skillet.  Pour some garlic infused oil over it and salt it.  Scatter a few lemon slices, sliced paper thin.  

Napa Cabbage:  The best kind of cabbage for slaw (in my opinion)!  It is far more tender and delicate than a green or purple cabbage.  It is great both cooked and raw.  It contains lots of Vitamin A and C.

Carrots:  See our Recipe of the Week. Our carrots are super sweet this time of year, even with the warmer weather we have been having.  We grow a variety called Nantes.  Try grating the carrots and adding them to the Napa Cabbage in your box for a fun cole slaw!

Oranges: The navel oranges in your box are a cultivar called Washington Navel — but they are grown in our own orchard, not imported from Washington!  Navel Oranges were first brought to California in 1870 where the fruit became known as “Washington”. Oranges and grapefruit are pretty much the only fruits we eat in the winter here at the farm.  In addition to eating them plain, you also add the juice and zest to salad dressings, muffins and cakes.

Green Garlic:  See our Recipe of the Week. One of the most special and unique things that we grow.  Green garlic is just garlic, before it has bulbed up and dried down.  The flavor is mild and creamy.  We use it in place of onions and shallots, in scrambled eggs, and any other place you would find garlic.  

Dino Kale: This kale has so many other names!  It is also called lacinato, cavalo nero, Tuscan and black kale.  It is wonderfully hearty with lots of flavor.  One of my favorite ways to eat is is shredded and raw, with a good homemade caesar dressing and torn bread croutons.   

Potatoes: See our Recipe of the Week. There are more than 200 varieties of potatoes grown in the United States.  Here on the farm, we grow several varieties, including bintje, german butterball, french fingerling and several more!  We eat potatoes here at Full Belly for about 6 months of the year, and enjoy them mashed, roasted and in potato salad in the warmer months. 

News From the Farm | February 5, 2018

What did the CSA member have to eat for dinner?

No, this is not the first line of a joke — “What did the CSA member have to eat for dinner… I don’t know, what? Cabbage, Squash and Arugula of course…”  No, this is our annual report on how we fed our members last year, and it shows that members had a healthy dose of variety and nutrition!

Here are the top ten items that were in the 2017 Full Belly CSA Box:

Greens (Chard, Kale, Asian Greens, Collards, Arugula)

Fruit (Oranges, Grapes, Pomegranates, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Apricots, Figs and Strawberries)



Winter Squash (Butternut, Delicata, Kabocha, Red Kuri, Acorn, Honeynut, Spahghetti, Sweet Dumpling)

Salad Mix and Lettuce



Tomatoes and Cherry Tomatoes

Cabbage (green, Napa, red and Savoy) [Read more…]

Veggie Tips

Carrots: See our Recipe of the Week.

Oranges:  Delicious Washington navels, sweet and juicy.

Bok Choi:  Crispy stems and delicious sweet leaves make a wonderful contrast in a stir fry.  Include a little sesame oil, sesame seeds (see below, you can order some of ours!), ginger or garlic.

Collards: Collards can take a little bit more cooking than the Bok Choi – this is a hearty green. Try our collard casserole

Butternut Squash:  Our staple as far as winter squash goes.  We are alternating the weeks by switching out winter squash and potatoes in your box.  Butternut usually has a small seed cavity, so there is a lot of nutrition and energy packed into each squash.

Dill: Can be added to seafood, yogurt, potato salads, fresh-baked breads and soups.  It can also be used as a garnish like parsley.  Many herbs are full of anti-inflammatory and antiviral substances.

Leeks:  See our Recipe of the Week.  At this time of year we have spring onions, spring garlic and leeks all available from the Allium family.

Spinach: See our Recipe of the Week, or try making spinach flan!

News From the Farm | January 29, 2018

Last week, farmers from Full Belly as well as from several other Capay Valley farms, left their winter farm work behind and got together for the Ecological Farming Association’s (EFA) 38th annual EcoFarm Conference.  With workshops organized around 12 themes (like ‘Soil, Roots, Water’ or ‘Activist, Policy and Community’), there was an impressive line-up of activities to choose from, not to mention old and new friends to walk with on the beach where the waves were crashing so powerfully that they could be heard all over the sprawling grounds.

The conference, which now attracts well over a thousand people from far and wide, has its roots in a small gathering in 1981 in Winters California, 11 years after the first Earth Day and 8 years after several farmers sitting around a kitchen table formed California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF).  Several years later, EFA was founded and Dru Rivers of Full Belly Farm served as an early Executive Director.  [Read more…]

Veggie Tips

Carrots:  These Nantes carrots are the sweetest this time of year, when the weather is the coolest.  We enjoy them raw, grated into salads, roasted with honey and thyme, as well as in soups and stews.

Oranges: Oranges are high in fiber, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.  In addition to eating them raw, try them in savory salads or even stir fry, to add a hint of sweetness and acid into a dish.  In the Full Belly Kitchen, we make candied orange peel out of the rind, which we then add to sweet treats or jam.  

Dino Kale: Kale is one of the world’s healthiest foods.  It is actually a member of the cabbage family.  We love growing it here for many reasons, one of which is that it does not mind getting frosted!  Steam the leaves (after removing the tough stems) with a little bit of sea salt.  Add a squeeze of lemon and some goat cheese for an easy side dish.

Fresh Onions:  Fresh onions are much milder than a dried onion, and can be eaten raw in salads.  We use it often in pasta dishes as well, sautéed in plenty of butter or olive oil.

Potatoes:  When potato plants bloom, they send up a five lobed purple flower.  Marie Antoinette liked the flowers so much that she would put them  in her hair. Potatoes originated in South America, and have now grown to be the fifth most important crop in the world, right up there with wheat and corn.

Rutabagas: A rutabaga is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. Rutabagas are great for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.  See our Recipe of the Week. You can also make mashed rutabagas.  We peel them, boil them just like you would a potato and then mash them (also like a potato) with butter or olive oil and salt.  Add potatoes and have mashed potatoes with rutabagas — that’s the best. Just as puréed potatoes can be a great thickener for a soup, I think rutabagas are even better — they add a creamy texture to a soup.

News From the Farm | January 22, 2018

Full Belly has been investing in solar power for a couple of decades by installing roof-top solar panels on several of our big barns. The solar power that the panels generate is hooked into the vast electrical grid and is used to pump water for irrigation and to cool our fruits and vegetables.  Harvesting the huge amount of light that arrives from the sun every day isn’t an activity confined to the plants and crops that we are cultivating!

Last week, we completed another step in generating electricity from solar power, and this time it is off the grid and not on a rooftop.  Amon and Jenna (two Full Belly owners) recently acquired a parcel of land  on the west side of the Valley, just across the highway from the main farm, that had no power drop.  With the help of Sustainable Technologies, a company based in Alameda, we designed and installed a stand-alone system that will be able to power a pump and irrigation system on the property. [Read more…]