Our annual Open Farm day was on Saturday March 25th. In the past, these days have been primarily for CSA members to visit the farm and get to know their farmers and the place where their food is grown. In contrast, last year, and this year, we have hosted an almost overwhelmingly large number of visitors, mostly drawn to the farm through social media. Many of the visitors in these last couple of years had never been to Full Belly or any other farm in the past and were not CSA members. There were lots of young kids and toddlers, and a wonderfully diverse crowd, from babies to great-grandmas, and a babel of languages and ethnicities.
The day brought fabulously beautiful spring weather between rainstorms. Just the day before we had almost an inch of rain. Figuring out parking options was tricky, but Pancho and Paul spent the entire morning grading and leveling roads, trying hard to eliminate puddles and rope off safe parking so that no one would get stuck in the mud (and no one did!) One visitor got out of his car asking why we didn’t have a “real” parking lot (!), but everyone else was game and even excited to take the short walk to our big grassy lawn and kitchen where our all-from-the-farm pizza crew was hard at work putting together wood-oven fired pizzas and salad for lunch.
I lead the 4-person parking crew — and despite good preparation, there came a point when I wasn’t sure where the continuing flow of cars was going to be safely parked – we had filled all of our planned areas! As I talked on the radio with the rest of my small and increasingly stymied crew, suddenly Hannah, Rye and Pancho were on the spot with great ideas and logistical solutions.
The photos show some of what went on. Our tours visited the flower fields, cover crops, and the chickens. We talked to people about many different aspects of organic farming — water, compost, fertilizer, weed control, and many other food and farming subjects. Rye spent most of the afternoon driving our touring tractor trailer in circles — Every time he arrived back at the starting point, a crowd of guests clamored for another ride. Finally we had to turn a few people away after dozens of trips. The photos show kids enjoying the young lambs, finding tadpoles in our pond, and Jordan giving the first farm tour of the day.
For awhile the line of people waiting for pizza was so long that it was wondrous that people were so patient. We fed everyone, toured everyone, the only injury was a nose bleed, and a really fabulous time seemed to be had by all. It downright amazes us that so many people wanted to drive all the way out to the Capay Valley to hike around our muddy farm, and that everyone was so happy and peaceful as they picniced and relaxed here in this beautiful setting. We are humbled and even astonished at the beautiful spring day that was delivered up for our annual Open Farm Day, and at the abundance of good spirits shared among so many visitors. It is our belief, when we think about our Capay Valley, that God was happy when he made this place — we love to share its Spring beauty with visitors. Thank you to all that visited — if you are reading this. Thank you for your patience, your good spirits and your positive energy.
Many of our guests posted great photos on the Full Belly Farm Facebook page! Blessings on your meals.