News From the Farm | January 11, 2021

2020 in Photos  — 

We hope that all of our readers had a wonderful New Year and Holiday season. During our Full Belly Farm break, we enjoyed gardening, home improvement projects, farm maintenance and time with family.  We fired up our greenhouse and got ready for seedling production, we laid a new concrete slab on the south side of our packing shed and ordered seeds for 2021.

This week, we are going to present one photo from each month of 2020. Some of the same cycles pictured from last year will continue in 2021.  Twelve photos can’t tell a year’s story — there are so many people not mentioned and so many activities not remembered.  This is just to whet your appetite!


January: Pruning our fruit trees — peaches, plums and apricots  — keeps a small crew busy, including Jose in this photo, for several winter months.  The crew is aiming for a strong, open framework on each tree.

February: We will be growing seedlings in our greenhouse and then transplanting them into our fields when the ground is dry enough.  This photo shows Andrew and interns (Heather and Fiona) transplanting lettuce.  In some ways, the farm has two production seasons, one cool and one hot.  During cool weather, it is greens, greens, greens…


March: In 2020, March brought a hard freeze that damaged our first grapes, and burnt our pomegranates, peaches and emerging potatoes.  The month was full of change because of Covid — with CSA numbers doubling in the space of six weeks, sites closing, schedules changing, new home delivery routes for the CSA, and lots of people adding dry goods onto their orders.  This photo shows Jose in the packing shed cleaning CSA boxes.  

April: Two people, Jan and Bonifacio, are a critical part of coordinating the daily harvest.  This photo shows Jan in our onion field last April.  By this time last year we had tomatoes growing under row cover and the fields were already well on the way to summer.  


May: We plant multiple fields of tomatoes. In each field, the plants are transplanted into prepared beds and then trellised.  This photo shows a crew installing the stakes for the trellis.  

June: Community organizations responded valiantly to the increased need for food aid for thousands of newly unemployed.  One of those organizations was the Solano Land Trust, working with local farms and ranches to source donations for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties.  This photo shows Land Trust employee and Full Belly neighbor Jordan collecting donations.  Some weeks his truck was completely full.


July:  By this time in the season, the harvest takes over everyone’s full time attention.  Here is Bonifacio with melons and basil, just one of many trips he makes from the field to the packing shed every July work day.

August: There were several days last August when it was 112º by early afternoon and we were starting to describe ourselves as “sweltering” in place.  Then there was the lightning storm — this photo shows one of many strikes in the hills just south of the farm. Despite the explosion of wildfires and the fire danger in the Capay Valley that spread all the way to the Valley floor, our crew continued to come to work, knowing that they were essential workers.


September:  During the summer we put a lot of fruit out to dry but soon after the Equinox as day length shortens, fruit drying comes to an end.  For 2021, we recently purchased an electric fruit dehydrator and expect to switch a lot of our dried fruit production over.

October: The 2020 olive harvest was smaller than the year before, in part because of that March freeze. Ben and Lyla played a part in the 2020 olive harvest.  October is also when we generally harvest our walnuts. 


November: We usually transplant from tractors, but here is our crew planting onion seedlings the old fashioned way.

December: Here is a beautiful field of leeks, many of which were destined for CSA boxes.