Theme: farm update

News from the Farm | June 24, 2024

The solstice was last Thursday so now it’s officially summer. But even without looking at a calendar, we knew it – it tastes, looks, feels, and sounds, and smells like summer. 

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News from the Farm | June 3, 2024

May is a busy month for us. It’s a crucial time for summer preparation, all while we’re in peak spring harvest, so a blur of activity and change. It’s the time of year where things happen fast; seemingly in the blink of an eye, the hills around us changed from green to golden brown and spring crops are either harvested or bolt in the heat before we can get to them. Fruit, like peaches and plums, are sizing up and starting to take on some color.

Here’re some photos and notes to show some of what we’ve been up to the last couple weeks of May:

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News from the Farm | April 8, 2024

Every week while managing our South Berkeley farmers market stand, I get asked over and over again “So, what’s new at the farm?”

I love this question because it is completely open-ended and forces me to synthesize all the moving parts that make up Full Belly Farm for someone who cares about us. In some ways, it’s my own short version of this weekly newsletter. 

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News from the Farm | April 1, 2024

It’s the first week of April, and it’s spring! Which means a few things:

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News from the Farm | March 11, 2024

As Dru wrote last week, we’ve had a lot of grey, cold, and wet days over the past couple weeks and months. The rain has been perfectly (or rather, unfortunately) timed to come right as things just start to dry out, which gets in the way of planting and weeding that will be crucial for abundant harvests in a late spring. Plus too many grey days in a row can start to feel a bit gloomy and monotonous. Six months from now we’ll be eagerly awaiting a cloudy, rainy day but when they’re abundant, they don’t feel special. 

We have had some bursts of sun and signs of spring (robins, flowering and budding fruit trees, sun). During these bursts of sunshine last week and the week before, there were some share-worthy happenings cataloged below! Though don’t let these photos fool you – these sunny days have been the exception.

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News from the Farm | February 26, 2024

When reporting on any farm news, it almost always seems like we need to start with the weather. Because it does have a big impact on what we do!

Last week, we started off with more wet, grey weather and by the weekend it was sunny and in the high 60s. February 23 and 24 looked quite different from this time last year when we had snow! By Saturday, it had started to dry up enough to start weeding. We’ve got a lot of weeding and planting to catch up on before it rains again, so we’re closely monitoring soil moisture.

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News from the Farm | February 5, 2024

This time of year, late January and early February, usually ends up involving a lot of watching, waiting, and then suddenly springing into action on several fronts.

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News from the Farm | October 30, 2023

This past week was a good reminder that the weather is in charge, not us. As mentioned last week, we got about an inch of rain on Sunday the 22nd, much more than was forecast. The rain washed off the thick coat of dust blanketing everything, making people and plants alike feel a little refreshed and brighter. However the rain dictated what happened during the rest of of the week and slowed us down in making progress on our long list of time-sensitive tasks. [Read more…]

News from the Farm | October 23, 2023

Farmers are always talking about the weather but this Sunday’s rain was definitely worth talking about. We got between 0.85 and 1 inch of rain, depending on which rain gauge you look at! We’ve been continuing to ease our way into fall as the days cooled down, except for a few mid-90s days last week, but this rain seems like a more concrete transition away from summer to autumn. 

Beyond the weather though, what’s been happening the last week or so? [Read more…]

News from the Farm | October 2, 2023

Our warm and cool seasons in the Capay Valley are very different seasons, marked by different crops and different weather. We find ourselves in a period of transition when the cool and warm seasons are briefly overlapping. The tomatoes and melons and other summer crops are winding down, the winter squash are reaching maturity and many varieties have been cut and cured, and we’ve started harvesting the leafy greens and roots that are signature crops of colder periods of the year. The weather also is overlapping. It was in the mid-60s on Saturday and even briefly rained, and next weekend it’s forecast to be in the 90s. Most of the days last week were beautiful days in the 80s with cool, crisp mornings.

The spectrum of things we’re currently harvesting is pretty amazing – fruits, nuts, greens, roots, solanaceous crops (eggplants, peppers, tomatoes), cucurbits (squash and cucumbers), and of course, flowers. We’re a diversified farm and always are harvesting an impressive number of things, but right now, that list of options is even more abundant. In our CSA boxes and on our farmers market tables, we’ve got a spectrum of crops spanning both seasons, though you’re less and less likely to see summer crops in CSA boxes; with each passing day, it’s slower and more difficult to pick some of those crops.  [Read more…]

News from the Farm | September 25, 2023

It’s officially fall! But even without seeing the note on the calendar about the fall equinox, there were some clear signs last week that fall was upon us: [Read more…]

News from the Farm | September 11, 2023

It’s getting to the time of the summer when everything looks a little dusty and tired, the people included, but that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of neat things to see. Need some examples? [Read more…]

News from the Farm | August 28, 2023

August is the busiest month on the farm with a never-ending list of things to do. What was keeping us busy last week?

LOTS of harvesting, packing, sorting: 

It’s been nonstop, especially for our biggest crops of the summer: melons, tomatoes, and flowers. Our heirloom tomatoes are starting to slow down, but the heirloom harvesting crew still has been hard at work harvesting, and the work won’t be winding down for a while for the crews that harvest “regular” (Early Girls, Romas, and slicers) and cherry tomatoes.  [Read more…]

News from the Farm | June 26, 2023

With the solstice this past Wednesday, it’s officially summer. But without the calendar reminder, you’d be forgiven for not realizing. We’re due for some classic June Yolo County heat later this week, but so far, it’s been remarkably temperate and cool, only in the 80s, and slightly brisk in the morning, chilly enough to wear a sweatshirt or vest.

But if you look a little closer, the signs are there that we’re in summer mode, or at least gearing up for summer, even if it’s been a slow start. [Read more…]

News from the Farm | June 12, 2023

The members of the Full Belly bike gang (Waylon and Oakley) wanted to collaborate on the Beet this week, so after a quick planning meeting late morning on Wednesday, we decided that the three of us would head out on a bike ride around the farm, take some photos, and I’d write up what we saw.  [Read more…]

News from the Farm | June 5, 2023

During the course of the year, we include some pretty cute animal photos in the Beet, like Dandelion (above) born late last week, and all the lambs earlier this spring. 

But some of the little plants give the animals a run for their money, especially the big order of transplants that we got this week. Can you guess what they are? [Read more…]

News from the Farm | May 29, 2023

Remember those tomatoes we transplanted a month ago? The work isn’t done once they’ve been transplanted; tomatoes also need to be staked and tied, and we’ve just finished staking both fields of tomatoes. We’ve planted a third field of tomatoes, but those aren’t tall enough yet to stake.

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News from the Farm | May 15, 2023

What a week! We started off with a grey, drizzly, somewhat cold Monday and on Saturday, our last workday of the week, it was in the mid-90s at the hottest point of the day. And we had some beautiful, temperate spring days in between. 

When it gets hot, that means it’s time to shear the sheep! This year, our sheep-shearer-in-chief, Rye, set up shop in the walnut orchard instead of moving the sheep across the road to the sheep barn. It was a much more pleasant experience for everyone, shearer and the shear-ees. Though there’s no getting around the fact that it’s long, hard work. It takes even an experienced shearer like Rye a few minutes to shear each sheep (4.5 for a compliant sheep without belly wool, but it can take much longer) and there’s 90 of them to shear (just the ewes, not the lambs), plus extra time to clean and lubricate the clippers, change clipper blades (about ever 10 sheep), round up the sheep, plus time to stand up, stretch, and drink some water. So it’s a process split over two days.  [Read more…]

News from the Farm | April 17, 2023

This past week, felt more like a normal spring week. After so many non-normal weeks, it took a little adjusting to – the sun and warmth, the faster pace, and even the sounds.

The most noticeable noise was the constant hum of tractors. All functioning machines were in use, preparing beds for planting, spraying compost tea in the orchard, or cultivating (farmer lingo for weeding), and there is a lot more to do after such a long period of time when it was too wet to use tractors.  [Read more…]

News from the Farm | April 3, 2023


I don’t want to jinx anything, but it seems like it might finally be spring. The calendar said spring started on March 20, but it sure hasn’t felt like it. Last Monday was freezing cold and we had more rain during the week. The forecast is showing warmer days ahead, and no rain, so we’ll finally be able to make some progress on our backlog of mowing, bed prep, planting (transplanting and direct seeding), and weeding. Among all that work, I hope we all have time to enjoy the sights of spring because it’s a beautiful time of year. Too beautiful not to share! Here’re some of the signs of spring from the past few days: [Read more…]