Theme: Rye Muller

News from the Farm | August 7, 2023

In honor of National Farmer’s Market Week, I would like to thank all of you who attend farmer’s markets regularly; you are directly supporting small (and often, family) farms like ours and also nourishing yourself with the best food on Earth! I also want to encourage those of you who’ve maybe never been to one to give it a try. Farmer’s markets are a great opportunity to meet the people who grow your food and to develop a real and lasting understanding of what you choose to put into your body and why. My personal market-going has gone through several iterations over the years, from toddling around the market stand, to being a marketeer, to managing our Tuesday market in Berkeley for six years. These days, I help my parents manage our Saturday market in Palo Alto. The following is an account of one such Saturday last month that I think I’ll never forget… [Read more…]

News from the Farm | November 28, 2022

Grandpa Joe hands out fresh milk to a happy customer at Story Road Drive-in Dairy

Good day to you all,

A warm north wind flowed down through the valley this Thanksgiving. As a river flows between its banks, the wind wandered between mountain ranges that cradle the land we care for. Trees now shimmer orange and undo their summer leaves, helped by the wind’s gentle fingers. An early frost painted the valley with the most spectacular fall colors I can remember. Deep amber, burnt orange, sweet reds and yellows all aglow. A serene exhale. A wave, goodbye for now, and in a mere blink of an eye, the whole landscape seems to be drifting off under winter’s spell. Early rains, of whose moisture ran deep into the soil, now bear their gift: a green glimmer beneath the gray foothills and pastures. Those rains washed away the dust and whispered songs of hope to all farms across the West. As we long for more, we must give thanks for the opening remarks they’ve given on behalf of this rainy season. It wasn’t just the dust they washed away, but the urgency of summer. Immediately following the first rain and cold of the year, there is a palpable heave felt for miles. A pressure valve released. We have time! Time to release our own leaves; successes, failures, milestones…memories. Winter’s gift to us farmers is this time, and the patience to digest and put to rest all of the leaves. [Read more…]

News From the Farm | June 21, 2021

News from the farm this week is that it’s been scorching hot! The summer’s first big heat wave sent us scrambling to keep our summer crops happy. Our irrigation crew has pulled miles of drip tape out to quench those thirsty plants that have grown with only a few overhead irrigations. We are working hard to dig the spring’s last potatoes and get them into our coolers. Sheep graze cabbage fields ensuring that no more will be put into your weekly boxes! We are trying to get all our weeding and cultivating done before our impending summer crop harvest of tomatoes, melons, peppers, and more, consumes every last set of able hands on the farm.


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News From the Farm | April 20, 2020

Rye with his sons Waylon (right) and Oakley  —  

There is a contagious kinetic energy more alive than ever before on the farm this spring. A mix of feelings; most of which are new, some of which are renewed. The sense of duty and pride we all feel, now more than ever, that our collective toil is essential. Our oath as farmers to you, through good times and bad. Our bond strengthens with our devotion to each other. That we may continue to sow the seed against all uncertainty. Behind the masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and our individual incertitudes, our work is how we serve our community. [Read more…]

News From the Farm | February 18, 2019


More like Winter

It’s wet.  In the last week, we have seen nearly five inches of rainfall here in the Capay Valley.  That is almost one quarter of our annual recorded rain! On Thursday morning, Cache Creek crested at 11,000 cubic feet per second ripping through the floodplain.  I watched full-sized trees carried effortlessly down the river. Then, less than five hours later, the river retreated to 3,000 cf/s in an amazing display of our watershed in action. Friday left us snow-capped peaks to dazzle over. As the weather played cat and mouse, I watched in awe. Rainbows, warm sunny moments and cold torrential rain were blended seamlessly throughout the day.  As the sun returns this week, I watch the water slowly recede into the ground and I cannot help but sigh with relief. I know that on cold wet days like these, trees tap their roots down a little further. Buds on the trees take one more day to swell before they flower and fruit. Birds wait and rest one more day before spring brings the nest. The carrots shiver and sugar their flesh as they await the farmer’s hands.  And the farmer waits blissfully as the storm passes, eager to sow the new season’s crops. [Read more…]

News From the Farm | May 14, 2018

I wanted to learn what work was when I started as an official employee at Full Belly Farm eight years ago. Not work at a desk for lots of money, but work with my hands for myself. This kind of work is very romantic. To fall in love with toil. To trust in the abilities of my mind and hands, and to have faith in it all.  [Read more…]

News From the Farm | January 4, 2016

New Year Resolutions

Ahh… January. The time to reflect on the past year and think about what we want to do differently or better next year. Here are some resolutions and reflections for 2016 collected from around Full Belly Farm:

“I resolve to do more pruning – making time to cut out more of my deadwood, looking to trim back diseased branches and snip here and there to stimulate growth and renewal. I also resolve to help all at Full Belly practice the words of collaboration; the spirit of cooperation; the language that reduces tension – while listening more carefully to hear and acknowledge what others are saying. Also to exercise more by playing more – doing it early and often …” 

— Paul Muller, Owner and Best Grandpa [Read more…]

News From the Farm | November 23, 2015

Eagle in November

By Rye Muller

Still, smoky air settles in the valley

The hills appear as paintings in fall’s cold haze

Days of November

Yesterday we sowed our cover crops,

Today, rain falls kindly on that soil

Seeds set free

Fruit trees that speckle our land

Welcome winter winds

Yellow leaves blanket orchard floors [Read more…]

News From the Farm | June 29, 2015

A Midsummer’s Daydream

Fellow herbivores, omnivores and carnivores, I have a few words and thoughts to share. Take heed as you read this letter, because I mean for this Beet to ignite. A charge in my body pulses through me. No other thoughts invoke such a feeling in me. I cannot help that my hands, my mind, and my soul care so much about food! The pulse I have been charged with I feel I must share. Now more than ever the world must eat organic!  

Growing up on a farm I was thrown into the mud at a pretty young age. Watching my parents work so hard for what they believed in seemed so crazy to me then. However, not getting my parents full attention as a little tyke opened my awareness to the things I could feel around me. Ever since I was a baby, my hands always reached for the dirt.  I fell for it immediately. Most of my childhood pictures would confirm that I even had an appetite for it. Lucky for me the dirt I was holding was healthy, rich and clean.  In just a handful of that sweet soil I wasn’t aware of the trillions of bacteria happily living in it. Nor was I aware that the 100 trillion bacteria in my gut were probably the ones telling me to eat it! I believe that there is an evolutionary romance between our gut bacteria and those in the soil. Pesticides and Antibiotics are like the third wheel on this bacterial honeymoon.  We don’t need them – in fact, they are destroying our guts! Organic soil systems capture more carbon, use water more efficiently in droughts, and produce healthier disease-resistant crops – and all because it is good, organic dirt.  Buying organic is a vote for healthy soils. [Read more…]

News from the Farm | February 10, 2014

I woke up today feeling like a kid again. I slid on my boots, swooped up baby Rowan, and went out in search of the biggest puddle we could find to splish-splash around in. Then we ran down to the creek together to see if the water level rose. These are all things I would do every time it rained when I was kid – and I have to admit it still gets me going today. Both Rowan and I agreed that we had had our first good rain.

After fifty-two consecutive days without a drop falling from the sky, precipitation has finally blessed us. All of our rain dances on the farm, the prayers before bed, and the longing for those rainy days inside; it’s finally upon us. Living here my whole life, I can tell you there is nothing like being on the farm in the rain. The farm erupts in a song; the farmers all yip for their first half day of work, the worms all pop their heads out, the blackbirds cry from the willow trees and the plants sing out with happiness. I can’t help but smile walking through the rain as the song rings in my ears and I feel the drops on my face. Amidst the driest winter ever recorded, the farmers who have been growing more and more worried can at least sleep tonight listening to the chorus of rain singing on the tin roof.  [Read more…]