We recently finished our farm stay in Galt, CA with Mike, Charity, and Lynne of Kingbird Farms. Kingbird is a farm of 10-12 acres outside of Sacramento, CA. The hosts produce a HUGE, and impressively biodiverse variety of crops from their beautiful land in the Delta, including 120 fruit trees, 16 varieties of hop plants, and acres of seasonal vegetables.
Before 2013, Kingbird produced food solely for local food banks in the town of Galt and the city of Sacramento. This year, they have cultivated a farm-to-table relationship with Magpie Cafe to which they source cornmeal for polenta, eggs, and some seasonal produce. We had the great pleasure of grinding the corn for Magpie at the farm, and then enjoying a delicious breakfast of Kingbird eggs and grits at Magpie less than 24 hours later! Whaaat!? It was awesome to witness this mutually-beneficial relationship in which both parties were so in tune with what’s seasonal on the land, and in-demand on the menu.
Since 2013, Kingbird has also started a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program with 15-30 shareholders, depending on the season. We harvested beautiful produce from the garden for boxes, and met many of the members in-person on Distribution Day. We saw the CSA in a growing phase—-still testing what to grow when, prices, and marketing. Lynne, a former WWOOFer, now farm and CSA manager worked alongside the three of us everyday. Lynne is an amazing lady- she has such a vast knowledge about growing food, a patience in teaching others, and a sense of humor and wonder that made everyday a ball.
In addition to their work on the farm, Mike and Charity are instrumental figures in the Slow Food Movement to promote “good, clean, and fair food for all.” Slow Food works to support school gardens, local farmers and producers, and policies that will improve equity, and crop and farm diversity in local food systems. We left Kingbird feeling inspired by Mike, Charity, and Lynne’s passion for actualizing the idea of “farm to EVERY fork” in their daily lives.
Mike, Charity, and Lynne were also integral in helping us get involved with the local community and learn about the area they call home. One of our favorite outings was when they took us out at dusk one evening to view the Sandhill Cranes, (a migratory bird population that winters in the Delta) bed down for the night. Between the full moon and the wine, we were in WWOOFers’ paradise! We also visited the community garden that Mike organized, went to a Slow Food dinner in Sacremento, toured the local “living history” ranch down the road, watched Lynne do cyclo-cross, and walked around the now deserted town of Locke. We really appreciated Mike and Charity’s encouragement to explore and enjoy the area, and Lynne’s willingness to play tour guide and primary DJ.
After saying goodbye to Kingbird Farms, we spent a few days in LA with Allison’s family for a lovely Thanksgiving holiday, complete with all our wheatless and meatless favorites. Now, Emma and Sky are off to the last farm in Arizona, and we are missing Allison already! Come back soon Rallison!