Mark your calendar for Tuesday, September 20 – the Summer Soiree is back!
Idyllic, historic Yokayo Ranch in Ukiah sets the stage for a celebration of Mendocino and Lake county’s premier food culture. A showcase of farm to table farmers and chefs will nourish and delight guests, with specially concocted libations, local brews and vintages . It’s a party you won’t want to miss!
Event proceeds directly support our Farm Grant Program that provides critical infrastructure projects for local farms. Good Farm Fund also supports the local EBT/Food Stamp match program to ensure access to healthy food for all community members.
Ukiah, CA – Good Farm Fund, a fiscally sponsored project of North Coast Opportunities, awarded eight grants to Mendocino and Lake County farms for fire readiness and resilience.
With generous funding from Redwood Credit Union’s Community Fund and California Fire Foundation, the fire-safe grants will provide critical equipment and infrastructure supplies to small farms.
The grants illustrate that a relatively small amount of financial support can go a long way in assisting small farmers to find success in fire-prone areas. Averaging under $5,000 each, the grants will be used to purchase items such as water storage tanks, generators, chain saws, solar chargers and portable fencing.
“With hotter, drier, and longer fire seasons, small farms in Northern California must undertake measures to improve wildfire readiness,” said Caroline Radice, project coordinator of Good Farm Fund. “These grants will help local farms stay viable as weather patterns shift, and will also improve overall farm efficiency,”
Farms receiving grants are Cerro Negro Farm, Coming Home to Country Farm, Folk Life Farm, Headwaters Grazing, Inland Ranch Organics, Irene’s Garden, Rancho Mariposa & Cinnamon Bear Farm, and Wavelength Farm.
Radice adds, “We are very fortunate to have the support of Redwood Credit Union and California Fire Foundation. Both organizations have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to local agriculture.”
“The focus of Redwood Credit Union and the RCU Community Fund has long included the provision of meaningful support and immediate relief for our communities after natural disasters,” says Matt Martin, senior vice president of community and government relations at RCU. “The funding we’re supplying here helps proactively take that commitment to the next level—planning ahead to help prepare for these types of challenging times. And we’re honored to be able to help in this way.”
The grants were evaluated in coordination with the Mendocino County Fire Safe Council.
Jeannie Elizabeth Kelly of Coming Home to Country farm in Clearlake will use the grant to replace fencing destroyed during the Sulphur Bank Fire in 2017 and remove burned trees that are falling on existing fencing. “Two years after the Sulpher Bank Fire burned through my property, I was still struggling to get my head above water when the Covid-19 pandemic hit,” shared Elizabeth. “Had it not been for the Good Farm Fund grant to provide the big boost I needed, I don’t know how my farm would have survived.”
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Good Farm Fund is a fiscally sponsored project of North Coast Opportunities that aims to provide direct support to small farmers and increase local food security for underserved members of our community.
Stay tuned for details on our upcoming farm-to-table summer party, coming soon!
This pandemic changes everything about how we live daily life – how we work, learn, shop, and eat. It’s a challenging time, calling us to evolve and think and do differently in the midst of much loss, suffering, illness, and inconvenience. It is testing the fabric of our society and all of the safety nets that support vulnerable populations from the elderly to the children who depend on their school lunch to get vital nutrition.
To me, the rainbow in all of this is the way our local food system has responded with remarkable agility to find new ways to feed us. I’m awed at how organizations like the Mendo Lake Food Hub and FEED Sonoma introduced home delivery of local produce within weeks of the Coronavirus outbreak. By the time we were sheltering in place, our local food infrastructure has pivoted from a wholesale oriented system to set up consumer-direct purchasing and delivery.
In the face of devastation, local food miracles are happening all around us. Getting food to people is what local economies are good at when they are in their natural state. This is a golden moment where the local food system is better able to respond to crisis than our industrial food system. The upside of sheltering in place is that we have never been better set up to eat in place.
How to get local food
Direct from local farms
Local farms and have organically become first responders and many have been ahead of the curve in terms of public health and safety precautions. In record time, they have launched or expanded their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes (offering delivery or minimal contact pickup), opened their farm stands for additional days, and many are using social media to keep the community informed of real-time availability of food. Some are still attending weekly farmers markets. And of course, this all comes during Spring, the busiest – and cruelest – time of year for our farmers, when they are hustling to plant their crops for the season ahead. This is a working list of farms that are open to the public for direct sales. With availability & schedules changing day by day, we’ve linked to their websites and social media accounts so that you can follow them real-time. If you know of any farms missing from this list, please email us at email@example.com
While grocery store shelves are bare, we have an abundance of local food options available through the Mendo Lake Food Hub. The food Hub is a network of local farmers and producers that has rolled out home delivery in Ukiah and Willits, and is offering pickup locations in Redwood Valley, Willits, Lakeport, and Caspar.
Need eggs, flour, bread, beans, or rice? Or fancy mushrooms and the most beautiful salad mix you’ve ever seen? Order from the Food Hub! Options go way beyond local fruits and veggies – even including spices, olive oil, kombucha, and walnuts. This is like the Amazon of local food for our region, and it’s an incredible resource. You can view availability and order online. Go to www.mendolakefoodhub.com for more info and to sign up.
Additionally, the Food Hub has helped supply local produce like tangerines and sugar snap peas for school lunches to ensure that kids are receiving fresh, healthy options when the usual industrial suppliers could only meet a percentage of the schools’ needs. This is the power of regional food systems!
Shop at Local Farmers Markets
Our weekly farmers markets remain open. Shop at the farmers market to support local farmers and makers if you are 100% healthy, and consider picking up items for neighbors who may not be able to attend. Our farmers markets all offer EBT Food Stamp matching to help subsidize the cost of local food, which is one of the programs that Good Farm Fund supports.
Choose Local at the Grocery Store
Shopping for locally produced items like wine, beer, bread, cheese, olive oil, meats, and apple juice all help support our local business survive this economic downturn. Every single purchase matters. And be sure to show appreciation for all the measures our local grocers have taken to make shopping as safe as they can, including delivery and curbside pickup.
Support Local Restaurants
Add some variety to your quarantine routine and show your support for local restaurants so that they will be around when the shelter in place order lifts. Many restaurants are offering to go service for meals and even cocktails! Call them to see what their current offerings are.
Forage Wild Edibles
Use this time to get familiar with the nutrient-packed wild edibles that may be growing in your yard to add to salads, cook with, or make tea with. A quick and by no means complete list of things to look for right now:
Nasturtium flowers and leaves
Wild radish flowers
Grow your own!
Now is literally the best time to plant your victory garden. Start where you are, with what you have. Swap seeds with neighbors, pick up some starts at the Farmers Market. Start a compost pile. Check out the Gardens Project online order form for seeds & starts, with home delivery. Contact the local nurseries and see if you can place your order for starts, seeds, and amendments and pay over the phone and do curbside pickup to minimize contact. Some may even provide home delivery options. This is a time to get creative and enjoy having some time to tend our own gardens.
How to Support Low-Income Community Members
At Good Farm Fund, we have always been dedicated to two primary goals: Supporting local farms to increase the supply of locally produced food, and making local food more accessible for low-income community members, especially through the EBT Food Stamp matching program at farmers markets. Even as we shelter in place, there are many ways to support low income and vulnerable populations through time, care, and monetary contributions.
Offer to do grocery shopping, farmers market trips, or meal pick-up for community members if you are 100% healthy.
Be mindful of when you shop. Some stores are having limited access hours for elderly/at-risk populations. Keep in mind that there are certain times of the month that food benefits are issued to them. For the rest of us, let’s avoid shopping at those peak times so that WIC users can purchase qualifying items first.
Contribute to a local organization that helps feed our community such as:
Community Foundation of Mendocino County: Has raised close to $300,000 so far and have just released $65,000 from their COVID-19 Relief and Hunger Express Poverty Funds to countywide nonprofits to support food relief.
Fort Bragg Food Bank: Provides emergency groceries to low-income residents of Mendocino County, California.
Gardens Project: A network of 56 school and community gardens. Now providing home delivery of seeds & plant starts (order online here) and fundraising to build victory gardens for elders.
Good Farm Fund: Providing emergency funding to local farms and providing support for the EBT Food Stamp Matching program in Mendocino & Lake Counties.
Mendocino Coast Children’s Fund: Providing crucial support to children and other vulnerable populations on the coast in the form of books, food, gas, masks, diapers and other essential items.
North Coast Opportunities: Parent organization to so many important community initiatives including the Gardens Project, Caring Kitchen, School of Adaptive Agriculture, and the Volunteer Network
Plowshares: Community Dining Room and Meals on Wheels
6th Annual Good Farm Fund Benefit Yokayo Ranch, Ukiah
Our July 2020 event has been postponed in the interest of public health.
Don’t worry, the best feast of the year will happen! We are hoping to reschedule for sometime in September. In the coming months, we’ll be working out all the new details and will update you as soon as possible.
Sign up for our e-newsletter to get the most current event updates.
This event has become the most beloved farm-to-table experience of the summer! A Midsummer Night’s Feast is a fabulous showcase of our region’s best food & culinary talent, featuring the people who feed our community, from shovel to fork.
Local food doesn’t get better than this. In one summer evening we bring together about 20 of the area’s “local-food-forward” chefs and pair them up with our best local farms and ranches to collaborate on one of a kind seasonal plates.
Libations will include local beer, wines, designer mocktails, and the crowd-favorite craft cocktails made with locally distilled spirits from American Craft Whiskey Distillery.
Hosted outdoors at the beautiful & historic Yokayo Ranch, the evening also includes live music, and a silent auction.
Early Bird Tickets: $100 ($125 after 6/1/20)–includes all food & beverages. We expect to sell out, but if tickets are available at the door they will be $150. Courtesy note: no dogs or other pets, please.
Onsite lodging is available at Yokayo Ranch for the night of the event. However camping spots are extremely limited so place your reservation via Brown Paper Tickets today before they are gone.
Eat Well. Do Good.
Event proceeds directly support our Farm Grant Program that provide crucial funding for infrastructure development projects on local farms, and helps support the EBT/Food Stamp Match program to ensure access to healthy food for all members of our community.
Our event sponsors’ generous support is humbling. Their help and encouragement ensures that the funds raised through ticket sales, silent auctions, etc. goes to funding our important work. Thank you.
100 Women Strong Inland Mendocino Postponed – new date TBA Space Theater – 508 W. Perkins St., Ukiah, CA 95482
Make a Lasting Impact. 100 Women Strong’s giving circle is a way to magnify and focus our individual philanthropy. Their pool funds with each other to make a collective and impactful difference for small grassroots local non-profits. The Good Farm Fund is excited to be included in the slate of presenters for the first 100 Women Strong meet up of 2020. Mark your calendars for March 12th. It promises to be a fun night full of community building and support for the good work of great people. We hope to see you there!
Wednesday, January 29th 2020 6:00 – 9:00pm Cultivo, Ukiah
This is already our favorite part of the new year! Cultivo will be pairing libations from American Craft Whiskey/Tamar Distillery with a delicious surf and turf meal made with local ingredients to raise the bar on delicious and funds for the Good Farm Fund!
Join us on Jan 29th, starting promptly at 6pm ending at 9pm. Hoolis C Nation will be delivering inspired libations to accompany Fernando’s mouthwatering offerings!
As part of the county wide Winter Feast (and all things crab) come enjoy the tastes of the season at Cultivo. Tickets available now online on Facebook or in house at Cultivo!
The Good Farm is proud to bring the sixth annual Winter Feast to Barra of Mendocino (7051 N. State St., Ukiah) on Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 5-9 p.m. This always-popular event is one of the highlights of the local holiday season and includes a family-style, farm-to-table dinner developed by a team of top, local chefs including Olan Cox from Mendough’s Catering, Bridget Harrington from Patrona, Nicholas Petti from the Mendocino College Culinary Program, and Caroline Radice from Black Dog Farm Catering. The dinner will feature locally-produced cheeses and locally-raised meats, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and grains. Local beers and wines will also be available for purchase. A silent auction perfect for holiday shopping, live music from Jason Wright, and of course, great company will help make this a memorable event.
According to Chef Petti, Culinary Arts Management Instructor at Mendocino College and Good Farm Fund board member, “Last year’s event was genuinely heartwarming and truly one-of-a-kind. It’s rewarding to be involved in an event that celebrates delicious, locally grown food and invests in the future of the farmers behind the beautiful food highlighted that night.” This year’s one-of-a-kind feast will focus on the theme of reducing food waste. By incorporating ‘seconds’ from local farms, foods that maybe aren’t pretty enough for grocery store shelves, this year’s chefs will wow diners with a creative, top-quality, dining experience.
The Good Farm Fund will also announce their 2019 grant recipients during the evening. With more than $50,000 in funds being distributed, there will be a lot to celebrate. This is the fifth year the Good Farm Fund is awarding capacity-building grants to local, small farms that are made possible by farm-to-table events like this one, as well as from the generous support of this year’s foundation sponsors: Frey Winery, Redwood Credit Union, Sonoma Clean Power, and Flow Kana.
“These grants have a real, tangible impact for local farms,” says Good Farm Fund Co-Founder Caroline Radice, a farmer herself. “As a kid, I used to go berry-picking with my mom, and then she’d come home and make jam, which is how I learned about food preservation. My parents would stop at the farmers’ market or a roadside farm stand to pick up fresh green beans or corn for dinner. So many of us have wonderful memories like that. The Good Farm Fund is about honoring and continuing those traditions. It’s about creating a community with economic opportunities for small farmers, with thriving farmers’ markets, and lots of delicious, nutritious food easily available to all the people who live here.”
Tickets for the annual Winter Feast are now available online via Brown Paper Tickets (gffwinter.brownpapertickets.com), at Mendocino Book Company and Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op (sliding scale $35-$60 for adults and $15 for kids under 12). Tickets historically sell out, however, if a few lucky tickets are available at the door they will be $45.
Proceeds from the evening will support the Good Farm Fund’s farm grant program and market match program. The event is sponsored by Sonoma Clean Power, Frey Winery, Flow Kana, Redwood Credit Union, Surf Market, American Ag Credit, Ukiah Natural Foods Coop, Harvest Market, KOZT Radio, KZYX Community Radio, North Coast Opportunities, and the MendoLake Food Hub. Through fundraising events like the Winter Feast, the Good Farm Fund and those who support it, continue to help local farms thrive in our community.
Northspur Brewery, previous Homebrew festival winners and current festival sponsors, had their opening night in Willits in September — Photo by Steve Eberhard
MENDOCINO Co., 11/01/19 — The third annual Mendocino County Homebrew Festival is taking place this Saturday, November 2, the perfect time to sample the newest concoctions from your neighbors and relax after a long week of power shut-offs and wildfires. Organized by the Good Farm Fund, the event will showcase a around 30 local brewers, live music, food trucks, and vote on for the crowd favorite, and help kick off the county-wide Mushroom Feast Mendocino, which begins this week.
The event will be held on Saturday, November 2 in Ukiah from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center; you can purchase tickets in advance here, or at the Mendocino Book Company or Westside Renaissance Market. The beer selected as the “Brewer’s Choice” will be brewed at the Anderson Valley Brewing Company, and featured in a Cultivo “pint night.” Right next door, you’ll also get to enjoy sidewalk sales from the Greater Ukiah Business and Tourism Alliance, and additional offerings from local favorites American Craft Whiskey and Willits’ newest brewery, a former winner at previous festivals, Northspur Brewing.
“We expect around 30 top home brewers offering over 50 selections including a few ciders and other surprises, plus a range of hard to find bonus taps from our sponsors. The event will feature live music, a rare beer auction and the opportunity for attendees to vote for the people’s choice winners. A panel of local master brewers will be on hand also working to select the Brewer’s Choice champion beer which will be brewed at Anderson Valley Brewing Company and featured in their tap room and in Ukiah at a pint night at Cultivo. This year there will also be a parallel outdoor event put on by the Greater Ukiah Business and Tourism Alliance that will include sidewalk sales by nearby School Street merchants, games, beer from new brewing company Northspur Brewing of Willits, wine and a tasting opportunity by American Craft Whiskey along with Farm to Table food from local food trucks.”
The pumpkin and winter squash patch of local farmer Ben Wolff. Hard at work is Otis the dog.
MENDOCINO Co., 9/19/19 — Since 2015, the Good Farm Fund has provided over $100,000 in grants to more than 50 small local farms, and now the non-profit is opening its largest round of grant funding yet: $50,000 available in funding to small farms in Mendocino and Lake counties. The non-profit organization works to support the development of our local “foodshed” in part by providing funds for farmers to improve their infrastructure, implement more sustainable practices, and increase production of affordable, locally-grown food.
Know a small farmer that might need some assistance? The grant applications will be open until October 15, with more details included at this link. There’s also a list of past grant recipients to give a sense of what projects have been funded. This year there will be two different tiers of funding for different size projects, as well as a special grant category for Lake County farms.
Much of the funding for these grants comes from local sponsors, and the Good Farm Fund’s two annual local food feasts, and this year’s winners will be announced at the annual Winter Feast on December 10. The Good Farm Fund will also be holding the third annual Mendocino County Homebrew Festival on November 2, 2019.
GOOD FARM FUND’S WINTER FEAST Tuesday, December 10th | Barra of Mendocino, Ukiah Back by popular demand after selling out early the last few years. Attendees proclaimed it a highlight of the holiday season, with plenty of feel-good cheer and an abundance of local food and drink to enjoy at an affordable price. This dinner is about celebrating the hard work that farmers do throughout the year and all who support them. The night will feature a farm-to-table dinner featuring locally raised meat, produce, grain, beer, & wine. Plus a silent auction, live music and of course great company. We will also announce the 2019 Good Farm Fund grant recipients during the evening.