Good Farm Fund benefit raises $40,000 for local farm grants

By Kate B. Maxwell, Mendocino Voice  | August 12, 2019

The crowd contributed another $10,000 in a real-time crowdfunding event

MENDOCINO Co., 8/12/19 — Just as one small farm can provide food for many people, but it takes a community to support our small farms — and that community came out in their finest summer outfits at this year’s Good Farm Fund summer banquet. Thanks to a generous $10,000 matching grant from the Redwood Credit Union and an outpouring of community support, the fifth annual Midsummer’s Night Feast, held at Yokayo Ranch, raised a record amount of nearly $40,000 in one night towards their small farm grants, while providing a bounty of delicious farm-to-fork dishes prepared by local chefs. 

Happy farmers and chefs serving up food to the crowd.

The Good Farm Fund is a non-profit organization which supports the development of a sustainable local “foodshed” (like a watershed) in Mendocino and Lake Counties, primarily through the annual farm grants, and by increasing access for local food through financial support for the CalFresh “market match” program. The organization has awarded nearly 50 grants since 2015, and this year’s dinner, which more than doubled the fundraising amount from 2018, should ensure an even larger amount of grant funding for this upcoming round of awards, which will open in the fall. The organization also holds an annual winter feast fundraiser, set this year for December 10, as well as the third annual Mendocino Homebrew Festival, happening November 2.

The enthusiasm for small farms and community building was palpable at the July dinner, where attendees took a break from enjoying a multitude of locally produced goodies to run around in a “real-time crowdfunding” event led by local auctioneer Rachel Britton, and raised donations from a number of individuals, from $10 to $1,000, to match the $10,000 contribution from the Redwood Credit Union. The credit union, along with Frey Vineyards and Sonoma Clean Power, is one of the Good Farm Fund’s “Foundation Sponsors,” who provide dedicated support for local farm grants. Redwood Credit Union’s Community Programs Manager Peggy Cleary announced the matching grant at the dinner, noting that supporting local farm was a perfect fit for the credit union movement, which was first started to help local farmers.

Emcee Rachel Britton raises her hands in delight as Redwood Credit Union’s Peggy Cleary announces a $10,000 matching grant.

“We’re thrilled to be here because we really believe in the mission of the Good Farm Fund,” Cleary told the crowd, calling the organization’s accomplishments impressive. He continued, “One of the things we love about the Good Farm Fund is that it started as farmers coming together to help farmers.”

He added that the the 70 year old credit union has the same goal, “It’s part of our mission, we’re about people helping people. We’re part of these communities, we care about what you do, and we invest in organizations that really make an impact on critical issues facing our communities. Food security is really important to us, and we’re just so delighted and really honored to partner with you.”

The dinner itself was a living example of community involvement, including more than 20 different local farms paired with local chefs, coordinated by more than 32 volunteers who helped with organization, parking, set-up, and more, as well as a variety of local sponsors from local businesses and community organizations, all contributing towards a community feast. Guests enjoyed sampling a wide array of different dishes created by local chefs, paired with local farmers, as well as refreshments ranging from kombucha to coffee to locally distilled liquors, and many lingered as the sun set to ensure all the treats were eaten before heading home.

Local farmer Alex Nielson of Cinnamon bear Farms spoke about how his three grants have helped him grow his business.

Alex Nielson, of Cinnamon Bear Farms, a three time grant recipient and local farmer, gave a brief speech about how important the grants have been for his farm: “The Good Farm Fund has been instrumental for our farm…having us backed by the community, it’s been amazing. They’ve provided us tools that have helped us grow, and provide more food for the community. It’s amazing to see all the faces, and see a lot of people that I see at the market, coming up and tasting our food, and thanking us, it’s really a blessing to see. This is a business that’s not easy to move up in, and having the capital backing from the Good Farm Fund has been immense….without it, we wouldn’t be here right now.”

More photos of the event are included below. You can learn more about the Good Farm Fund’s work at their website, and the next round of small farm grants will open in the fall. The organization’s next events are the annual Mendocino Homebrew Festival, on November 2, and you can check out a video for interested brewers here, and the winter feast, scheduled for December 10.

Over $100,000 in farm grants to Mendocino and Lake county farms have been given out.

A Midsummer Night’s Feast – 5th Annual Benefit Dinner

A Midsummer Night’s Feast
5th Annual Good Farm Fund Benefit
Tuesday, July 23rd | 7-9 PM | Yokayo Ranch, Ukiah

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, a farm tour, and a silent auction.

Tickets: $125 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.


– FOUNDATION SPONSORS –


– EVENT SPONSORS –


We would also like to send our deep appreciation to the many the local chefs, farmers, ranchers, restaurants, caterers, food producers, wineries, breweries, distillers, other beverage sponsors, and volunteers who add their special magic that make our events sparkle. Thank you.



Photo by Lauren Steury 2018

Good Farm Fund: Everybody Eats! Article in Real Estate Magazine

Good Farm Fund aims to help make local
food more affordable for everyone, and to
supply capital for needed equipment and
projects on small farms

 

The Fate of the Small Farmer
The American dream of forty acres and a mule has perhaps
never been more unattainable—or more necessary—
than it is today. Here in Mendocino, farmers are certainly better off
than in many parts of the country with our clean air, largely
uncontaminated soils, ample water supply, a relatively temperate climate with a long growing season, and a strong ethos of support for the small farm. We also have a uniquely varied climate suitable for producing a range of crops.

 

REM_GFF_Article_10_2018

Good Farm Fund’s Winter Feast

Good Farm Fund’s Winter Feast

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018 from 5 – 9 pm
Barra of Mendocino Event Center at 7051 North State Street in Redwood Valley
Meal by Black Dog Farm & Catering
Advance Tickets are $30-50 sliding scale.
This is always a sell out event, get your tickets now >> https://winterfeast.bpt.me

The Winter Feast is proudly presented by Good Farm Fund & Mendo Lake Food Hub

Second Annual Mendocino County Homebrew Festival!

Second Annual Mendocino County Homebrew Festival!

Support your local brewers to benefit Good Farm Fund 🍻
Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 from 3 – 6pm
Downtown Ukiah at the Ukiah Valley Convention Center
Advance Tickets are $30 General Admission/ $45 VIT “Very Important Taster”
Purchase online or at Westside Renaissance Market or Mendocino Book Company

Still accepting homebrew submissions and event sponsors!
For tickets and more info visit >> www.mendohomebrewfest.com 

Midsummer Night’s Feast at Yokayo Ranch: Our 4th Annual Summer Benefit Dinner

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.

A Midsummer Night’s Feast!
4th Annual Farm to Table Benefit at Yokayo Ranch
Tuesday, July 24, 2018  |  7PM  |  Yokayo Ranch, Ukiah

Learn more by visiting our Facebook event >>

A Midsummer Night’s Feast – 4th Annual Benefit Dinner

A Midsummer Night’s Feast
4th Annual Good Farm Fund Benefit
Tuesday, July 24th   |   7 PM   |   Yokayo Ranch

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, a farm tour, and a silent auction. (Onsite lodging is available for overnight guests, please email goodfarmfund@gmail.com for details.)

Advance Tickets: $100: Includes all food & beverages. We expect to sell out, but if tickets are available at the door they will be $125. Courtesy note: no dogs or other pets, please.

The event benefits the Good Farm Fund, which provides economic development & emergency relief grants to small local food producers, and funds the Food Stamp Match program at our local farmers markets. Presented by Good Farm Fund & the Mendo Lake Food Hub.

Here’s a sneak peak of the incredible menu…

Fog Eater Cafe w/ Nye Ranch
Purple cauliflower and squash fritters with pickled green strawberry relish and smoked carrot coulis. Gluten free and vegan.

Assaggiare Mendocino w/ Mendocino Meats Peking style roast duck in petal buns with herb salad and hoisin sauce

Byram’s Bread w/ Mendocino Grain Project
Donut Holes with local heirloom wheat flour & Rose geranium sugar

Kemmy’s Pies w/ Fortunate Farm & Round River Farms
Chocolate-walnut & strawberry rhubarb pie

Featured cocktails for the evening served by guest bartender Hoolis C. Nation, Brand Ambassador at American Craft Whiskey.

Smoked Fedora: bourbon, brandy, and smoked rum

Dorothy’s Kiss: dark gin, antica formula, oztreuse, (liqueur made from local herbs from Oz Farm in Point Arena), lemon twist

Mendo Mate’ Cobbler: straight vodka, mate’ vodka, pineapple juice, coconut water, Oz Farm strawberries + Oz Farm flowers

 

Here’s a sneak peak of just one of the many fabulous items that will be available in our silent auction. The piece pictured is “Field of Dreams” by local artist Tim Poma.

We will also have on offer a pizza party for 12 catered by Mendough’s (Olan Cox), a stay & cook at the Apple Farm, 2 nights in Caspar, a garden plot at the N. Oak Veteran’s Garden, a tour and picnic at the School of Adaptive Agriculture, weekly organic bread for a month from Eliot’s Bread, and much more! Come prepared to bid on some spectacular items.

 

Buck Thrifty will be joining us this year at the 4th Annual Midsummer Night’s Feast to benefit the Good Farm Fund. Kickin up a cocktail of the uniquely infused flavors of Folky-Punky-Bluesy-Swing, this raggedy crew of streetwise fashionistas is ready to serve up some seriously poppin’ grooves.

With a mobile musical menagerie of two to ten players and an enigmatic style that commands any crowd, Buck-Thrifty knows no limits in perusing the progression (or dare we say, regression?) of the Pacific Northwest’s festivale of folk fusions. So what do they mean by all that? Simply that they promise to supply saucy sounds that set your boots to stompin’ and your booty to shakin’.

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.

We would also like to send our deep appreciation to the many the local chefs, farmers, ranchers, restaurants, caterers, food producers, wineries, breweries, distillers, and other beverage sponsors who add their special magic that make our events sparkle. Thank you.

Wildfire Relief Resources for Local Farms

University of California Hopland Research & Extension Center Fire Recovery Resources

As our County and those surrounding begin to recover from recent wildfires these resources may be of use:

Center for Fire Research and Outreach

Fire Recovery in California’s Oak Woodlands

Grassland Restoration

USDA Assistance for Fire Affected Ag. producers in Lake and Mendocino 

The Mendocino Local Assistance Center is now open until October 30th. This is a multi-agency support center providing assistance to residents affected by the Redwood fire. 

Here at HREC we are working to support recovery by:

  • Developing workshops with information to support agricultural and wildland regeneration efforts.
  • Developing a bank of acorns to assist with post fire oak regeneration efforts.
  • Supporting fundraising efforts for fire recovery.

If you have questions or suggestions regarding these efforts please contact Hannah Bird at hbird@ucanr.edu or call (707) 744 1424 ext 105.

USDA Disaster Resources for Farmers, Ranchers, and Communities

The USDA reference guide includes resources available in all of the following areas:

Technical Assistance
Disaster Payments for Agricultural Losses
Loans/Credit
Insurance & Risk Management
Conservation and Land Management
Household & Community Water Supplies

 

Good Farm Fund presents the Inaugural Mendocino County Homebrew Fest! November 4, 2017 | Ukiah

We have partnered with Visit Mendocino County and our beer geek friends to introduce an exciting new event, the Inaugural Mendocino County Homebrew Festival!  This new addition to the Mendocino Mushroom, Wine and Beer Festival is set for November 4th, 2017 at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center.

The afternoon will feature brewers from several clubs in Lake and Mendocino Counties and also from around Northern CA competing to become the people’s choice winner.  The event is also open to ciders, mead and other fermented beverages including kombucha & jun. Local Farm-to-table food will be available for purchase.

The festival will include both a People’s Choice award and Brewer’s Choice panel winner.

All proceeds go to support Good Farm Fund, which makes fresh local food available to lower income community members by funding the SNAP/food stamp Market Match program at farmers markets and provides strategic economic development grants to Lake and Mendocino County small farms. Farm to table food provided by the Mendocino College Culinary Arts Program will be available for purchase.

Get all the details at the >> Mendocino County Home Brew Fest website.

If you are a home brewer, >> sign up now to be in the competition. If you know someone who makes great beer, encourage them to get signed up! Deadline for entry is October 4th.

If you like beer and fun >> get your tickets here.

If you would like an opportunity to promote your business by joining our >> fine cast of sponsors  email us at goodfarmfund@gmail.com to find out about our sponsorship packages.

EVENT SPONSORS:

Ukiah Brewing Company, The Big Chief of Laytonville, Visit Mendocino, Westside Renaissance Market, Saucy, Beer Belly Fermentation Supply, Riley’s Cab (which will be providing attendees with free cab service within a 10 mile radius of the event), KWINE, KMAX and KZYX

Unique Farm to Table Dinner to Support Local Farmers

3rd Annual Farm to Table Benefit Dinner

Get your tickets now!

Enjoy gourmet food from over 20 of the best chefs in Lake and Mendocino Counties at the Third Annual Farm to Table Benefit Dinner on Tuesday June 13, from 6-9 pm at Yokayo Ranch. During this open-air celebration guests will enjoy live music and seasonal small plates. This unique event pairs farmers with chefs, and together they present inspired dishes designed to excite the pallet while showcasing exceptional, locally grown produce. Local beer and wine plus specialty Summer Solstice inspired cocktails courtesy of American Craft Whisky Distillery, are included.

Set against the backdrop of Yokayo Ranch, a 40-acre hillside ranch built in the 1920’s, guests will be delighted by the natural beauty of this spectacular country setting. The evening’s program will also include a farm tour of Yokayo Roots Farm, a keynote speaker, farmer success stories, and a live auction.

Farmers, restaurant owners, and chefs, are already preparing menu combinations for this year’s guests.  Julia Kendrick Conway, chef and proprietor of Assaggiare Mendocino adds:

Last year’s event was delightful, truly one-of-a-kind. It’s rewarding to be involved in an event that celebrates delicious, fresh, locally grown food. We’re excited to team up with another farm this year to create a new, seasonally inspired dish.

Designed to bring together the entire food system is one experience; all event proceeds support the Good Farm Fund’s Farm Grant Program, which funds food stamp doubling at farmer’s markets and works to support and grow small, local food farms by funding capacity-building projects like greenhouses, farmstands, equipment, and fencing. Applications are reviewed by the Good Farm Fund Board and any farmer residing in Lake or Mendocino County may apply.

In 2016, the Farm Grant Program awarded $20,000 to 14 local food farms.  Anderson Valley Community Farm, one of the largest grant recipients, was awarded $3300 to build a farmstand to use as a CSA pickup location with products such as jams, pickles, olives and soap. Grant funds were also used to gravel the driveway, making it more accessible to the public.

Tickets for the Third Annual Summer Solstice Farm to Table Benefit Dinner are on sale now. Pre-registration is $100 per person or $125 at the event. Purchase online at goodfarmfund.org, or at the following Ukiah establishments: JD Redhouse & Co, Mendocino Book Co, Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op and Westside Renaissance Market. For a complete list of farmers and chefs, or to learn more about the Good Farm Fund Grant program, please visit goodfarmfund.org

Chefs & Restaurants

Assagiare Mendocio, Bewildered Pig, Black Dog Farm & Catering, Black Oak Coffee, Boonville General Store, Byram’s Bread, Caring Kitchen, Chop Chop, Cucina Verona, Elevensies, Elizabeth Archer, Fairall Farm, GG’s Cookies, Kemmy’s Pies, Mendocino College, Pacific Plate, Pennyroyal Farmstead Cheese, Rachel Britten, Saucy, Schat’s, Tango Foods, Taste buds, Trillium Cafe, Wholly Bowl, Wild Fish, Zocalo Collective

Farmers & Producers

Anderson Valley Community Farm, Carson and Bees, Cerro Negro, Cinnamon Bear Farm, Covelo Organic, Ecology Action, Feriera Forest Farm, Floodgate Farm, Fortunate Farm, Green Uprising Farm, Irene’s Garden, Love Farm, Mendocino Grain Project, Mendocino Lavender, Mossy Falls Farm, North Coast Brewing Company, Noyo Fish Company, Nye Ranch, Oak Granary, Oz Farm, Parducci Vineyard, Potter Valley Unconventional Agriculture, Princess Seafood, School of Adaptive Agriculture, Seely Farm Stand, Shamrock Chevre, Sister’s Ridge, Tequio Farm, Yokayo Roots Farm

Lodging

Guests may lodge at Yokayo Ranch. Two large houses and two cabanas, sleeping 20+ people, are available. Each house is historically decorated, while providing all the amenities of modern life. The houses surround lawns, covered patios, a pool, and an outdoor kitchen.

Enjoy all the fun without worrying about traveling! Everything is set up to make your night a breeze. Book your room in advance by emailing goodfarmfund@gmail.com. Rooms are $100 per night.

Sponsors

The Good Farm Fund is supported by various sponsors. Foundation sponsors support the grant program and include Adventist Health Ukiah Valley, Frey Vineyards, and Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op. The 2017 event sponsors are American Craft Whiskey, Cold Creek Compost, KZYZ, Mendo Lake Food Hub, Mendocino Winegrowers, North Coast Brewing Company, North Coast Opportunities, Parducci, Savings Bank of Mendocino County, Surf Market, and Thompson Party Rentals. Hospice Services of Lake County Thrift Stores, along with Mendocino County thrift stores, provided a silverware donation. This event was also supported by the West Region Economic Opportunity Grants Program provided by Wells Fargo.

While each sponsor is vital to the Good Farm Fund, sponsors like the Mendo Lake Food hub specifically work to strengthen the restaurant-farmer relationship by providing an efficient, local produce ordering and distribution system all year long.”

Learn more about our foundation sponsors and event sponsors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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