For our first field trip of 2011 we visited two farms in Contra Costa Countyâ€“â€“both in Brentwood. First we stopped at Brookside Farm, owned and operated by the generous and kindly Tom family: Anne, Quong, and Welling. Welling (the son) showed us what’s in bloom and described to us a little of the journey from earth to table. Â The Toms grow some of our Early Girl tomatoes (and other varieties), greens, peppers, squash, beans, cucumbers, etc. and have even planted a sour cherry tree at our request.Â Photos by Teal Dudziac.
Then we headed over to Rick and Kristie Knollâ€™s Tairwa’-Knoll Farm where the Oliveto kitchen gets produce such as cardoons, beans, peas, figs, and chicories, just to name a few. Â The Knolls traveled to Puglia and did some seed collecting so they could grow plants such as chicories for our use. Rick and Kristie showed us how they combine science and art to cultivate their harvests; they also provided us with what could be the freshest lunch many of us have ever had.
Also very worthwhile is the Knoll Farms website, where the Knolls provide in depth their philosophy, biodynamic methods, and history, and take on modern agriculture.