About our Farm

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We are a small diverse farm on the bluffs of the San Joaquin River, up the road from North Fork California. We started farming back in 2000, delivering our veggies and eggs to a few close friends, and by word of mouth, spread to friends of friends. A few years later we had over one hundred families and a membership. It started with a refrigerator or two in the town co-op, is now in the basement of the local craft shop, and we’re moving into a new storefront later this year.

We grow the seasonal variety of vegetables as the time of year allows, ranging from spring potatoes, onions and garlic, to the summer tomatoes and squash, to winter kale, carrots and broccoli. We also have a diverse orchard of stone fruit, apples, and some rare specialty trees that offer an abundance of all the sweets nature has to offer. We also supply a year round mix of salad greens from our greenhouses, and a fluctuating amount of eggs as the chickens go through their natural cycle.

Our farm embodies the diversity of the seasons and our store is based on local products. In addition to selling our own products, we also carry fresh fruit and veggies supplied mostly from Willey Farms.

This is all working towards a sustainable, ecological and economical means of consumption, while providing nutrient rich foods to our community.

 

Our History

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It’s hard to believe that nearly forty years ago a group of alternative thinking folks landed on this beautiful piece of Earth on the bluffs of the San Joaquin River above Redinger Lake. The Kern Family, or should I say part of the Kern Family (My Father Ken, his wife Barbara, and myself- 17 at the time) set out to homestead the land and develop cottage industries. That included endeavors such as drawing house plans, starting orchards and gardens and teaching homesteading. Ken was writing books on those subjects in the 70s when the Back to the Land movement was strong. We had left the big city of Oakhurst for the remote and quiet town of North Fork to live the homesteading lifestyle.

In 1986, my dream of working the land with a multigenterational homestead was put on hold with the untimely death of my father, and a series of other events. I was running around the mountains doing stone work as a mason and raising my first two daughters Ariana and Connie. Sue Wasserman and I met and married in ’89 and had two more children, Rebecca and Aaron.

It wasn’t until 1998 that I mostly retired from stone masonry and began building the infrastructure for the farm. Thanks to Sue and her generous family, we have been carving terraces into the mountain side, developing water sources, building barns and greenhouses, fencing, brushing, installing a waterwheel, solar jack pump, and windmill, just to mention a few projects. So here we are, Becky and Aaron have decided to stay on and create a multi-generational farm with me. Sue is now working part time, so hopefully she will have a little more time to walk about the farm and enjoy the fruits of her labor as well.

In farming community terms, if you’ve been farming for under ten years, you’re considered a beginner farmer. So we are still making plenty of mistakes, but we learn from each one and are passionate about creating a sustainable, productive and balanced operation. Our goal is to supply nutritious, healthy and tasty food products to our community and to stay as local as possible. We are planning on building a certified dairy so we may sell dairy products to restaurants and the public in general. Another goal is to eventually have a public store front in town.

We really appreciate all our loyal membership customers. Over the past ten years they have supported us through funky and thin times. You got us where we are today.

Thank you all for your interest and support

With love and respect,
Hansel Kern

(Since we are off the grid- a special thank you to Don Loweberg of Offline Solar for guidance and services in solarizing several projects from our home to water pumps. Also a big thank you to Mark Hooper for being the best neighbor ever. From loaning me tractors, to creating the first fields, to building the solar jack pump, the water wheel and numerous welding and mechanic projects for us. Even more recently as he moved to Oregon, he located and fixed up all the equipment necessary for us to grow, harvest and bale our own hay.)