My name is Joey Smith. I was born in Santa Rosa, and it is where I currently farm. I studied politics in college and did not think of farming at all. Then I took a wonderful class called agroecology. It taught me to think about how humans can act on our ecosystem in a positive way. I started to learn how our food system doesn't work for everybody. I thought originally that I would change it through advocacy work, but I saw my friends getting into farming, and over time I watched them succeed. So I thought, I like being outside and meeting people, the best way for me to influence our food system is to grow food for people.
Several years after graduation, I did an apprenticeship on a farm in Los Altos for 2 years. By the time I left in 2011, I had the confidence to start my own farm.
We are certified organic and grow over 50 different crops. We specialize in kale and cooking greens, lettuce, eggplant, tomato, peppers, winter squash, summer squash, and cucumbers.
I am offering annual subscription in my CSA program for Bay Bucks members. You get 7-9 different things in the box each week, and it runs for 26 weeks. You also get our newsletter and recipes with the box. It starts in late May, early June. Registration starts in early March, and it will be about $23 per box. You will get a little less in the box during in the early months, and more than $23 worth of vegetables in later months.
Pick-up is in downtown Santa Rosa, at the Farm, or at Windsor Farmer's Market.
What attracted you to barter and local currency?
Bartering is one of my favorite parts of selling at the farmer's market. It is more fulfilling than handling cash. I go home from the market every week with things from my friends, and I love that. Every once in a while I'll throw out in Facebook: I need a haircut, who wants some vegetables?
I want this farm to be one of many that is feeding our community and being a positive influence on our soil and watershed. Which means not using toxic chemicals. I named it Let's Go to inspire people to try growing food. It is on just 1.5 acres and this is the land I grew up on – it is my mother's home. I want to show people we don't need 40 acres and big tractors to farm. I want to localize our food production and our county to be feeding itself.
We like having people come out to visit and get inspired.
I love the fact that I can still trade with people who have their own gardens and don't need vegetables. I also love that I can use the credit line to go a little into the negative to get what I need and pay that back over time.
Life in a day
The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook by Richard Wiswall,
Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonegut
Near term goal:
Pay myself and my employees a living wage
Dream (long term goal):
See the day when there is no hunger, when humanity figures out how to eliminate hunger. It takes a lot of work and thinking out of the box and people learning how to grow food. Very excited about what people will do once we figured that part out.