Our Farms

Working with Local Farms

We work with farms that have adopted a whole system approach to cultivating their land, because good grain and a more resilient foodshed requires it. We believe that good grain and good farming go hand-in-hand, and that healthy, nutrient-rich soil is even more important for human health when the grain is kept whole. Making every piece work together requires a deep sense of responsibility to the health of people and the planet.

We currently work with independent farms that:

  • Encourage biodiversity in a variety of ways, including nurturing pollinators
  • Strive to build soil health and increase organic matter on their fields
  • Make concerted efforts to conserve natural resources
  • Do not use toxic pesticides and fertilizers
  • Treat their employees with dignity and respect
  • Support their communities as advocates for sustainable agriculture
  • Commit to transparency throughout the process

Our Farmers

We take great delight in working with, learning from, and empowering our farm partners. As trailblazing regional grain growers, they are the heart of Community Grains. We’re proud to feature the fruits of their labor in our Identity Preserved products. 

With decades of experience and continued passion for sustainable agriculture, the farms we work with look to the wisdom of pre-industrial farming, while experimenting with innovative approaches to improving soil health, some of which have had a profound influence on our region’s foodshed. Principled, curious, and reverent towards the earth, every year of their harvest brings new information about what works well and what tastes good.

The grains change too — becoming as interesting and unique as the hands that grow them.

Current Harvest

Fritz Durst Farming & Tule Farms

FritzDurstFritz Durst is a sixth generation grain farmer in the Sacramento Valley. He became an early adopter of no-till and soil conservation farming methods in order to revitalize Tule Farms, his family’s 6000 acres in the Dunnigan Hills outside of Woodland, CA.

In the mid-eighties, Tule Farms suffered. Decades of conventional farming had impoverished its soil, and soil erosion was a persistent problem. So when Fritz came home after college, he and his father sought ways to heal it. They began planting wheat and barley directly into the residue of the previous crop, preventing erosion gullies from forming during winter rains — gullies being cracks in the rolling hills by which soil could be carried away. This no-till method, along with other conservation tillage practices, helped reduce soil loss from 6 tons to 2 tons in just one year. His work earned him a Resource Conservation District “Cooperator of the Year Award” in 1986, and the Conservation Tillage Farmer Innovator Award from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in 2011.

His experience was the beginning of a change in his ideas about farming. “I used to just look at the plant itself and ask, ‘What does a plant need to grow?’ Today I look at many different things. I look at myself, my family, my employees. My number one focus today besides employees is my soil. If I give to my soil, my soil will give back to me,” he says.

The farm also practices water conservation by dry-farming 4,000 acres of its land. By following a special rotation of crops to help retain water, his wheat, garbanzo beans, and safflower are able to rely solely on rain.

Besides dryland crops, Fritz produces organic vegetables, safflower, rice, wine grapes and sunflowers for seed. On his certified organic plot in Capay Valley, Fritz grows irrigated and dry-farmed organic Patwin (hard white) and Summit (hard red) for Community Grains.

Full Belly Farm

FullBellyFull Belly Farm is a prominent, beloved certified organic 250-acre farm located in the Capay Valley. Known for popularizing heirloom varieties and supplying some of the Bay Area’s best restaurants, it grows over 80 kinds of flowers, vegetables, grains, nuts and fruit year-round. The farm adopts a whole system approach in which every action must be made with purpose, thought, and consideration of the impact it will have on the long-term sustainability of the farm.

Full Belly employs cover cropping to keep the soil healthy, build fertility, and replace nutrients. Each year, every field is cover-cropped for one season and is harvested by a herd of sheep. Grains are an important part of the farm’s soil health program because they allow the ground to rest and dry out completely, maintaining a beneficial microbial balance.

With a focus on hiring long-term, year-round employees, paying a living wage, and creating personal relationships with their customers, Full Belly is a center of community in the Capay Valley and a long time advocate for young farmers and sustainable food policy. Every year, the farm holds a weekend long event called the Hoes Down Festival which celebrates rural life with live music, dancing, and great food. The farm is owned by Andrew Brait, Judith Redmond, Paul Muller, Dru Rivers, Jenna Muller, and Amon Muller.

Full Belly Farm grows Senatore Cappelli (Durum), Durum Iraq (Durum), and Frassinetto (Soft Red) for Community Grains.

Coke Farm

In 1981, when a conventional farmer surmised to Dale Coke that strawberries could not be grown organically, Dale set out to prove him wrong. His first organic strawberry plants flourished at his home ranch near Aromas, CA, and within a year, Coke Farm became a founding member of the Santa Cruz chapter of CCOF.

In the early days, Dale formed relationships with Bay Area restaurants such as Oliveto and Chez Panisse, which influenced him to grow Italian chicories, celeriac, exquisite baby greens, and other specialty produce. One of its innovations was the creation of “spring mix” — now in every supermarket — devised when faced with an abundance of baby lettuces and chicories in the field.

After over 30 years of farming, the farm has expanded to four sites in San Juan Bautista, Aromas, and Monterey, CA, constituting 400 acres — 5 to 10 of which are used to grow grain. Born of his love of baking, Dale is on a quest to grow and develop wheat with superior baking characteristics that are well suited to his land. The farm grows Desert King Wheat as well as pristine strawberries, vegetables, and flowers.