Local CSAs, farmstands, and more to start a delicious, healthy spring
By Samuel James Adams
Incredible food comes from Solano County. Farmstands, CSAs, and deliveries make acquiring local food fun and convenient. Here are four favorites.
SOUL FOOD FARM
6046 Pleasants Valley Road, Vacaville
Located on Pleasants Valley Road in Vacaville, Soul Food Farm produces olive oil, cut flowers, and sheep yarn. They operate a lavender business, Hierbas y Flores, in partnership with Morningsun Herb Farm. Alexis and Eric Koefoed purchased this 55-acre farm in the late 1990s and planted three hundred olive trees.
The owners now offer a private membership association model called Soul Food Farm Reserve. For a $10.00 annual fee, people have access to a farmstand that stocks locally grown food from family farms and ranches the owners know and trust.
“One of the main goals of the farmstand is to build a regenerative farm economy. It was key that the farmers would set their prices. Not wholesale, but what they could comfortably sell to the farmstand, make a profit, and leave some room for me to run the store. Today we have as many business arrangements as farmers who sell their goods here.” (From the Soul Food Farm website.)
This scenic property can be visited by the public and even rented for photography sessions.
The Soul Food farmstand opens on March 19th and operates Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
2221 Julian Ln., Fairfield, CA 94534
California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and Instagram dynamos Mike and Courtney Wilkinson moved to a new property but continue to grow excellent produce in the fertile Suisun Valley. The energy, idealism, problem solving of these first-generation “YouTube farmers” started in the backyard of their former home in Vallejo. The couple recently welcomed a second-generation Wilkinson farmer, Olive, whose beautiful smile lights up social media.
Along with staples like lettuce greens, arugula, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, kale, carrots, potatoes, and radishes, the Wilkinsons grow mizuna, tatsoi, Bok choy, and microgreens. Later in the season, CSA members will enjoy fresh strawberries.
CSA members will receive an additional 10% of total farmstand purchases, access to an exclusive CSA newsletter with easy-to-follow recipes, and access to farm events.
The Wilkinson Acres CSA is taking signups now for 12-week and 6-week packages from April 1st through June 17th.
Pick-up locations: Fridays & Saturdays at the Wilkinson Acres farmstand (located next to Village 360)
FIVE DOT RANCH, DIXON
Delivers to home addresses. Butchery located in Napa’s Oxbow Market
The seventh-generation ranchers of Five Dot Ranch raise award-winning beef without hormones or antibiotics in six different northern California counties, including Solano. Their meats are now the primary beef sold at the butchery at Milestone Provisions located in Napa’s world-renowned Oxbow Market. And they deliver beef boxes and prime cuts directly to homes.
Through Solano Land Trust’s Farm to Community Food Connection, Five Dot Ranch stepped up during the pandemic to generously donate high-quality beef that was distributed through the food bank and charity endeavors in Solano County.
Five Dot Ranch practices holistic management, grazing their cattle “in a sustainable manner helping to mitigate for endangered species and replenish California’s watersheds and land.”
BE LOVE FARM, VACAVILLE
7071 Bucktown Ln, Vacaville, CA 95688
Rustic lodging, wood-fired pizza, doughnuts, a sauna, homemade ice cream, and an honor-system farmstand make this family-owned regenerative farm in Vacaville a must-see, must-visit destination. Its original owners Matthew Engelhart and his wife Terces developed their vision for Be Love Farm after traveling through Sicily, where they stayed in farm cottages and ate homecooked meals made from local ingredients.
With a beautiful location in the Pleasants Valley, this farm grows an amazing variety of produce here, in profuse amounts—Matthew claimed the LNU fire couldn’t make it down the mountain through their moisture-heavy plants.
The original owners recently moved to Idaho and opened Mountain Cloud Creamery. But Be Love Farm is in the sure hands of the Ditmore family who will carry on the tradition of welcome, wonder, and great food.
Open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.