Since Mike Collins relaunched his certified-organic Bloomfield Farms about three years ago, it has established itself as one of the heavy hitters of local produce, with a successful Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, a presence at Bay Area farmers markets and farm events that draw scores of visitors from both in and out of the county. The farm’s produce is also sold at several Bay Area supermarkets, including Community Market and certain Whole Foods. F.E.E.D.Sonoma and Planet Organics also purchase Bloomfield Farms produce, as do several Bay Area restaurants.
Currently, the 45-acre farm is harvesting two types of chard, two or three varieties of kale, butter lettuce, red leaf lettuce, green and red Little Gem lettuces, small white Belgium carrots, single-serving-sized cauliflower, Romanesco cauliflower, bok choy, culinary rosemary, spicy black radishes and collard greens so beautiful they’ll take your breath away. Cabbage is coming soon and, this year, they’ll be putting in strawberries.
Bloomfield Farms also has eggs, sold only at farmers markets, from pastured hens and delicious dry-farmed potatoes from last year’s harvest. Potatoes have historically been grown in this part of the North Bay and are particularly delicious because they can be dry-farmed, the technique that results in the best tasting potatoes.
This week, the farm is making a special offer to customers who sign up for what they call their Long-Haul CSA, a 24-box commitment. If you sign up before midnight next Sunday, March 3, you’ll get an additional six boxes at no charge.
A half-share box is $17.50 and a full share is $25 when you pick up your box at the farm either weekly or semi-weekly. There are additional charges for delivery, based on location. The farm is using a new application, Farmigo, developed in Israel, for its CSA. It is easy to use and allows customers to manage their own subscription, postponing when necessary and such.
The farm has added a number of new drop-off locations in Santa Rosa, Sebastopol and Tomales.
Nick Papadopoulos, Collins’ step son, joined the farm team as general manager last year, with a mission to increase the farm’s profitability and visibility. He’s as enthusiastic a manager as I can imagine and all but bubbles over with enthusiasm as he discusses upcoming plans. They’ve establish a silk-screen press at the farm and are printing heavy canvas bags and t-shirts with their hand-hewn logo of an old tractor. U-Pick Sundays, which were hugely successful last summer and fall, will start up in April, with a flash-mob U-Pick day possible before then, if weather cooperates.
Papadopoulos has also launched FarmSpotting –CQ-, a social media outreach endeavor that seeks to connect local families and visitors with farm and other local food shed experiences. To sign up for email updates, visit farmspotting.com. There’s a facebook page, too, and a twitter account, @farmspotting.
Bloomfield Farms, established at its currently location, 12550 Valley Ford Rd., Petaluma, three years ago, is owned and operated by Mike and Karen Collins. Currently, the farm attends the Sebastopol Farmers Market on Sundays. For more information and to sign up for the CSA program, visit bloomfieldfarmorganics.com.