“We all know how to do this,” Brad Thompson of Roots of Creation Farm in Sebastopol says about growing food crops.
“It is in our DNA.”
Educating people about this, especially people his age–he’s 27–is one of the things he hopes to achieve with his new endeavor.
“If you’re having a hard time finding a job and if you are willing to work hard, you can earn a good living from a small piece of land,” he says, adding that it is what we should be doing and what we need to be doing.
Thompson founded his farm on leased land, just one-third of an acre, in October. The farm abuts a dairy pasture that the McClelland Dairy of Two Rock purchased at about the same time. Both are within the Laguna de Santa Rosa, near Llano Rd. and Highway 116.
Just a few months into the project, the farm already supports Thompson and his wife Laurel Blair.
Currently, Thompson is harvesting salad mix, arugula, chard, kale, Rainbow carrots, golden beets, Forono beets, leeks and red torpedo onions. Soon, summer squash, green and purple beans and cucumbers will be ready and in about three weeks, the first of the tomatoeswill ripen.
“The tomatoes are looking really good,” Thompson says of the 250 tomato plants he tends.
Thompson has worked on many farms, most recently Dan Smith’s French Garden Farm in northwestern Sebastopol. There, he managed the farm itself and maintained a highly-successful on-line produce store. He left last fall, when an opportunity to lease a small piece of good land presented itself.
The name reflects Thompson’s desire to return to his own roots. He’s particularly inspired by his great-grandfather, who had a blueberry farm in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“To him,” Thompson recalls of the man who was in his 90s when Thompson was a young boy of 10, “organic farming was simply common sense. Why would you pour poison onto foods you were going to eat?”
Thompson’s practices are quite simple. He gets composted manure from the dairy next door, works it into the soil, plants, waters, weeds and harvests.
Of course, there is a bit more to it, as there must be to earn a good living from such a small patch.
He farms intensively, with a lot of companion planting and crops he can get out of the ground quickly, such as carrots, beets, turnips and lettuces, all harvested when when young and small.
Thompson sells his harvest at farmers markets in Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Windsor. He also sells to Backyard Restaurant in Forestville and Sobbit Goa, a Goan restaurant in Santa Rosa, and to F.E.E.D. Sonoma, a farmers’ exchange.
The farm’s on-line store should be operating by the end of June. The concept is simple: Thompson will post what is available, customers will order at rootsofcreationfarm.com and Thompson will harvest and deliver on the same day, likely to a drop-off location in Sebastopol, twice a week. There will be a modest charge, about $5, for delivery.
Later this summer, there will be a special harvest in Thompson’s life, a baby, the couple’s first child. Blair, who by profession is a nutritional therapist, will become a full time mother and farmer, thanks to their productive little patch of paradise.
Roots of Creation Farm, owned and operated by Brad Thompson and Laurel Blair, was founded in 2012. You’ll find the farm’s produce at the Redwood Empire Farmers Market (1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa) and the Petaluma Farmers Market in Walnut Park on Saturday and at the Windsor Farmers Market on Sunday. To reach farmer Brad Thompson, call 326-1915.