New Family Farm is one of Sonoma County’s few horse-powered agricultural endeavors. Farming partners Adam Davidoff and Ryan Power use five working-breed horses to prepare their fields sometime in May, after rainwater has receded, and the horses are used again to cultivate between rows of crops and to harvest potatoes.
It is part of the duo’s overall plan of farming as close to the earth as possible. The land is certified organic. Farming techniques focus on building soil and keeping it vibrant and healthy. They even plant summer crops, a rare practice locally. This year, they’ve used buckwheat and Sudan grass, a fast-growing grass from Africa, to replenish the land after a crop is harvested.
Davidoff and Power, who were classmates at Analy High School, lease the land they farm. Two parcels are on Ferguson Rd. in west Sebastopol, three acres that can easily be seen from the road and a second two-and-a-half acre plot farther up the road that can be called the home farm, where the horses live and where storage crops are kept in the barn until they head to market. A third parcel is on Copper Rd., just south of downtown Sebastopol.
Because New Family Farm land is in flood plains, their farmers market season doesn’t typically start until June, when they begin harvesting crops planted in May. This year, it should continue through February, as their fall and winter crops have a long shelf–or, we should say, barn–life.
Currently, New Family Farm’s selection includes Italian parsley, cilantro, basil, arugula, red butter lettuce, dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, celery root, Lacinato kale, cabbage, yellow onions, medium and large red beets, new potatoes and winter squash. These foods are delicious, with fully developed flavors and textures and a lusty earthiness that is, perhaps, what we mean when we talk about “taste of place.”
Although the farm is best known to shoppers at the three local farmers markets it attends, most of the sales are to local grocery stores. The farm supplies Oliver’s Markets on Stony Point Rd. in Santa Rosa and in Cotati, Community Market in Santa Rosa, Fircrest Market in Sebastopol and five Whole Food stores (Sebastopol, Coddingtown, Yulupa, Sonoma and Napa) with their seasonal produce.
New Family Farm, founded in 2010 and owned and operated by Adam Davidoff and Ryan Power, attends three farmers market a week at the height of the season, Occidental Bohemian Farmers Market on Friday from 4 p.m. until dusk, the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market (50 Mark West Springs Rd.) from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and the Sebastopol Farmers Market on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. To contact the farm directly, email email@example.com.