Shakefork Community Farm

Carlotta, Humboldt County, California, United States

Shakefork Community Farm’s philosophy is that human health and wholeness stem from a meaningful relationship with the land and animals. Organic farming is the baseline, but SCF takes things further with regenerative agriculture to actively build soil and sequester carbon. All the farming practices seek to promote wildlife habitat and biodiversity and protect what’s beneath the ground. Low-till farming is essential to that mandate; you won’t find a ton of heavy machinery working the fields here. Instead, SCF uses oxen draft power to make light, gentle work of the garden bed prep and cultivation. As part of the family, the cattle are loved along with the other animals on the farm, including chickens, turkeys, and working dogs. The livestock manure goes into the homemade compost, and the animals rotate through the fields daily, which is essential to their health and the distribution of nutrients over the land. SCF believes movement is one of the most critical aspects of animal agriculture and welfare. The animals on this farm live their best lives as they run, graze, and poop good stuff back into the soil. The gentle cultivation approach and use of living mulches and composts have helped create beautiful, healthy earth to grow crops. The ground is fluffy, and mushrooms grow throughout the fields, indicating microbial activity is thriving below the surface.

Alongside the animals, humans do detailed work like sowing, nurturing, and harvesting. Enthusiastic apprentices and WWOOFers are always welcome to live and work on the farm. Nearby beehives ensure a steady supply of pollinators for the flowers and edible crops. SCF works with the seasons, growing everything from snap peas, garlic, beans, and lettuce greens to tomatoes, root vegetables, brassicas, cucumbers, and squash. The nutritious produce is distributed through a 22-week CSA program with various convenient options ranging from a large-sized family share to a smaller garden share. Members can also request fresh, organic eggs, collected twice daily from the fields, pasture-raised meats, and local organic coffee beans. Beyond ensuring that the Humboldt community has access to healthy, delicious food, SCF is committed to making its products affordable. Because everyone deserves clean things to eat, things that have been grown and raised with love and care.

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Catherine Sherriffs

Editor at Garden Culture Magazine

Catherine is a Canadian award-winning journalist who worked as a reporter and news anchor in Montreal’s radio and television scene for 10 years. A graduate of Concordia University, she left the hustle and bustle of the business after starting a family. Now, she’s the editor and a writer for Garden Culture Magazine while also enjoying being a mom to her three young kids. Her interests include great food, gardening, fitness, animals, and anything outdoors.