Meet the AgPark Farmers
The Sunol AgPark sits on 18 acres of rich agricultural land adjacent to Arroyo de la Laguna and Alameda Creek. Eight farms, ranging in size from 1.5 to 4 acres, call the Sunol AgPark home. These farms market their produce to diverse Bay Area channels including farmers’ markets, restaurants, wholesale and seed contracts. AgPark farmers grow a wide range of crops including vegetables, herbs, cut flowers and seeds, and rely on organic methods like cover cropping, integrated pest management and compost additions. Learn more about the Sunol AgPark farms and their farmers below.
Jellicles Farm, owned and operated by Lalitha Visveswaran, produces a wide variety of quality products including lavender and edible flowers, as well as medicinal and culinary herbs. To maintain adequate habitat for pollinators and good soil health on her 1.5 acre farm, Lalitha implements practices such as crop rotation, low or no till and cover cropping. Jellicles Farm uses minimal inputs and attempts to grow nearly all drought friendly plants. Jellicles Farm can be reached at [email protected].
Feral Heart started in the Sunol AgPark in 2014. The farm’s owners, Aaron Dinwoodie and Mica O’Herlihy, manage Feral Heart with sustainability and social justice at the forefront of their operation. Both bring years of knowledge and skills to Feral Heart.
Aaron has been farming for 14 years since his start on a ranch just south of Half Moon Bay where he raised dairy goats and hens, propagated fruit trees, cultivated a wide variety of vegetables and herbs and learned how to make nutrient rich compost. Over time, he became passionate about seed saving, as he believes it is important to a farm’s sustainability.
Mica grew up in California, and worked as a filmmaker, visual artist and professor, before transitioning to agriculture full time. Their first farm, Long Arm Farm, in SW Wisconsin, included a goat dairy, 14 acres of woody perennials, culinary and medicinal mushroom beds, and 4 acres of row crops. Mica and their kids moved back to California in 2017 and began a partnership with Aaron to run Feral Heart.
Feral Heart sells fresh produce, herbs and flowers to restaurants all over the bay, and at Oakland’s Grand Lake Market. To learn more about Feral Heart, visit their website at http://www.feralheartfarm.com/.
Sol Root was birthed from the need for healing, (re)connection, remembering, and sovereignty. Courtney and Marcella came together to create an employee-owned and operated farm business. They joined the AgPark in June of 2022.
Their offerings include herbal wellness remedies and educational workshops based around the plants they grow and the farming practices they use. They follow agroecological farming practices that are regenerative for the ecosystem. Herbal wellness remedies are made folk-medicine style, which are remedies that are not necessarily based on mathematical equations or measurements and/or use very basic measurements. Educational circles are facilitated workshops and discussions that use a popular education pedagogy.
Sol Root works with Lunar and Cosmic energies as part of their farming, medicine making, and educational practices. Offerings, ceremonies, prayers, and ancestral practices are a part of their work; always honoring the land, the waters, the original people of where they farm, the Ohlone People, and their Ancestors who are with them on this journey.
Learn more about Sol Root on their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sol_root/
Raised Roots was founded by owner Jamil Burns in 2016 and has been growing produce for market ever since. Based at another plot in Livermore, Raised Roots started farming at the AgPark in 2022. Raised Roots’ mission is to produce healthful and flavorful foods using the full spectrum of nutrients provided by the sun and native soils. They aim to employ low-input practices, to provide all who work on the farm with equitable compensation, and to restore direct relationships between the public and small farmers. Raised Roots grows peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, okra, cucumbers, greens, root vegetables, specialty herbs, and more. To learn more about Raised Roots, visit https://raisedroots.com/
Creek Shore Seeds is committed to the conservation and revitalization of Indigenous agriculture. They grow endangered and culturally important plants from the Indigenous nations of what is today the Southeastern US, Southwestern US, and Northern Mexico. The founder Noah Schlager is of Mvskoke-Creek and Florida Cheraw heritage through his mother, and of Eastern European Jewish heritage through his father. Noah brings a decade of experience working in Indigenous agriculture, market gardening, and ethnobotanical conservation, working with Native Seed / SEARCH, Organic Seed Alliance, Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, Yale Sustainable Food Program, International Indian Treaty Council, and Cultural Conservancy.
Creek Shore has a collection of Indigenous seeds that need regular grow outs, so that their genetic legacy can be preserved and seed provided to Indigenous farmers and home gardeners. In addition, the grow out of these varieties will provide food access to the Urban Indigenous community of the Bay Area, and develop techniques and growing strategies to support Indigenous growers.
The Sunol Community Gardeners are a group of local retired women who aspire to learn more about farming by maintaining a garden plot at the Sunol AgPark. Some crops grown in their garden are asparagus, artichoke, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, peas and berries. They grow crops for themselves and to share with family and friends.