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Know Your Farmer: Fiddler’s Green

Courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop

The Fiddler’s Green is a place first described in 18th century Irish sailing lore. The Fiddler’s Green is utopia where all your desires are met; where the grog never runs dry and the tobacco pipes are always full. Farmer Jim Eldon is one of the lucky ones to stumble upon the Fiddler’s Green which, as it turns out, is here in the Capay Valley.  After finishing a degree in Philosophy at UC Davis, Jim thought he would try his hand at farming. Without agriculture in his family history, Jim was attracted to the adventure of farming, especially organic, which was not very common in the late 1970’s. Jim came to Fiddler’s Green to be the farm manager and as fortune would have it, he and his family found a place to call home.

Jim has kept the tradition of organic growing on this 34 acre farm and has developed asparagus as his signature crop along with a plethora of other crops including salad greens, summer squash (check out the mini summer squash), vine ripened melons, and specialty Italian chicories like escarole frisee, and radicchio. Fiddler’s Green Farm has remained intentionally small, (the farm employs four people including Jim,) throughout the past 22 years.  One of the greatest joys of farming for Jim, is connecting something very simple and basic like food, to people who perhaps never have had asparagus so fresh you don’t need to cut the stems off, or the sweetness of truly vine ripened honeydew melons. In this sense Jim, is both a farmer and an educator and gets a lot of pleasure from directly sharing his produce with his customers.

When Jim isn’t on his tractor or at farmers markets, he is also the co-owner of Monticello, a farm-to-table restaurant in Davis. Here you can find the freshest seasonal and local foods with ingredients from Fiddler’s Green Farm as well as many other small local farms in Yolo County. Check them out next time you are in Davis.

Fiddler’s Green Farm is one of the many small family farms that provide produce for FarmShares. You may have seen or tasted Fiddler’s Green Farm potatoes or salad greens in past boxes. In addition to providing exceptional organic produce for FarmShares, Jim hosts Capay Valley Farm Shop at Fiddler’s Green Farm, where the Farm Shop crew prepares and packs your FarmShare boxes each week.  We use his pack shed and coolers and Jim is always able to help us out if we run short on something.

As the long hot summer winds down, Fiddler’s Green Farm is transitioning to fall and winter crops and things will slow down a little bit on the farm. But in late winter the asparagus will start to push their heads up out of the cold soil, signaling it is time to start again.

At Fiddler’s Green, where seamen true
When here they’ve done their duty
The bowl of grog shall still renew
And pledge to love and beauty.
~Frederick Marryat

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