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Twining Tree is a small farm located in the foothills of the Coast Range in the northern Sacramento Valley, at about 700 feet, in a sea of blue oak savannah. We are determined for small, innovative farmers to succeed and for all people to have access to delicious local food all year round!

philosophy

Farms are ecosystems, not factories. Like the wild ecosystems they displace, farms must be richly biodiverse, deep-rooted and water-conserving, and teeming with tiny creatures. To protect and build deep living soil, we use cover crops, animal manures, organic mulches, compost we make here on the farm, and as little tillage as possible.

rethinking the seasons

Some people say that here in the warm Sacramento Valley, we have “no winter”. Actually, we have a long, harsh winter when all but the hardiest creatures perish without serious coddling. It runs from June to October.
Funnelling irrigation water from our formerly wild rivers, or pumping groundwater faster than it can be recharged, is not a sustainable way to grow food. Any truly sustainable agriculture for our Valley must eventually be rainfed, or very close to it. To that end, we are trying to recenter our farming on the winter, and letting the land mostly rest in the summer. Ask about the wintertime CSA, which runs from late December through June!

water conservation

We still rely heavily on groundwater (although our entire farming operation — INCLUDING our home — still uses less water than any 2 average suburban Californian households). But we are installing catchment systems to harvest rainwater in tanks and an existing earthen pond; we are shifting our farming operation to focus on cool-season vegetables, not “summertime” ones; and we spend a lot of time building deep, high-organic-matter soils that can hold water for a long time.

crops and products

We grow scores of varieties of vegetables, year-round. Many are heirlooms, and none are GMOs. Most are cool-season veggies: radishes and golden turnips, carrots, potatoes, kohlrabi and fennel, cilantro, parsley, dill, onions and garlic, kale and lettuce and beet greens and bok choy, and on and on. Please don’t think of the cold season as a time of scarcity!

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