We are food gardeners. We grow and raise some of our food, but none of us grow and raise it all. Who grows the rest of our food?

I’ll share where my family gets some of the rest of our food, and I’d appreciate it if you would share farms or sources you have that you’re pleased with.

I figure that the recommendations of other food gardeners are worth listening to. As food gardeners, we have a keener sense of what quality food is, we know how challenging it is to produce such food, and we know how valuable it is. On that last point, what I mean is that we don’t balk at a higher price for higher quality fuel for our bodies.

My family’s current sources

Milk and DairyRaw Farm, Fresno

We get our milk from Raw Farm via Sprouts markets. I’ve been drinking raw milk on and off for twenty years and exclusively for approximately the past ten. My whole family drinks the same.

We have bought our raw milk from a few other farms over the years, but mostly we buy from Raw Farm. We also get some other dairy products from Raw Farm. My wife loves their kefir.

Raw Farm is also called Raw Farm USA, and the farm was originally called Organic Pastures. The cows and dairy are located near Fresno in the Central Valley. We have driven by the farm on a couple of road trips but have not properly visited yet. I’m hoping to get the family there for a real tour soon. One thing I like about Raw Farm is that they offer tours.

Here is an interview with Mark McAfee, founder and CEO of Raw Farm. The interview introduces differences between raw (fresh) milk and pasteurized (cooked) milk, whether certified organic or not, and it provides some insight into the dairy industry in general.

BeefRancho Guejito, Escondido, San Diego County

For the last few years we have been pleased with the beef we have bought from Rancho Guejito, which raises cattle on pasture and is only five miles away from our home as the crow flies. We are lucky to have such a cattle ranch so close in Southern California.

I’ve toured the finger of Rancho Guejito that extends south to the San Pascual Valley but have not been to the upper reaches where the cattle are raised. As with Raw Farm, I’d like to get a full look at the ranching operation of Rancho Guejito someday so I have a better picture of where our beef is coming from.

Fruits and VegetablesEli’s Farms, Fallbrook, San Diego County

Whatever fruits and vegetables I don’t grow for the family I usually procure from Eli Hofshi and his family at Eli’s Farms. I visit their stand in Fallbrook, but they also deliver CSA boxes and sell at a few farmers markets in San Diego and Orange Counties.

It feels good to know your farmer. I have gotten to know Eli and his family over the past handful of years, I trust them to grow clean and nutritious food for my family, and I even feel a pull to come to their aid if ever the need arises.

A few springs ago they said they were having trouble finding workers so I insisted on helping to cut down weeds in one area of the farm, as they don’t use herbicides. I wanted it to be pure help with nothing in return, but they insisted on sending me home with a new avocado tree to say thanks. (They also run Subtropica Nurseries.)

Your turn

Who grows the rest of your food? Please help me and other Yard Posts readers by sharing any good farms or farmers that you get food from.

Do you have other good sources for milk, beef, fruits and vegetables. Do you have a good source for chicken, for fish, for grain, etc.?

Links to your growers and producers

Thanks for the great ideas! Here are links to some of the farms and providers you’ve mentioned in the comments below:

Major Market, Escondido and Fallbrook

Yasukochi Family Farms, Oceanside

Lil Patch of Heaven, Ramona and all of San Diego County

O.B. People’s Food Co-op, Ocean Beach, San Diego

Jared’s Real Food, Lakeside, San Diego County

Primal Pastures, Murrieta and beyond

5 Bar Beef, Orange County and beyond

Co-opportunity Market, Santa Monica

Autonomy Farms, Bakersfield and beyond

Desi Milk, Modesto and beyond

FEED, Petaluma and SF Bay Area

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