Farming is a complex endeavor. So much more than cultivating the soil and growing crops, we know it as a weaving of scientific, ecological, social and spiritual dimensions. From the time 43 years ago when we adopted this beautiful land in Dry Creek Valley we have become part of that tapestry, both making it our own and indeed becoming one of its crops.
When you look at this farm you will see both chaos and order. There are the vineyards and fruit trees side by side. Native and exotic hedgerows guarding vegetable-growing areas and pastured livestock, small fields of grain hiding birds, squirrels and coyotes, and rushing creeks protecting spawning salmon. Wines inspired by our Italian antecedents and the more recently adopted Rhone-style blends lend breadth to our practice of farming. Having a variety of crops reduces our land’s exposure to disease and pests common to monoculture farming, and it insures the balance of nature that makes organic techniques work.
The job we take most seriously is soil building, with the regular planting of cover crops and the addition of Organic composts to stimulate life under the soil surface. We honor the coexistence of both cultivated and wild areas through the restoration of native habitat along our creeks and by keeping pockets of our acreage rugged and untamed. We utilize the integrative contribution of livestock when it can replace human interference. Philosophically and practically our approach is that less is more: less disturbance, less cultivation, fewer “inputs” or imported materials, and less intrusive procedures.
About our CSA:
After a short break from our successful Winter CSA program, we’re rolling out a 20 week Summer CSA subscription opportunity. With so many things changing in the food production and distribution world, we feel that offering a weekly, local, organic produce box to our community is the best way to safely serve and connect with people who need access to healthy food.
With our 20 week CSA subscription, the goal is to provide our local community with healthy, organic, and regenerative food. We are certified organic by CCOF, practice sustainable growing methods, and offer the “cleanest” produce imaginable. By subscribing to our CSA program, you’re committing to support our local food system and in turn receiving a direct connection to our family farm. It would be our privilege to provide you and your family with fresh, nutritious food.
Details and Benefits:
Our 20 week season will run from June 4th, 2021 through October 15th, 2021 with purchase options ranging from weekly to every other week. Each subscription will contain an assortment of eight to ten seasonally appropriate fruits and vegetables. We will try to keep it balanced between roots, fruits, and leafy greens. You can look forward to summer squash, cucumbers, eggplant, potatoes (both red and yellow), sweet corn, peaches, plums, strawberries, onions, garlic, carrots, fennel, and leafy greens this season. An example box might contain spring onions, lettuce, summer squash, berries or other seasonal fruits, carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes. One box should feed a family of two to four people, depending on how avid you are about consuming vegetables!
We have many other additional items for purchase in our Farm Store including our estate olive oil, and sourdough bread made with grains grown, milled, and baked on our farm, and fermented products like sauerkraut and Lou’s famous sour pickles from July – October. We are hoping to have our pasture raised lamb cuts available in late Summer 2021.
As a CSA member, you’ll have first access to many of our most popular crops like tomatoes, apples, berries, and more. You’ll also have access to bulk amounts of picking cucumbers, flats of sauce tomatoes, and large amounts of berries for jam. If conditions permit, we’d like to have our CSA members out for U-pick strawberries, cherry tomatoes, and other crops. You will also have access to free picnic appointments as we navigate reopening!
Re-opening 2021 Details:
We are planning to reopen the winery Thursday May 20th and our hours will be 10am – 4 pm. Wine tastings will be offered by appointment only; Thurs – Sun; 6 guests or less; $35 per person; approximately 90 minutes per appointment. Tastings will be held under the sycamore trees at 10am, 12pm, and 2pm. Picnicking will be free for wine club and CSA members! Bottle purchases are encouraged and appointments will be available at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, and 2pm. Each reservation will be 2 hrs. Picnic locations will most likely be front lawn, front office lawn, the “love shack”. Appointments must be made by calling our Tasting Room staff at (707) 433-3372.
Pick up will be offered every Saturday and Sunday at Preston Farm and Winery from 10 am – 4:00 pm. Just let kristin@prestonfarmandwinery.
*Some folks like to pick up on Fridays instead of crowded weekends. Pick up on Fridays after 1 pm is fine, just let our farmer, Kristin, know 24 hours in advance.
We also want to encourage pick up at the Saturday Healdsburg Farmers’ Market from 8:30 am – 12 noon in the parking lot across from the old SHED space.
*If you need your box delivered on Fridays between 4pm – 5:30 pm, we can happily accommodate you, but will require a $5 fee per delivery. We can deliver to Windsor, Healdsburg, Geyserville, and Cloverdale. Delivery fee can be paid at time of delivery or over the phone.
Length and Cost of Membership:
Full 20 week subscription, running from the weekend of June 4th – weekend of October 15th: Box cost is $500 for the 20 week membership.
10 week subscription, running from weekend of June 4th – weekend of October 8th (pick up every other week. Just email kristin@prestonfarmandwinery.
When you place your first order, please specify which pick up day works for you and please notify us by Friday if you will be unable to pick up your box that week.
***Gift a membership! If you are unable to pick up your box at any time, you may “gift” the box to anyone and they can have your share. Just notify kristin@prestonfarmandwinery.
We began our Dry Creek farming enterprise with an emphasis on vineyards. This singular focus changed over time to include food crops that complemented the wines we made and conversed with the soils and climate of the local region. There were examples galore on our property when we arrived: the apple trees along the road next to the barn, walnut trees throwing shade on the hot south-facing side of the house, olive trees overgrown behind the chicken coop. Today our farm sports 25 varieties of heirloom apples for eating and cider, peach trees, pears, figs, plums, pomegranates, quince and more. Newer varieties of walnut join the 100 year old heritage trees, 3 acres of annual row crops dance in rotation with 15 acres of pasture, and 1500 olive trees feed the local olive mill. Visitors perambulating our grounds will discover the known, the exotic, the tasty and the fragrant. And there is always a happy abundance of food to be enjoyed and purchased in our farm store.
Susan introduced Lou to the family food traditions of her Italian ancestors which included her Nonna baking in a brick forno. Unsurprisingly, Lou took on the art of bread baking in the 1990s the way he tackled winemaking in the 70s. Beginning with yeasted loaves, he soon moved on to the fermentation challenge of sourdough, fueled by inspiration from contemporary artisans and authors. A simple adobe oven in the winery gardens led eventually to a meeting with the legendary Alan Scott, who built an authentic old-world wood-fired brick oven on the premises.
We first became known for our “Country White,” a holey sourdough loaf that blends whole grains from the farm with organic white flour from an equally obsessed provisioner, Keith Giusto’s Flours. In more recent years we have begun growing grain ourselves, so that our breads will also express the terroir of the farm. Each year we test different heirloom wheats, ryes and barleys. Our bread is available daily in the Tasting Room for visitors to sample and purchase.
An impromptu visit in the late 1980s to a wine and oil exhibition in Modena, Italy, jumpstarted an olive oil project that has since become an important feature of the farm. In his suitcase Lou brought back a handful of nursery trees that started it all: Leccino, Pendolino, Casaliva and Grignano. Today our scattered orchards include 1500 trees and 10 different varieties, all farmed organically. We produce an Extra Virgin Olive Oil; gastronomic pundits liken it to a spicy, fruity Tuscan olive oil. We celebrate it as a natural complement to the other foods we grow here on the farm, and as the perfect dipper for our freshly baked breads. It is for sale in our Tasting Room and occasionally finds its way onto local restaurant menus.
Following the example of the Cavallo family whose home we gained as our own in the early 70s, we raised backyard hens when our girls were young. But it wasn’t until we began the commitment to organic management in the early 2000s that we made the shift to species diversity. With the presence of sheep, chickens and occasionally pigs, our land has taken on the glow of life that these creatures bring to it. Our livestock nurture our soil, provide us with sustenance and help us to further understand the vital importance of a holistically unified farm. And of course it gives us an additional crop! You will find pastured eggs in our farm store along with ground lamb and sausage when available, and when you visit Healdsburg you will no doubt find our lamb on local menus.
Growing food is a collaborative project. Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food, referred to the patrons of a farm as “co-producers,” alluding to the mutual support, sharing and conviviality of thoughtful farming. We are also influenced by Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the Biodynamic movement, who believed the mutual interdependence of a farm with its surrounding community is essential to the success and security of both.
Our community is multi-faceted. It includes fellow farmers with whom we exchange challenges and techniques, successes and failures. Locals who share a common township bond. Food enthusiasts who never miss the local farmer’s market, who come to trade stories as much as to buy strawberries. City folk longing for a time-tested connection with the land. And of course the local chefs, artistic wizards of taste who conjure up dreams from our fruits and vegetables. We reach out to all of these as collaborators, supporters and partners.
Our produce can be found at local restaurants, the Healdsburg Farmer’s Market and the Cloverdale Farmer’s Market. Our Farmstore is open daily from 11 to 4:30 and also features our produce along with our pasture-laid eggs and pasture-raised ground lamb.