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 1973 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.
After a quick break from our successful Winter CSA program, we’re rolling into our 20 week Summer CSA subscription. The gentle and abundant winter rains have blessed our soil with plenty of moisture and the creeks are still flowing, feeding many flora and fauna species along our banks. While uncertainties about the season always remain, we are confident we can offer the best and most consistent summer produce. As many changes occur in the food production and distribution world, we believe 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 your 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 all summer long.
Details and Benefits:
Our 20 week season will run from June 16th, 2023 through October 27th, 2023 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 also have our pasture raised lamb cuts available and can be added to your box as frequently as you’d like.
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 pumpkins this fall. You will also have access to free picnic appointments, which can be made through our website, any day except Mondays.
Pick Up Locations and Delivery:
Preston Farm and Winery Farm Store pick up will be offered every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am – 4:00pm.
*Friday pick up is any time AFTER 1 PM
Farmers Market Pickups: We are participating in the Tuesday Cloverdale Farmers’ Market from 4pm – 7pm on the plaza and would like to offer that day as a pick up option for our Cloverdale members. Pick up is also available at the Saturday Healdsburg Farmers’ Market from 8:30am – 12 noon in the parking lot across from the Little Saint restaurant space.
Delivery will occur on Fridays between 4:30pm – 5:30pm, but we will require a $10 fee per delivery. We can deliver to Windsor, Healdsburg, Geyserville, and Cloverdale. Delivery fee can be paid at time of delivery or in advance over the phone.
Length and Cost of Membership:
Full 20 week subscription, running from the weekend of June 16th – weekend of October 27th, is $600.
A half, 10 week subscription (pick up every other week), running from weekend of June 16th – weekend of October 20th, is $300. if you’d prefer your 10 weeks consecutively, that is also an option. Your consecutive subscription would run from June 16th – August 18th.
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. Please notify firstname.lastname@example.org by the Friday of that week. Boxes not picked up by Monday morning at 8 am will be donated to our local food pantry.
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.
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.
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 and chickens 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.
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.
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.