"As soils are depleted human health, vitality and intelligence go with them."
— Louis Bromfield
Rich and Shelly seek to share the love of celebrating food, farming and life.
We have established and continue to grow a productive, sustainable and diversified farm program that improves the land and health of the involved community.
The Collins Farm is host to a group of local farmers who lease the land; Jason Cuff from Hearty Fork Farms, Emma Torbert and Katie Fyhrie from The Cloverleaf Farms, Katie Koch from Flower Mama Flowers and JE Paino from Ruhstaller.
We officially change our name to The Collins Farm and launch our new website.
Our barn, reminiscent of those built throughout the Central Valley a century ago, using reclaimed wood, was completed! Rich now has an office and wood working shop. Shelly has a processing kitchen in the barn to continue her jam and pie business.
J.E. Paino from Ruhstaller Brewery plants 1 acre of hops on the farm.
Blackberries are doing so well we add additional
2012 to 2013
We begin construction on our barn, which will be the center of our farm activities.
Shelly begins baking fresh fruit pies. We sell our fruit and baked goods at our farmstand and the Davis Farmers Market. We start a U-pick operation. The Cloverleaf Farm leases and manages the fruit orchard, continue to grow 1 acre of vegetables, and start a 30 person organic CSA.
We lease one acre of land to Cloverleaf farms. They grow organic vegetables and run our farmstand off I-80 at Kidwell.
We start selling our blackberries at Farmers Markets, Produce Express and our Farmstand. Shelly begins to make jam in a traditional style after taking classes from June Taylor, a well-known jam producer in the Bay Area.
We planted 4 acres of stone fruit. We built a small 120 square foot Farmstand at the I80 and Kidwell exit. Why only 120 square feet? To avoid burdensome state and county permitting requirements which apply to structures larger than 120 square feet.
We purchased and moved to the property a 1230 square foot, somewhat dilapidated, mobile home originally built in 1986. We fixed it up and moved in. We planted 2 acres of blackberries with a unique rotating trellis system. This provides for higher yields, better quality and easier picking. On our 24th wedding anniversary we planted the home-sites first shade trees: Western Sycamores.
Our dream of owning a farm came true! We purchased 195 conservation easement protected acres from the Solano Land Trust.
Our family began when we (Rich and Shelly) met in 1970 while in the fifth grade class of Our Lady of Assumption School in Sacramento. Fourteen years later we were married. We settled into the Davis/Dixon community and raised our four children: Aaron, Melanie, Molly and Mary.
For twelve years we lived within the City of Davis, but with Rich's lifetime interest and career in agriculture it was inevitable that we would find a place to join the farmer and grower community.
Rich has been involved in agriculture, on varying levels, for his entire life. He has pursued his passion from the start, serving as the head of Sacramento's Organic Gardening Club at the age of only 13. At the age of 22 he spent a year working, learning, and exploring European agriculture, where he focused on the production of endive, a lettuce of Belgian pedigree. After returning home to graduate with a degree in Agricultural and Managerial Economics from UC Davis, Rich created California Endive Farms, becoming the only producer of endive in North America. After nearly 30 years, CEF continues to be the only non-European producer of endive and has expanded to include organic sectors. Along with his role as President of CEF, Rich has been a member of the Davis Farmer's Market's board, as well as the board of Community Alliance with Family Farmers.