Riverdog Farm: The Hands that Feed You
Posted by denisegoitia | Filed under The Hands that Feed You
|The Hands That Feed You
Tim Mueller, co-founder of Riverdog Farm took time out of his busy schedule last Saturday to show Three Stone Hearth staff and students around his farm in the Capay Valley.
Tim and his partner Trini Campbell began farming in 1990 in Napa County on a 4 acre farm. Today they farm over 400 acres. Riverdog is a rare example of a medium-sized,
organic, biodiverse, interdependent family farm. The year- round growing season allows them to cultivate a range of row crops, fruits, nuts, and grains as well as raise laying hens, meat birds, and hogs for pork. While chickens are housed in moveable tractors to eat harvested fields and to fertilize them, over 200 acres are dedicated to raising grains for animal feed and providing pasture for both pigs and chickens.
In addition to their sustainable land management practices, Riverdog participates in what Tim and his colleagues refer to as “coopetition,” a cooperative relationship of sharing seeds, packing boxes and delivery trucks with his fellow competitors and neighbors, Full Belly Farm and Tierra Firma. Tim explained these farms have a vested interest in one another’s success because it ensures the livelihood of this community of farms.
Three Stone Hearth weekly purchases 40-60 chickens from Riverdog as well as a variety of produce such as cabbage, beets, carrots, summer and winter squashes. Tim’s meat birds are Red Rangers, a French breed known for their excellent flavor and are ideal for being raised on pasture.
Riverdog sells produce to several Bay Area restaurants and grocery stores. You can join their CSA or visit their farm stand at any of the Berkeley Farmer’s markets.