In 2017, Soil Born Farms officially turned over the keys to our first urban farm on Hurley Way to two beginning farmers, Justin Roberts and Griffin Cassara, who started their training with us nearly three years ago. While we made this transition with some sadness, there is also a strong conviction by Soil Born Farms and the landowner, Betsy Collins, that the farm is continuing to do what it does best—training beginning organic farmers. Both Marco Franciosa and Shawn Harrison learned their farming craft at this site back in 2000 when the project started and since then, over 17 other beginning farmers have followed.
For those of you who have been involved with Soil Born Farms for a while, you might remember some of these folks. Randy Stannard, Antonio Garza, Sean Hagan, Sarah Barnes, Eric Hart, Alicia Baddorf, Paige Schoening, Aimee Sisson and Becca Waltemath all learned from and helped steward this amazing community farm.
Justin Roberts and Griffin Cassara are first generation farmers who started Green Soul Sacramento Urban Farm in spring 2017. They farmed at the historical farm on Hurley Way in the Arden area from spring 2017 through winter 2019. After meeting in the Soil Born farmer training program in 2015, Justin’s and Griffin’s passion for good organic food, a healthier more sustainable food system and love of nature and the outdoors grew into a desire to farm organically and own their own farm. One day, they hope to expand to 5–10 acres where they can explore their dreams of growing potatoes, sweet potatoes and heirloom vegetables saved from their own seed. They grew cut greens like arugula, salad mix, baby mustard greens and baby kale while also experimenting with hot peppers and seasonal kitchen staples such as cucumbers, head lettuce, cauliflower, beets and carrots.