If you got a box this week, you most likely got a melon from this guy, Tom Shepherd. For those of you that are new here, my dad has been the inspiration behind what we do. He was one of the original farmers that started the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market Association and he’s been farming organically before it was even a word. I think it’s safe to say we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him. Tom has farmed several different properties over the last 45 years and they’ve been farms of all sizes. Since his last huge farm in Carpinteria (currently Frecker Farms) my dad has downsized a ton. He’s only farming about 10 acres right now but I think this is the happiest he’s been in a while. Farming has had his own set of challenges for my Tom but he’s on a smooth, steady and simple path.
Last week he called me to let me know he had a several hundreds of extra melons in his field to sell me. So yesterday morning I drove up the coast to lend him hand for the melon harvest. Because let me tell you, harvesting 900 lbs of melons ain’t easy. Walking buckets in and out of 500 ft. is super difficult. But to be completely honest, helping my dad out and getting to harvest is something I’ve been missing. Back in the first few years of our little farm cart business, Jason and I used to go to my dads farm every single morning. We would pick harvest our own bounty, and take it to our little corner in Carpinteria to sell. It’s hard to believe the journey it’s taken to get here. And even crazier we’re coming up on our seven year business anniversary.
Yesterday morning when we were picking the melons we completely fell short. We were supposed to only put Hoagan melons in the box. But we literally picked the entire field and didn’t have enough. So in this week’s box, you either got a hoagan or an ambrosia melon. Both are incredible with a super sweet flavor. Hoagans are yellow and green stripped with a green flesh. And the ambrosia melon looks like a cantaloupe only with a more yellow skin. Both of these melons are so fragrant and are picked RIPE. So stick them in the fridge right away.
I got to spend the morning walking around his farm, and see what crops he has coming up. We’re both super excited about these Italian flat green beans and we’re hoping he has enough to where we can put them in all of our boxes in a few weeks.
We hope you have a wonderful week my lovely farm supporters!