About the Farm Property
Our main farm property (17 acres near the Elkhorn Slough) was a working goat dairy about 75 years ago, producing milk for infants in the days before baby formula as we know it existed. The area around the farm was originally named Swiss Canyon since it was inhabited by seven Swiss families. The paved roads in the area were originally built by these families.
Our family’s home is nearly 100 years old, and is actually composed of three tiny old cabins spliced together in a fashion much less quaint than what you are no doubt envisioning at this moment. The original occupant of one of the cabins was a lifelong bachelor who ended up in prison for shooting his neighbor in the foot (the neighbor was also a lifelong bachelor, who lived in a similarly un-quaint cabin on the property next door). The neighbor developed gangrene from the wound and died, hence the prison stay for our resident.
Our broiler chicken pasture was a hillside oat hay field in the farm’s goat dairy days, and also briefly served to pasture turkeys, though that was apparently a short-lived experiment. Much of the rest of the property is an old oak forest where our pigs now spend most of their time. The property ends at the top of an unfarmed sandstone ridge which is covered in manzanita and has a view of the Elkhorn Slough, Monterey Bay and the lower Salinas River Valley.
Despite the agrarian roots of the land, Fiesta Farm is a "first generation farm" which means that we didn’t inherit anything from Auntie Em… we're entirely self-made and got the property with our own savings in a rather difficult foreclosure sale when the market bottomed out in 2011. Recent prior owners didn’t take good care of the property, and we’re still working to clean it up. Being a “first generation farm” also means that even after several years of operation, we are still building the physical farm! Imagine opening a restaurant and having to cook and serve guests on the sidewalk while you simultaneously build your commercial kitchen and dining room inside as time and funds allow.
It's a diamond in the rough for sure, but the stability of owning part of our farmland has made it possible to put down some pretty strong roots and provide food for hundreds of local families on a weekly basis. Click here for more information on visiting the farm.