On Sunday, I spotted the first French breakfast radishes I've seen in weeks, maybe months, at Roots of Creation Farm's stall at the Sebastopol Farmers Market. Pretty radishes, just about thumb size, were crowned with pert greens, perfect for soup. I snagged three bunches, and it's a good thing I did, as they were gone long before the market ended.
Roots of Creation Farm of Sebastopol has beautiful produce, grown on a quarter-acre of land that is within the Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed, near Highway 116 and Llano Road. There's now a second location, another quarter of remarkably fertile soil at Green Star Farm in southeast Sebastopol.
This week, farmer Brad Thompson expects to harvest arugula, salad mix, baby chard, spinach, baby collards, baby kale, French breakfast radishes and the first Easter egg radishes of the season.
This is Thompson's second year farming solo, though he'd worked on many farms before setting out on his own. Last summer, as he and his wife, Laurel Blair, were expecting their first child, Thompson was making plans to launch an online farm store.
"That all changed when Arthur was born," Thompson said. Arthur arrived on August 29, and in the glow of fatherhood, Thompson began exploring different options, specifically more land.
The new plot is almost ridiculously fertile, as its 30 years as a horse farm has enriched the nutrient content of already good sandy loam. Although he's only doubled his space, Thompson expects to more than double his harvest.
Last year, Thompson dry-farmed 250 tomato plants, which yielded flavorful but small tomatoes that did not sell as well as he had expected. This year, he'll go a more conventional route with added water so that his tomatoes are on a more even footing with the big and plump heirloom varieties.
Last year, Thompson's first tomatoes ripened near the end of May. This year, he suspects the first will come sometime in mid June, which is still earlier than a lot of local farms.
For the past several weeks, Roots of Creation Farm has been at just one farmers market, Sebastopol's. But this Saturday, he'll return to the Santa Rosa Community Farmers Market, held at the Veterans Building from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. You'll find him at certain seasonal markets, too, when they open later this year.
As far as the online store goes, those plans are on hold for now, although Thompson hopes to launch a new website sometime this year.