Shone Farm produce on campus

Robb Dearth, Staff Writer

Shone Farm is now beginning its second year of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. This is a 14-week program in which produce grown at the farm is delivered to the Santa Rosa and Petaluma campuses. Interested students can pay $336 (or two installments of $175) to receive seasonal vegetables for four to five people each week paired with a few servings of fruit, or a treat put together by SRJC’s Culinary Arts Program.

SRJC’s Shone Farm is a 365-acre auxiliary campus nestled among the vineyards of Forestville and Windsor. It is home to  SRJC’s animal science, wine studies, welding and agricultural programs.

“All of our produce is farmed organically. I won’t even use a donated container if I feel that it has been tainted with anything,” said Ben Leacox, an SRJC student in charge of running the 35-acre sustainable agriculture unit. “The only reason we are not certified organic is because of the cost of that certification.”

“[We] are hoping to connect with the culinary arts program to make wheat bread with ingredients from the farm, but often times the treat is cookie dough or some other pastry,” Leacox said.

On Leacox’s list of produce for the first few weeks are apples, potatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, stir-fry mix, basil, paste tomatoes, strawberries, summer squash and slicer tomatoes. All produce is raised by students in the agriculture program with help from outside laborers and volunteers.

During the summer the CSA program produced approximately 60 boxes per week and hopes to produce close to 100 this fall.

“People usually end up sharing their CSA produce. Couples will often pair up and split the produce throughout the week,” Leacox said. “I suggest people bring their own reusable bags. We don’t want to produce more waste by giving out bags.”

Shone Farm is a seasonal and local agricultural program, so people can look forward to a variety of produce as the seasons change. “Because of the extended summer growing season of Northern California, we often have tomatoes and other summer produce well into October and November,” Leacox said.

“We will also have a farmers market stand Tuesdays from 12-2 p.m. at the main Santa Rosa Campus,” said Shone Farm Manager Leonard Diggs. “People should feel free to stop by and pick up single produce items and see what we’re all about.”

CSA boxes on the Santa Rosa Campus will also be available on Thursdays from 12-2 p.m. between the bookstore and the new Bertolini building. On the Petaluma Campus, boxes will be delivered on Thursdays between 12-2 p.m. near the bookstore.

For information on how to sign up for the CSA, contact [email protected], or stop by the farmers market to show support to our school’s agricultural program and start—or continue—a healthy diet.