News and blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 5/12/2012 8:19am by Melanie & Kevin Cunningham.


This week started off with Melanie attending a millstone-dressing workshop with Roger Jansen at Grindstone Bakery in Rohnert Park.  As grain farmers, we have inadvertently found ourselves embracing the art of milling as well.  Stone mills need regular attention, just like every other small machine on the farm.  As Melanie has been handling much of the milling at Shakefork Community Farm for the last year, she was eager to learn how to clean and care for the granite stones.  After spending three hours working an air chisel, disassembling and reassembling our 8” stone mill no less than 5 times, Melanie successfully removed the veil of mystery surrounding the internal workings of our grain mill and is now empowered to clean, sharpen, and “dress” the stones that make our 100% whole grain flours possible.


dressing millstonespainting the stones

In other farm news,
 Monday we finished planting our onions; Tuesday we started the Fortuna Farmers’ Market; Wednesday we hosted 58 2nd and 3rd graders from Scotia Union Elementary School in a Farm-to-School event where the kids got their hands dirty learning about compost, seed saving, and insects and harvested from the garden to create “lettuce tacos” garnished with toasted barley and edible flowers; Wednesday afternoon we planted 350# of potatoes and our dent corn (a month earlier than last season!); Thursday we planted our pumpkin patch, winter squash, and zucchini; Friday we got our first round of cucumbers in and started our Garberville Farmers’ Market!!!

This week's offerings include:

Grass-fed lamb... the newest addition to our farmstead offerings.  Assorted cuts available.

Meaty bones... 2.5# pounds of chicken bones and chicken parts (and occasionally a thigh or wing) for making a rich and nourishing stock.

Eggs from our pastured hens... now full size and $5 a dozen.

Lettuce... red & green leaf, red & green butter, and a variety of baby romaines.

Radishes... crisp and fresh, great for spring salads or sauteed.

Cornmeal, buckwheat flour, and rye flour...  Our flours contain all of the naturally occuring nutrients found in the original grain that are most often lost with conventional milling. 

Hope to see you soon!

Your farmers,

Melanie and Kevin

Posted 7/8/2011 9:28pm by Melanie & Kevin Cunningham.
Today's harvest was a glorious cap to an incredibly full, sunrise to sunset, bountiful in every way kind-of week. We hope to share some of the bounty with YOU at the Arcata Farmer's Market tomorrow!!  

We will have a fresh batch of broilers, with plenty of 3 and 4 pound birds, a selection of parts including legs 'n thighs, regular skin-on breasts, airline breasts, wings, tenders, and meaty bones for making your own stock.

As for grains, freshly milled rye flour and whole rye berries continue to grace our market table as we await this fall's harvest.  Rye berries are surprisingly excellent in summer salads when toasted, soaked overnight, and cooked like brown rice.

In the produce department, we have leafy green bunches, lots of lettuce, loose leaf spinach, radish and beet bunches, scallions, zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli, fennel, parsley, and dill leaf!!

May you have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Melanie & Kevin 
Posted 6/8/2011 10:25am by Melanie & Kevin Cunningham.
Howdy folks!

We need your help!  
Our wheat and oat fields are a-bloom with wild mustard and radish weeds.  Rather than continue to grow our weed-seed bank, we'd like to amass a crew of helping hands to remove the weeds from our fields.  This is the perfect time for this work, as the flowering plants pull up quite easily, especially while the soil remains somewhat moist.  It is also crucial to get in there before the grains themselves start "heading up", as grains won't appreciate the disturbance once they turn their energy to procuding seed.  

CROP MOB is simply a new name for an old-fashioned work party.  We are continuously astounded by the truth of that age-old adage - many hands make light work.  A seemingly overwhelming task can become a community-building, spirit-lifting, friend-making, body-energizing, heart-opening opportunity to connect with the land, your food source, and the community of people that make good food happen.  Because it really does take a community...

Here's the plan:

12:45p: arrive and park; carpooling appreciated
1p: a walkabout and Shakefork mini-tour 
2-4p: CROP MOB in the wheat and oat fields

Please RSVP so we know how many to expect... thank you!

Also, we recommend wearing sturdy shoes or rain boots, work gloves, and good work clothes. Bring personal water and snacks as needed.  Kids are welcome if under attentive parent supervision.  And finally, please leave your dogs at home, as we have lots of free-ranging birds on the property.  

Directions to our farm:
Take Hwy 36 east about 7.4 miles to Carlotta.  You will go through the town of Hydesville, then through "downtown" Carlotta (don't blink!), passing Shamus BBQ restaurant and the post office on your left.  Our gravel driveway is on the right hand side, just before the Carlotta Fire Station, at 7914 Hwy. 36.  There is a big mailbox just before, and about 300 yards before you will see a yellow sign with a black fire engine on it.  If you miss us the first time, you can easily turn around in the fire station's lot.
Stay left on our driveway, without veering off to the right, over the creek, and through our gates.  Drive on down to the buildings, and we'll let you know where you can park.