Who works on the farm???

So who actually helps to keep Tara Firma Farms running everyday??? Here are a few words from some of the people behind the magic here on the farm!

Meet our favorite farm workers!!!




Who are you and why are you here in your own words...

Elijah Wekesa Namajanja

I was born on the outskirts of Mt. Elgon in Kenya, where my family had a large piece of property and grew coffee and tea and kept some animals. Life was so beautiful breathing the fresh air and nice spring water from the mountain each day, I couldn’t wait for the sun to rise and shut down to see its beautiful color. In the twinkling of an eye the better and beautiful life changed, which also changed the path of our life up the present from grace to grass. It was during internal tribal wars of 1990-1992, where we lost everything. Our farm was taken, the house demolished and other tribes took over. We moved to a new settlement in Trans Nzoia province, a much smaller piece of land that we leased. Life wasn’t easy for us. It was like our lives were transformed into another world, the mentality was: if you don’t beat them you join them, and we had no option but to take it as a fact that we were now members of poor family. We were shown tricks of how to survive, like eating one meal a day and to withstand shame from other rich kids mocking us. .

Despite this, I managed to go to school and went to college where I studied an agricultural course on crop production, animal management and community extension. I have also an advanced certificate in Biointensive Agriculture from Ecology Action, CA. I have many years of experience in community mobilization and training, and I have consulted with many organizations on Boiontensive training in Kenya. I have trained many families groups school organization on community extension, development, and services. I worked with the common ground program in` Kenya as an agronomist and volunteer coordinator.

Skills you bring

I do not bring fish but I have a fishing rode to fish. I have some experience in Biointensive farming and community extension as an agronomist, and I am here to share my skills with Tara Firma Farms on raising food in a natural way by growing the minds of people to know how to grow healthy soil, healthy plant feeding, and healthy people; leading to a strengthened environment.

Why you’re here

I am here to join hands with Tara Firma Farms staff to a achieve the goal of the farm, share what I have (not only to the organization but transfer the skill to the community at large) and gain more experience on farming on different ecological zones, soil and climate .

What you hope to accomplish

I hope by the end of a given time we would have reached a level of producing organic food. To have taught people about farming, to grow their minds, to grow soil and food naturally; be it crops or animals.

Russ Bates

Skills you bring

I grew up on a small family farm in Southwest Michigan where Apples,Cherries, Strawberries, Blueberries, and Peaches were and still are king. On our farm we grew produce and "corn" for our livestock our-selves. We had some cattle, a milk cow, many hogs, chickens and ducks. A few Cash crops for the market (mostly vegetables). I also raised Quarter Horses for competition. So I have some varied experience's from the farm life.

I worked for several years as a carpenter before going back to college.

Oh yea, I know a little about computers.

Why you’re here

I'm excited about the opportunities extended by Craig and Tara to Elizabeth and I to get "back to the basics" where hard work and perseverance are truly appreciated, expected and rewarded. I have been looking for a change in my life where I can do something worth while for the community. Tara Firma Farms has offered me that opportunity to have some impact developing alternatives in the way our communities eat, think and interact. Having spent the last 30 years in a cubical it is refreshing yet challenging to spend even a day at Tara Firma Farms. But at the end of the day when we all gather around the dinner table to recap the day and plan tomorrow's task, it makes me proud to be considered part of such a great team.

What you hope to accomplish

What I hope to accomplish? Really? It's quit simple. I hope to transform Tara Firma Farms into the finest most sustainable agricultural facility in the North Bay Area. A destination for family and friends. All my friends have been invited!

Nate Shelters

Why you're here

I was raised in a small Michigan community where local farmers set stands out in front of their homes near the road with an unattended cash box and crates of fresh produce. People were trusted to take what they needed and leave what they could. Even at a young age I was aware that this was a special environment. Enjoying excellent, home grown food and living among people that enjoyed being happy and decent to one another was incredibly rewarding. I spent lazy summer afternoons fishing in a lake the kids referred to as 'Hidden' because we had to crawl through what seemed like miles of brush to get to it. Looking back it was idyllic.

Skills you bring

In my early teens I began helping my father with the family business and at the age of 21 received my Journeyman plumbers license. I moved out of that community and entrenched myself in the business of commercial plumbing. After sixteen years in the field I decided to give another career a shot and enrolled in college in the hopes of earning a degree in computer science.

What you hope to accomplish

Between semesters this year I was given the opportunity to work with the good people of Tara Firma Farms. A chance to reconnect with wholesome, nutritious food; make lifelong friends; learn incredible things about the environment and sustainability; and work my butt off was too much to pass up. I miss my girl and our pooches back home in Michigan but this is an incredible experience and I am honored to be a part of it. Thanks!

Come out and enjoy this place, it makes you feel good.