Dru Rivers began farming in 1983 with her partner, Paul Muller, in Northern California’s Capay Valley. Since that time, Full Belly Farm has grown to over 200 acres of vegetables, with still more acreage devoted to flowers, animals, fruits, nuts, and even grains. They’ve recently ventured into value-added products, as well. All of this is marketed to farmers markets, CSA customers, and wholesale customers in the Bay Area, Davis, and Sacramento.
Full Belly Farm has also grown in the number of people – and not just their intern program or their employees, although we dig into how Full Belly has created a renowned and very successful internship program and an environment that fosters fantastic employee retention. Full Belly’s ownership has also grown, with an early partnership with Judith Redmond and Andrew Brait, as well as a more recent expansion to include some of Dru and Paul’s children. Dru shares about why their partnership has worked, the return of all four of her children to the farm, managing a wide diversity of enterprises, and the renowned Hoes Down Harvest Festival.
The Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously supported by Vermont Compost Company.
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Quotes from the Show
I often worried about, was I a good mom? But now, in retrospect, their favorite memories are some of the ones where I was really like, “Gosh, am I doing the right thing?”