Meet Jake (along with his daughter Annie, on the right, and that's me, Kristin, photobombing on the left)! When we were actively searching for a farm manager to oversee the general day to day operations around the farm, we had a grass fire break out near the farm. Jake is a local volunteer firefighter and came to check on us. We got to talking about what we were doing and discovered that Jakes's upbringing in the ag industry along with his open mind and curious nature would make him a perfect fit! Jake and his wife Alisha have 7 kids, many of who help out around the farm. We are so lucky to have such an incredible family helping out, and they're all such a pleasure to have around!
As the daughter of Jake (our farm manager), Annie has inherited all of her dad's great work ethic and abilities around the farm. Annie works with our vegetables and is also our resident "cow whisperer." On top of all of that, Annie does an incredible job with the chickens as well. Its always a pleasure to have young people around the farm honing their skillsets, of which Annie has many!
This is Kevin, the genius behind our soil-based greenhouses and vine crops. Kevin has been raising organic vegetables in greenhouses since 2012. While in college, Kevin recognize his passion for agriculture and began working for an orchard. Upon graduation, he took on an assistant grower position at a large Organic Farm. Kevin is dedicated to sustainable and pesticide-free farming through the use of bio-controls (ie using beneficial bugs in our greenhouses to thwart the efforts of other more detrimental pests) and safe organic bi-products from other food industries (compost). In addition to leading growing efforts on all our vine crops, Kevin is also responsible for our Organic Certification, and on-farm food safety programs.
Jacob’s interest in mushrooms was originally sparked at the age of 19 by a short chapter on mycology in an old college botany textbook. A year later he started cultivating mushrooms at a commercial facility. After years of traditional mushroom production, Jacob is excited to bring his cultivation skills to Kristin's Farm Stand's new, state-of-the-art mushroom house. The mushrooms Jacob grows are nothing short of artwork. They are impressive and beautiful looking (seriously, could and should be cast in bronze and used as a centerpiece), and as if that wasn't enough, they are rich and deep with incredibly varied flavor profiles. Jacob also oversees our vermiculture and black soldier fly operations.
T grew up mainly in Idaho but also spent some time in the beautiful states of Nebraska and Colorado. He's been a Malta "native" for the past 11 years. He's a man with many skills, working with our vegetables and livestock. T has 2 daughters and one grandkid and enjoys spending his free time fishing, camping or doing just about anything outdoors!
We're so blessed to have Don mentoring us through our first years with bees. Its one of my greatest pleasures, spending time with Don as he checks on the hives and teaches me about the mysterious and complex society inside the hives. And, I'm convinced you haven't lived until you've tasted honey, warm from the sun and bees' body heat, dripping from a frame of comb. The taste is deep and rich, floral, green and citrusy. Its how I imagine that little chef rat felt in the animated children's movie when he paired strawberry with cheese and had fireworks shooting off inside his mind. Don is super particular and protective of his bees. He raises Certified Naturally Grown honey, meaning any property he puts bees on must sign a contract that they will not spray any fertilizers or pesticides on their property. Additionally, CNG Honey can only treat hives with 3 possible natural ingredients, one of which is thymol, a component of thyme essential oil, used to help fend off the dreaded varroa mites that often wipe out entire hives. Don's honey is as close to straight out of the hive as it comes. It's raw, meaning it has not been heated or treated so all enzymes can live and thrive inside the honey and you and your health can benefit from all of that live active goodness.