288: Elvira Di’Brigit on a Valley of Farmers in California.

Connecting a community to its farmers and local food resources.


About 17 years ago, Elvira moved her family to Capay Valley, where her passionate interest in sustainable living took hold. While teaching, she explored curricula surrounding farming, environmental preservation and nutrition – all in support of sustainable living.
She is the editor of CapayValleyGrown.net and the author of Why We Farm. She also serves on the organizing committee for the Hoes Down Harvest Festival, a fund-raiser for the Ecological Farming Association.

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Elvira holds a BA in International Relations from UC Davis, a teaching credential and a Waldorf/Steiner Teaching Certificate. She lives in Rumsey, CA with her husband and 3 children.


In This Podcast:

The community of farmers that she lived in was rich with interesting people and stories, so Elvira Di’Brigit took the time to get to know them.  She shares her story of how she started farming as well as introducing a few interesting farms from her valley.  Their cooperative methods of working and providing for their community are great examples of thinking outside the box.

Listen in and learn about:

    • Thinking she was going to be a Waldorf teacher and planning an intentional community
    • Buying a property sight unseen and living off-grid
    • Recognizing the difficulty of getting healthy food twenty-five years ago
    • Writing a book about getting to know her farmer neighbors
    • Manas Ranch, an inspiring farm in the valley
    • Spreadwing Farm, a new farm run by an entomologist run without heavy equipment
    • The risks that small farmers face which are similar to small businesses
    • Veriditas Farm, an organic cotton plant breeder – growing multi shaded cottons
    • The extended growing seasons in Capay Valley
    • Growing olives on her own farm and so much more
    • Experimenting with tropical plants in her husband’s greenhouse
    • The Capay Valley Farm shop – a community project of online shopping from the valley’s farms

As well as:

Her failure – Having too many projects going at once and seeing one project fall apart

Her success – Creating a job in the field of teaching when naysayers were telling her no jobs available

Her drive – Trying to be a more involved person and learn what she can in this life

Her advice – We do need to support local farmers, and the locally own grocery stores

Books written by Elvira:

Why We Farm: Farmers’ Stories of Growing Our Food and Sustaining Their Business

Elvira’s Book recommendations:  

Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America by Liz Carlisle

How to reach Elvira:           

 Website: whywefarmcapay.com

UrbanFarm.org/WhyWeFarm


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