We spend a lot of time working in the fields and planning our production and harvests, and a lot less time communicating about it. If you've never heard of us before, or if you only know us through our produce, here are the answers to some questions you might have!
WHO ARE YOU, ANYWAY?
We’re a family farm, owned by Sonya and Alex Perrotti. We have cultivated crops and raised our kids here since 2014. Joe, our older son, was born on the same day that our first farm share deliveries went out! Nico, our younger son, was born near the end of our second season. Clearly, given the circumstances, we’ve had help on the farm from the very beginning.
Sonya is the farm manager. Before starting Coyote Family Farm, she had a long and motley career circling around production farming through work and study in sustainable agriculture, cooking, gardening and landscaping, and natural building. In 2013 she completed a beginning farmer training through California Farm Academy, which was indispensable in helping synthesize her knowledge and experience and access resources in order to start a viable farm business. Alex does larger-scale land management, produces delicious compost for our plants, and helps mastermind big projects. He is also a practicing marriage and family therapist and does a good bit of child-wrangling.
Charlie and Colin are our main field crew members this season. Charlie takes great care of our laying hens, Colin helps tend our bees, and they both do wonderful work harvesting, weeding, and preparing new beds, all with curious minds and lots of care.
ARE YOU ORGANIC?
Short answer: Yes, we produce according to organic methods but we are not yet certified by an agency.
Long answer: Because we mostly market directly, we chose at first not to pursue certification, which is a somewhat lengthy and involved process with costs associated. The foundation of our production is in ecology and the health of the soil, and we do not use herbicides, fertilizers, or pesticides not allowed in organic production. In fact, there are many products that are allowed in organic production that we choose not to use because they have still may have a negative ecological impact.
We know that many potential consumers of our food value the peace of mind that organic certification affords them, and we have begun the certification process and expect to complete it before the end of the year.
WHY THE NAME?
When we first arrived to the farm in 2013, the place was half-abandoned and host to lots of wildlife, including coyotes. They rarely show their faces these days, since they are shy of people, but the yips and cries from their late-night parties still echo across the land. In ordinary life, coyotes are social animals dedicated to their families and communities. In myth and legend, Coyote can be both a fool and a sage, with a wry, roundabout, and rascally way of sharing wisdom. To us, this feels like an apt symbol for what it is like to make a living in partnership with the land. When things get difficult, we like to assume that nature is laughing with us, not at us.
WHAT ELSE ARE YOU WONDERING?
We don't always know what other people will find interesting about the farm. If you want to know, please ask!