The three farmers who began leasing our farm business in 2014 and are continuing on with us through the 2015 season and beyond are James Nakahara, Gia Matzinger, and Jon Sattler. They joined us after finishing a six month long intensive apprenticeship at the Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Prior to his apprenticeship at UCSC, James worked at Dinner Bell Farm in Chicago Park, CA. James strongly believes that connecting people with good healthy food, while improving the soil and managing the land responsibly, are the keys to making progressive change to our food systems. An Oakland native, James is excited to be able to work and live on this beautiful stretch of coastline while being close to his family. What motivates him everyday is the smell in the air, the vitality of the land, and all the creatures that dwell on it.
Gia grew up in Menlo Park, California. She studied geology and environmental studies at Whitman College where she was inspired by excitement around community organic gardening and the local food movement. She then worked on organic family farms in Oregon for 2 years while attending the Farms Next Program of the Rogue Farm Corps. Inspired by flower production while at UC Santa Cruz, she now is the flower manager at Green Oaks. Gia is ecstatic to be growing healthy, organic food and flowers for her home community.
Jon grew up in the Bay Area, but his interest in growing food began while he attended Prescott College. In Prescott, he was inspired by friends to start gardening in an effort to be more self sufficient and to have greater control of the food he ate. After college, Jon moved to Oregon where his interests around growing food continued to expand as he worked on several farms, gardens and ranches around the state. Farming at Green Oaks, Jon is excited about living closer to his family and growing food for the communities where he grew up.