Today marks the beginning of my third week here at the farm and I am writing to introduce myself to you. My name is Isabel and I am the new CSA Manager for Tara Firma Farms. Let me start by saying I am thrilled to be here, and still can’t quite believe I get to work here. Everyday, at some point, I walk out of the office here on the farm, look around at the beauty, listen to the birds singing overhead, walk past the sheep, goats and pigs, and get greeted by Tractor the farm dog and am hit with a surreal feeling; amazed at being fortunate enough to experience this daily. Over the last few years I have been on a search for meaningful, fulfilling, challenging, purposeful, and fun work. I am hopeful that my new role here at Tara Firma Farms will check all those boxes.
I grew up in Petaluma and have lived here most of my life. I live with my fabulous teenage daughter and my 80-pound rescue pup, who thinks he is still small enough to be a lap dog . . . he is not. We live out in the country in a house next to my mom and stepdad. Living on land, my mom has always had gardens and we love eating off the land . . . although only if my parents grow the food, as I am not the one in the family with a green thumb! My daughter and I spend our free time cooking, baking, doing puzzles, reading and playing an endless game of name that song; there is almost always music on in the house-musicals are our favorite! I have a large family, both locally and in the Southeast were my dad and step mom live. My family gathers at my mom’s most weekends, enjoying the fresh air when the weather is good, eating, singing and dancing. We travel to see family in the Southeast whenever we can, and immediately miss our amazing Northern California weather (although the flooding is getting a little old!)
I have spent most of my working life in the corporate world, managing for a coffee giant for over ten years (I am sure you can name it) and more recently, in healthcare working for a dentists’ support organization. Most of my career at the coffee giant was fulfilling, as I always felt I was working for an organization that cared about people as much as profit, and allowed me to be the kind of manager that put people first. Sadly I felt that culture starting to change and decided it was time to move on. The next chapter of work was the opposite of meaningful, despite meeting some amazing people. I knew soon after I started that the healthcare industry was not for me; I think many will agree that our healthcare system is broken, and working in it was challenging to say the least. So I went looking for something that I could feel good about doing. I have been managing businesses for a long time, and I cannot wait to apply that experience to running a local, family owned business.
Enter Tara Firma Farms! When my uncle heard I was looking for new work he suggested me for the CSA manager position and I knew pretty quickly that it was an opportunity I did not want to pass up. Growing up a Squire, with my mom running an organic sprout farm and my dad working with his brother at the Good Earth, food was always important in our lives. What that food was and where it came from was just as important. Now, raising a daughter of my own it is more important than ever. As a consumer, Tara Firma Farms speaks to my values, so naturally I knew working here would speak to me as well. In today’s world it is vital that we are paying attention to the world around us, making changes were we can, and having a positive impact on the world at large. Now, more than just eating local, buying organic, or choosing sustainable products, I am working local too! Thank you Tara Firma Farms for asking me to join in the vision. I could not be more excited do something that feeds my soul!