Have you ever wondered how traditional oxen power can transform modern farming?

In this episode of the Thriving Farmer Podcast, Michael welcomes Melanie Cunningham of Shakefork Community Farm in Northern California. Along with her husband, Kevin, they grow a variety of vegetables, strawberries, and pasture-raised livestock using permanent raised beds, low-till methods, and draft oxen power.

Tune in to hear about this oxen-powered and diversified regenerative market & CSA farm!

Episode Highlights:

  • Melanie’s Farming Journey: Hear how Melanie found her passion for farming [1:36]
  • Shakefork Farm: How they run the farm [8:22]
  • Draft oxen power: Learn more about how they incorporated oxen [11:04]
  • No-till: More about their bed preparation process [15:04]
  • Sales Outlets: Some of the places that Shakefork markets their products [23:17]
  • Strawberry Success: Learn more about their growing strawberry process [27:30]
  • Tips for New Farmers: Hear Melanie’s advice for new farmers [35:47]
  • Tool Time: Melanie’s favorite tool on the farm [36:37]

About the Guest:

Melanie Cunningham farms 85 acres in the Van Duzen River floodplain in far Northern California with her husband, Kevin, 10 year old son, Clyde and a crew of committed farmhands. Shakefork Community Farm is a highly diversified CSA and market garden AND pasture based operation, growing a variety of vegetables and strawberries, pasture raised eggs, chicken and turkey, grass-fed beef and a home dairy. 

Melanie moved to Humboldt County in 2004 to learn to farm, and within a week landed her first farm job. Shakefork was launched in 2008 and has become an anchor of their thriving rural farming community.

Don’t miss this episode on the importance of disconnecting farm problems from family life, engaging children without forcing them to work, and still increasing farm profitability.

Connect with Shakefork Community Farm:

Don’t miss this episode on the innovative practices and inspiring journey of Melanie Cunningham and Shakefork Community Farm, from using draft oxen power to achieving strawberry success.


The Thriving Farmer Podcast Team would like to thank our amazing sponsor

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