Farm Focus: Learning about Frog Hollow
We were pleased to have Danielle Lord, a student at UC Davis, join us as an intern for a month this summer. Read on to learn about her experience at the farm.
Before my internship at Frog Hollow I had some experience with farming and CSA, but never to the degree of those at Frog Hollow. By the end of my 4 weeks, I believe I left with an understanding of how such amazing fruit grows here.
Each crew of workers is skilled and knowledgeable in what they do. Watching the picking crew is like watching a dance. They carry crates of fruit on their chests as they go from tree to tree, picking only the ripest fruit in mere seconds. They talk and joke along the rows, somehow making the task look easy.
I worked some days in the packing shed helping label boxes. So much goes on in there, with new loads of fruit constantly coming in and full pallets going out. The women distinguish between different grades of fruit in seconds and quickly fill flats.
The employees at Frog Hollow are flexible and adaptable. They have extensive experience working with the fruit and know how the farm functions as a whole. Those who work in the packing shed may also help with mail order. Some days you may see kitchen crews helping out in the garden.
Another major aspect of the Frog Hollow ideology is the desire to work with others to best support the environment. Farmer Al welcomes outside voices and regularly incorporates new ideas into his farming practices. Al is open to trying new things and changing with time. By walking through the orchards, one can see how the farm works to create a healthy ecosystem while also producing great fruit.
I spent a couple of my Thursday afternoons handing out samples at the Berkeley Farmers Market. I would often hand someone a Flavor King pluot or Suncrest peach and watch their expressions change, eyes bulge, and smiles grow. They might say “wow that is unreal.” I believe those reactions are the result of the passion and care of the Frog Hollow team.