Mountain Bounty Farm was founded in 1997, making it the oldest and largest CSA farm in the Sierras. They are entirely organic and located just outside of Nevada City, CA. Founder John Tecklin and his wife Angie Tomey hope to bring economic sustainability to their community through caring for the land.
Angie has been farming for 18 years. She was a big part of the CSA program as she grew flowers on the side to sell at local markets. After getting pregnant, she decided to focus her energy in one direction. That’s when she started a flower business, Little Boy Flowers. She now owns and operates a flower farm and floral design studio alongside Mountain Bounty Farm.
“For the first half of my farming career, I worked for my now husband, John Tecklin, on his vegetable CSA operation- Mountain Bounty Farm. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Our clients sign up and pay for our program at the beginning of the season and we commit to providing a box of veggies and/or a bouquet every week for a specified number of weeks. This allows us to get a chunk of money early in the season when we most need it.
When I got pregnant I still was farming with my husband, doing a lot of the crew management on our veggie operation. I had also been growing flowers on the side and was providing a small number of bouquets to our CSA members and doing a farmers market. With the coming of a child, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do both anymore and I decided that I wanted to try to make my flower business into something more substantial and have a business of my own separate from my husband.” -Angie Tomey
Maia has been farming for 7 years. She’s in charge of coordinating all production tasks leading up to harvest. That includes weeding, seeding, transplanting, and irrigating. Every week she co-leads the crew and trains new farmers through the internship program.
“I fell into farming out of my desire to work out doors, serve my local community and the ability eat like a queen.” -Farmer Maia Lipkin
“To me, farming means being flexible, checking the weather multiple times a day, being able to innovate on the fly, being willing to fumble through learning new skill sets so you can be your own plumber, electrician and mechanic; learning how to collaborate and rely on your fellow farmers, and being willing to ask for help. But mostly, I wish my generation knew how rewarding farming is!
Come join our crew at Mountain Bounty Farm! Also, take care of your backs and hinge at the hips so your biggest tool, your body, is happy.” -Farmer Maia Lipkin
“My advice to new farmers would be to go and work for an established farm first, get some experience and see what you like and what you don’t. Farming is all-consuming and it can be difficult to find a balance between work and life, especially when you’re just establishing your business. It takes a lot of skill to build a successful farm business so learning from someone who is doing it well can give you a great start!” -Angie Tomey
“One the best parts of my job is that I get to work around so many great people, my family included. Though I only have 3 part time employees working on the flowers with me, our larger CSA operation employs 6 full time folks and 5 interns, many of whom have become like family to us. It’s also so nice to be able to work from home and have my son, Jude, be able to help out on the farm when he can. I think that there’s something very healthy in our children seeing us work and being involved in our work rather than it being some abstract thing to them that they don’t get to be a part of.
I’m hoping that Jude will learn the value of hard work and learn to be a practical, handy guy with a strong work ethic and a deep connection to nature. So far, the nature connection has definitely happened. As far as the work goes, he’s only 7 and I try not to force him to help out on the farm but I gently encourage him. If I find resistance when I need his help, I try to explain how this is how we make our money and that his help really makes a difference. Usually this works.” -Angie Tomey