In August 2017, Sean and Lindsey McCord purchased their dream 5-acre property on prime agricultural land in Brentwood, CA. They always wanted to live a simple life in the country. They previously lived on large parcels in Clayton on Marsh Creek Road and Morgan Territory Road where they enjoyed owning chickens and having their personal garden. Whenever they had a surplus they would share with friends and family which they found rewarding. They then became inspired to provide local fresh vegetables to the neighboring community. Once they purchased the 5-acre property in Brentwood they began planning Kite Hawk Farms.
Kite Hawk Farms is dedicated to providing the highest quality specialty vegetables with the newest regenerative and economically efficient agricultural practices. Our sustainable agriculture techniques ensure our produce is hand grown, maintained, and picked. Kite Hawk Farms is too small to use large machines so everything we do is by hand or with craftsman items like the BCS Tractor, flame weeder, broad forks, and other makeshift tools.
Kite Hawk Farms is a small operation so innovative technology is needed to ensure we are working efficiently and productively. The propagation house is very unique, it has a potting bench and five forty-foot-long tables with radiant heating PEX tubing under sand. By heating the tables, we are able to start our plants sooner and hopefully get them to market sooner than other farms.
One of our favorite innovations is the bubble washer. After harvesting lettuce, we put it in what is called a bubble washer. The bubble washer is a 150-gallon tub filled with water. At the bottom of the tub is PVC tubing with holes connected to a jacuzzi motor. When the motor is turned on it agitates the lettuce to remove any debris. When agitation is complete we move the lettuce to a washing machine that works on spin mode only. After the spin mode is complete we move the lettuce to a drying table with fans fixed above to ensure no water is left on the leaves. We then bag and refrigerate the lettuce for our customers to enjoy. Our lettuce can last quite a bit longer than store bought because we cool and dry it so thoroughly. We will be experimenting with summer lettuce in the area which will be a fun challenge since it can bolt in the heat. By utilizing shade cloth and a cooling system we hope to have year-round local lettuce production.
Another unique appliance includes our refrigerator which is built with rigid insulation, an air conditioning unit, and an inventive mechanism called a Cool-Bot which tricks the A/C unit into staying on longer than usual.
For weed control we use a flame weeder which applies heat to the weeds to kill them off and creates sterile beds. We do not till our beds after they are formed so we do not use a traditional tractor in the fields. Instead, we use a broad-fork and a BCS which is a walk behind tractor and includes different attachments to help prepare the beds before planting.
Kite Hawk Farms started with 2 pastures on either side of a tree-lined driveway that are 1.5 acres each, aptly named the ‘west’ and ‘east’ fields. Currently, we are working on filling up the west field and soon will start working on soil health in the east field. Eventually, each side will have 5 gardens that are 65 feet wide and 100 feet long with 30-inch permanent bed systems. Once both fields are filled we plan on lining the perimeter with fruit trees so they have a large selection of vegetables and fruit for our customers. After these goals are completed we plan on expanding to other locations where we can get the community involved and start educating others on our practices.
People can find our produce at our farm stand, restaurants, and at farmer’s markets. Currently we are only attending the Brentwood Farmer’s Market. We are there every 2 weeks right now since we are working on ensuring we have something to provide every week. By summer, when the tomatoes come in, we intend on being there every Saturday from 8 am – 12 pm. To inquire further or schedule a time to tour the farm call 925-639-7109.
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