In 1976 our parents, Kathleen Barsotti and Martin Barnes, graduate students at UC Davis, borrowed money from their parents to buy 20 acres of property in Capay Valley. Today, we continue to grow our family on the farm, encouraging strong roots for a better food and agriculture system for all.
Born in the farm house in Capay, Thaddeus showed an early proficiency in the machine shop and is responsible for designing some of the custom tractor modifications and tools used on the farm today. In 2004, Thaddeus graduated with a degree in Agricultural Engineering from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and moved to San Francisco to help start the company’s first retail store and pursue his appreciation for the art of real food and cuisine at culinary school. In 2005, Thaddeus felt driven to continue his connection to the family farm and took on the role as farm manager, actively focusing on selecting, growing and testing specialty produce varieties – chosen for taste not transportability.
Today, Thaddeus continues his work of growing a better food system through our own farm and our connection to our farm partners. As a well-spoken and passionate advocate for local and sustainable food systems, he shares his farm experiences with our CSA members in a weekly farm news, leads classes for future farmers, participates in panels and conferences and speaks with the media as an industry expert on the progressive change in our food system. Thaddeus and Moyra, who also works in the family company, have three children, Lola, Lucca and Julien.
Freeman got an early entrepreneurial start on the farm by growing and selling lilacs and wildflowers at farmers markets as a young child. Graduating in 2005 with a degree in Bio-Resource and Agricultural Engineering from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, his senior project was a highly uniform and efficient irrigation system designed for orchard and row crops on the farm. In 2006, he devoted complete attention to opening and managing the Farm Fresh To You store in the San Francisco Ferry Building, bringing organic fruits and vegetables and specialty artisan foods to Bay Area commuters and visitors. With his work on the farm and in the retail store, he quickly gained a proficiency in finance and business operations and created the first complex routing system for Farm Fresh To You deliveries.
Today, Freeman continues his commitment to building a strong financial model for farmers to connect produce directly to consumers by strategically managing our current programs and expanding the convenience and service we can offer to our CSA members and our farm partners. Freeman and Carol, who also works in the family company, have three children, Imogen, Ainsley and Jamison.
Noah’s commitment to the family farm is evident in photos of the early days. With sleeves rolled up, Noah leant a hard-working hand to everyday farm work and helping to sell the family’s organic produce at farmers markets. He spent his sophomore year in high school living on a farm in Germany as an exchange student. In 1996, Noah graduated with a degree in Agricultural Economics and German from UC Davis. Still very interested in agriculture, Noah was drawn to the international arena and after college, moved to San Francisco and began working in the field of international commodities, specializing in dry beans, peas and lentils. During that time, Noah stayed connected to the farm by supervising accounting and sharing his business experience. In 2004, he came back to the farm full-time and developed the farm’s wholesale business model with restaurants and markets.
Today, Noah focuses on strategic business partnerships while managing our continued strength in the wholesale and farmers markets areas. Noah and Camille, an OB/GYN with Sutter Medical Group, have four children, Jonah, Kathleen, Aurora and Samuel.
Che was born in Davis with his twin brother, Noah. As a child, he spent many hours selling at farmers markets, moving irrigation pipe and harvesting / tilling the soil. From an early age he was fascinated with flight. He soloed an airplane on his sixteenth birthday – before even getting a driver's license. After graduating high school, he was accepted into the US Coast Guard Academy where he graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Che served as a Lieutenant Commander in the Coast Guard and flew both fixed-wing aircraft and search and rescue helicopters. Che departed this life on Thursday, October 29, 2009 when the C-130 he was commanding crashed during a search and rescue mission off the coast of San Diego. Throughout his piloting career, Che continued to play an active role as an advisor to the farm and company board member. His level-headed advice, thoughtful encouragement, and friendship are missed.
Born in Belmont, CA, Kathleen attended UC Riverside where she earned her B.S. in Agriculture, with a minor in statistics. Continuing her education, she earned a master’s degree in Ecology at UC Davis. In 1976, Kathleen and her husband, Martin, moved to Capay and began building their family farm and home on 20 acres of land. In 1982, after working part time at the UC Davis Plant Pathology Department, she devoted her full attention to the farm, then known as Capay Fruits and Vegetables. In 1992, Kathleen continued on her own as sole proprietor and manager of the farm. Later that same year, her dream of connecting people to the source of their food was realized through the creation of her organic produce delivery service, Farm Fresh To You.
In June of 2000, Kathleen wrote her last farm news and the following month ended her courageous battle with breast cancer. Having always worked alongside their mother, Kathleen proudly entrusted her sons, Noah, Thaddeus and Freeman to continue her founding legacy and mission. Kathleen is beloved by all who knew her as a devoted student to ecological sciences, an excellent farmer and loving mother of four sons.
Born in Riverside, CA, he attended UC Riverside where he met Kathy. He earned a degree in Psychology at UCR and a master’s degree in Community Development at UC Davis. It was at Davis that Martin took an active role in founding one of the first farmers markets in the state of California, the Davis Farmers Market. This passion also took root in the early years of the Davis Food Co-op and Eco Farm Conference, both continuing successful enterprises. Martin’s pioneering spirit was also instrumental in forming an early vision of a successful small-scale organic farm. In 1976 he moved with Kathy to Capay and began farming full-time. He also founded a small newspaper that explored new ideas of community, organic gardening and planetary consciousness. After 15 years on the farm, Martin left Capay to explore traveling opportunities. He purchased a home in Vers, Provence, France in 1992, where he currently resides. Learn more about visiting his home in Provence at www.maisondemartin.com