Maggi and Miranda on the Farm

Large, leafy head of organic lettuce

Organic summer squash

Fresh flowers

Vendor: Miranda Roberts and Maggi Aaronson
Location: Pescadero, CA
Website: Fat Cabbage on Facebook
Products: Organic vegetables and fresh flowers

Have you checked out one of the Market’s newer vendors? Fat Cabbage Farm, owned and operated by self-described "Fearless Farmers" Miranda Roberts and Maggi Aaronson, hails from Pescadero. At their stand each week you’ll find a rich bounty of produce such as dark green kale, beets, squash, a variety of lettuces, and a fragrant selection of seasonal flowers. Here’s Miranda and Maggi's story of how they got started in farming and what participating at the Market means to them.

In Their Own Words: Q&A with Miranda Roberts and Maggi Aaronson

"How did Fat Cabbage Farm start?"
After graduating from the U.C. Santa Cruz Farm & Garden program in 2008, we were eager to put our newly acquired skills to use. We joined with some other graduates and started Fat Cabbage Farm. In early 2009, we formally established the farm as a business to support our desire to steward the land while earning a livelihood through food production. 2011 marks our third season of commitment to organic growing practices, and we’ve begun a blossoming relationship with our community of customers at the downtown Palo Alto Farmers' Market.

"What's the story behind the name Fat Cabbage?"
After much debate about what to name our "baby" we gathered with a group of friends for a naming party. One friend suggested the name Fat Cabbage Farm, and it met with resounding popularity. We liked that "Fat Cabbage" harkened to the climate of Pescadero, where brassicas like cabbage flourish, while at the same time the name was memorable, catchy, and playful.

"Why do you refer to yourselves as Fearless Farmers?"
We consider ourselves "Fearless Farmers" because we have jumped into the challenge of running a small-scale, organic farm business. To be a farmer, you have to know how to do so much more than grow plants--a big enough challenge in itself. Add to that driving tractors, irrigating five acres of crops, building infrastructure, and countless other administrative tasks, and it can feel overwhelming at times. But as "Fearless Farmers" with a strong love of working the earth, we always find a way to get things done.

"What do you enjoy about participating in the downtown Palo Alto Farmers' Market?"
What we enjoy most about this Market is the demonstrated loyalty and enthusiasm of the customers. Despite being a new vendor, we've attracted a following of patrons who come back each week for our produce. This makes me hopeful that as our farm continues to grow, so will our customer base. In addition, the atmosphere is quite pleasant, and the volunteer staff are friendly and helpful. The market manager, Nancy, does a wonderful job of managing both the volunteers and the vendors.

"What unique items do you bring to the Market each week that customers enjoy?"
Because of Pescadero’s cool, coastal climate, we are able to grow an assortment of lettuces throughout the year. We have several lettuce varieties: butter-head, green-oakleaf, romaine, and mini-heads such as Breen and Little Gem. In addition, we are also able to an assortment of vegetables in the Brassica family, including one of our favorites: broccoli raab. We have a steady stream of customers that come back every week for this delicious alternative to broccoli or kale, although we grow these wonderful vegetables as well!

"What's your favorite dish you make with your produce?"
One of our favorite recipes, which seems to make an appearance almost weekly on the dinner plate, is Massaged Kale Salad. This is a great way to enjoy raw kale. “Massaged” means that we rub the dressing into the leaves, which helps make them more tender without cooking. We use a dressing of olive oil, red onions, Liquid Braggs (or soy sauce), salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Kale is known to be rich in vitamin C and other nutrients, so this salad is a perfect complement to any main course.

"Other than the Market, how can people learn more about Fat Cabbage Farm?"
To learn more about Fat Cabbage Farm, visit us on Facebook!