Dispatch from the Farm: Meet Franki, Farm Hospitality & Garden Manager

Dispatch from the Farm: Meet Franki, Farm Hospitality & Garden Manager

Franki has worked at Belcampo since 2018 and started out as a server in our Downtown L.A. restaurant & butcher shop. After experiencing her first Meat Camp in Spring of 2019, she was instantly drawn to the wide open spaces of Shasta Valley and the joys of farm life. She requested an internship at the farm that quickly became a full time hospitality role, welcoming and educating guests from all over the world at Belcampo Farm in Siskiyou County.

We sat down with this busy farmer to ask her a few questions!

How did you get into farming?

Before the Covid shut down in March, I was helping to plan the produce garden in hopes of sending produce from the farm to the Belcampo Restaurants the following spring. When Covid hit, our restaurants were impacted  and we needed to find another outlet for the produce. I applied to Mt. Shasta Farmers’ Market and that is where my career as a farmer began! 

I found myself more and more involved in the produce garden and eventually began working full time as a produce farmer & farmers market representative for Belcampo. Something about vegetable production clicked for me.  

I’ve always felt connected to the earth & have a degree in Environmental Science, but I saw a future for myself in either the social justice side of environmental problems or climate science. It never crossed my mind to pursue farming as a career. Moving to the farm was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! I find farming very meditative – it leaves a lot of space for deep thought & self reflection.

But, the best part of my week is probably having the opportunity to share Belcampo meats & produce with my local community through farmers’ markets. So much love, time and effort goes into growing the produce and raising our animals! Connecting with customers, explaining how to cook our meats and produce is really exciting and fulfilling for me. 

Why is sustainable & regenerative farming important to you?

Sustainable farming is important to me because as humans, it is our responsibility to take care of the planet. Our society continues to take and consume without thinking twice about the implications to the environment. I believe that it is absolutely imperative that we create food systems that are not harmful to our planet and soil! 

This is only my second year of farming, but right now, in order to farm sustainably on my three acre plot, I use organic seeds & cover crop, till as little as possible and just recently integrated sheep into my system to help mow and fertilize. We hear farm-to-table all the time, but what about table-to-farm? I always share produce with my sheep friends and composting worms because they helped me to grow and nourish it!

What's your favorite Belcampo meal or product?

That’s a tough question! When I worked at the restaurant, my go-to was the Double Fast Burger! Product-wise, Belcampo Bone Broth for sure! It’s so versatile, I use it as a base in soups and in place of stocks or broths in recipes.