If you’re wondering about the name “Gold Roots Farm,” Aimee Zarzinski will tell you it’s complicated. She owns the farm along with her partner Kevin White, and when she explains the name they chose for their farm, “gold” conjures value and treasure, and “roots” refers to the couple’s return to the Northstate after farming in Italy and gardening in Hawaii, and to their desire to be rooted in the local community. One gets the sense that’s just the surface of what Gold Roots Farm means to the couple.
A new farm—2020 is its first season—Gold Roots has already made its presence known. The farm sits on two and a half acres just outside of Corning, with about an acre in current production. The two farmers are committed to “better than organic” farming practices, including soil restoration. The couple sold produce at Corning’s Olive Festival in October, an opportunity to connect with neighborly customers and other local businesses. Zarzinski and White also sell their produce every week at Chico’s Wednesday farmers’ market. This first year, they’ve specialized in beautiful, young lettuces, microgreens, and leafy greens like kale and chard. Their lettuce and kale create a palette of vibrant greens and reds, flat and ruffled leaves. They’ve also grown spring and summer staples like radishes, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, jalapenos and other peppers, and basil. Fall/winter offerings from this year round farm include chard, mustard greens, lettuces, cabbage, and broccoli, plus microgreens.
The two graduated from Chico high schools, one from each, before beginning their farming adventures internationally as WWOOFers. World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms pairs people with organic farmers around the world, where they help on an organic farm in exchange for room and board. In Italy, the couple experienced three different farms, one an agritourismo, the second an olive farm, and the third a self-sufficient homestead, whose farmer specialized in charcuterie and various goat cheeses. Before returning to California, they grew microgreens in Hawaii, where White could also indulge his love of spear fishing and abalone diving.
These farming experiences undergird the couple’s work at Gold Roots Farm, but 2020, as Covid-19 took hold of the population and continues its surges, is an unlikely year to start a successful business, even if it is a farm. Sensitive to the pandemic’s determinant influence on how and where people shop, the couple offers eaters the option to order online for a quick pick-up at the Chico Wednesday farmers’ market or for home delivery. The easy online order form also allows Zarzinski to follow up in subsequent weeks, emailing what the farm offers each week and reminding customers of the pick-up and delivery options. Ordering by Monday assures home delivery on Wednesday mornings, to a cooler left outside a customer’s home. The promo code FARMFRESH earns twenty-five percent off the cost of a first order.
One recent order bagged a pint basket of the last of the farm’s jalapenos. Those seemed irresistible after viewing a recipe for candied jalapenos, aka Homemade Cowboy Candy, on a Gold Roots Farm Facebook post. The couple keeps an active Facebook and Instagram presence, just in case you find yourself scrolling. Recipes there now target Gold Roots Farm’s fall and winter produce.
Gold Roots Farm
530.680.9244 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Order online by Monday for Wednesday morning
pick-up or delivery
Edible Shasta-Butte is the guide to local food, dining, and gardening in Northern California’s central valley from Butte County north to the Oregon border.