Meet Kristen Draz and William Holland of FogDog Farm.
Kristen and William have been independently farming conserved land in the rolling foothills of El Dorado County since 2019. This is their second year providing certified organic produce to BriarPatch Food Co-op.
The site where they farm is considered important not just to the state or the nation, but to the world. They farm 10 acres that they lease from the American River Conservancy on land known as Wakamatsu Farm, a California Registered Historical Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Considered a pilgrimage site and recognized by many as the “Japanese American Plymouth Rock.”
I really appreciate there is a mutuality to the relationship. I’m learning all the time how to be a better farmer and a better steward.William Draz, fogdog farm
The idea of perpetuity is important to young farmers like Kristen and William, who know what it’s like to farm with the constant anxiety of land insecurity. The cost of housing and real estate can be daunting. They farmed for several years on Amigo Bob Cantisano’s land on the San Juan Ridge prior to coming home to build a farm at Wakamatsu. Finding a flat 10 acres of farmland in the undulating foothills of Northern California is somewhat of a miracle.
Now they can take a deep breath and settle in, with the reassurance in knowing this land will be preserved for agriculture forever. They are beginning to establish some roots by planting perennials and investing in
other long-term infrastructure. They grow a diversity of plants — up to 40 different nutrient-dense vegetables and 20 different flowers using low-till, ecological growing practices on their
“We’re really proud of what we’ve accomplished here,” says Kristen.