Why We Farm is a book for people who want to know the whole truth about life as a modern day farmer. Each chapter features a different model of farming. Farmers share the stories behind their work and their lives on the farm; the business side of production, the personal challenges they face, and words of advice for the would-be-farmer. DiBrigit asks hard questions and gives a reverent yet realistic picture of a thriving local food system.

  • Meet the young woman who started her own farm with just $6,000. (Leapfrog Farm)
  • Learn how one farmer makes a living from a one-acre crop. (Cache Creek Lavender)
  • Find out how four partners turned their desire to make a positive impact on the world into a thriving, multi-generational business. (Full Belly Farm)
  • Read about people who chose to start farming in their retirement. (Capay Valley Vineyards and Grumpy Goats Farm Olive Oil)
  • See how livestock ranchers are adopting ecologically beneficial methods. (Skyelark Ranch, Riverdog Farm, and Pasture 42)
  • Includes sidebars with useful information for new farmers!


  • “I read through the whole thing! It’s a wonderful story of the farms in the Valley. “
    Judith Redmond

  • “I’m always so amazed at the variety and success of all the agricultural businesses in the valley. It is an amazing story and deserves to be told.”
    Ralph Blaine

  • “Really enjoyable reading, and a fascinating education for me.”
    Aaron Sikes

  • “I read through the whole thing! It’s a wonderful story of the farms in the Valley. “
    Judith Redmo

Signs of Labor Shortage

In the seventeen years I’ve been living here in Capay Valley, I have never seen signs like these. On my drives to town this summer, I’ve noticed there are several hiring signs posted. lFarm labor shortage is a real thing,

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SAGE advice

Here is an article about a rapidly growing city that is just beginning to look at it’s dwindling local food shed. The tech industry and industrial growth has been impinging on good farm land surrounding San Jose. The article highlights

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Find us at the Tomato Festival

I’ll be spreading the word about Why We Farm at the Tomato Festival this Saturday. It’s going to be a great party at Capay Organic Farm’s home base. I’m waiting on the delivery of my first box of books. So

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Why We Farm on KSTE Farm Hour

The WHY WE FARM book launch podcast tour has started! And we started locally of course, with the KSTE Farm Hour this last Sunday. Fred Hoffman is a knowledgable and gracious host. You can listen to the July 9th podcast

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Cover Yourselves, Man!

This winter’s cover crops are all turned in now, but look at these pictures from the same field, taken several weeks apart this springtime. That is some seriously healthy, nitrogen fixing biomass!  You can see legumes and grasses growing high,

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