We bought this farm in the late 1990s and moved our three children onto a bare piece of land. No house, no running water, no electricity. Our 55 acres of prime pasture and farmland in Vacaville, CA, had been untended for 30 years. The first few weeks we installed what we could and set up a temporary home. Then we settled in and looked at the land, wondering what we could do. As time rolled along and we understood the land better, our vision began to emerge. We started by planting olive trees with family and offered the experience to our children to connect them to this new life.
Later I got the idea to start a chicken farm. At first it was simply about feeding people, supporting my family and being able to afford this farm. I believe deeply in the satisfaction of a hard day’s work. Over time, subjects that had been on the fringe of our belief system before have taken on everyday importance. We’ve immersed ourselves in issues of community land use, the true cost of feeding people, workers’ rights, and the humane treatment of animals.
Today Soul Food Farm raises pastured chickens for both eggs and meat. We turn sunlight, grass, bugs, and high-quality domestic feed into animals that live a healthy and humane life — free to roam in fresh air and peck and take dust baths — and then into delicious and healthy food. Here at Soul Food Farm we are driven by the belief that “You are what you eat.…and what you eat, eats.” It informs everything, from the way we manage our pasture to how we manage the birds’ health and the general care of the farm. All these “inputs” and much more result in eggs and chicken that will elevate your cooking and eating experience each time.
In summer of 2009 we began partnering with local farms to start a network of pastured birds raised according to Soul Food Farm standards and animal-management procedures. We believe that it is better not to get bigger and overtax our pasture and labor, but to engage more small farms in doing what we do, how we do it and form a sustainable network. We believe this satellite model can help small farms to stay small, in regards to land/plot/labor force, yet still develop and grow in a way that will make feeding thousands of people actually possible. We hope to see lots of new farms springing up, run by dedicated people growing Soul Food Farm chickens and doing what we started this for: to provide food that nourishes people’s souls as well as their stomachs.
— Alexis and Eric Koefoed