The dream of starting a small farm began when Nicole and her husband, Eduardo, purchased a small 2 acre plot of land and 100 year old home, in 2017, in Turlock, California, USA. With corrals and a chicken coop already in place, they knew they'd want to start raising some livestock as soon as possible! In the fall of 2017, Nicole started planning their first kitchen garden. Turning an unused side yard into a full-fledged vegetable, herb, and flower garden was no easy task, but so rewarding; and Nicole realized how much she loved working with the soil, the plants and the seasons.
As time went by, new animals were added to the farm, food was grown and enjoyed, some crops failed, gophers got the best of many things in the garden, lambs were born, chicks were hatched, piggies joined us, and dreams of what the small Turlock farm could offer our community began to drift around in the heads of Nicole and Eduardo.
In the fall of 2018, Nicole started discussing ideas of starting a small CSA program and market garden with Eduardo and also her sister, Kala. Providing food for not only themselves, but their community started becoming a reality as they began to discuss ideas, plans and dreams. They believed that starting a smaller scale, ecologically responsible farm would be of great interest to their community, friends and family! That's how Nourish Farm was born.
From 2019-2023 Nourish Farm in Turlock provided fresh, seasonal produce, herbs, pastured lamb meat, healing botanicals, skincare, and flowers to their community via weekly produce boxes as well as a farmstand and online store. Working with other local artisans and producers, they were able to also provide their customers with coffee, sourdough bread, mushrooms, meat, and eggs. It was a beautiful and bountiful time in their lives and they learned so much about ecological farming practices along the way.
View our old Instagram @nourishfarmturlock to see all the bounty and fun we had during those farm days in Turlock.
MOVING TO PANAMA
Nicole first visited Costa Rica in 2009 after graduating college to take a TEFL program and explore the beauty of the country. She fell in love with it, and that is why her and Eduardo took their honeymoon there 7 years later after they got married in Turlock. They also took two family vacations to Costa Rica over the next several years, and started dreaming up how to make living down in Central America a reality.
They loved the family and community they had in Turlock, but were yearning for more land, less work (in Eduardo's business), and a different culture and environment to raise their family in. After researching and looking at property in Costa Rica, they decided it wasn't the right fit and then Panama came onto their radar. They planned an impromptu trip to Panama in February 2023, and looked at a few pieces of farm land/property on that trip. Visiting Panama in Feb 2023 confirmed what they felt strongly called to do and they knew Panama would be their next home. Read more about that in this blog post.
They got back home, prayed and talked, put their house on the market, had a big yard sale, sold the business, sold their home/farm, packed up a storage unit and 10 big totes and took off to Panama on July 4, 2023. The rest is still unfolding in real time, but our new farm and home are in the works right now!
The name Nourish Farm was inspired by the idea that we are nourishing our land (regenerative, organic, ecological farming); nourishing our community (offering fresh, seasonal produce, meat, botanicals); and nourishing our souls (farming is hard work but therapeutic).
Nourish Farm is now located in the Chiriqui Provence of Panama in a small town called Las Lajas. Only a ten minute drive from the gorgeous Playa Las Lajas, and surrounded by cattle pastures, lush green trees, creeks, and a warm and inviting community.
Our farming philosophy is pretty simple, we run things at the farm as similar to their natural process as possible. This means, instead of tilling the soil, we just continue to add compost and organic matter to it. There are many benefits to no-till farming, including better water retention; healthier soil because it is undisturbed; healthier plants because of healthier soil; less weeds; larger earthworm and beneficial fungi population; less work on our part!
We do not use pesticides or herbicides, we only use non-GMO seeds for our plants, many organic and many heirloom varieties. We use permaculture and ecological practices on our farm which means interspecies planting, rain water harvesting, allowing the ecosystems to find a natural balance, trying to create as little waste as possible, and much more.
If you have any questions about our practices or would like to visit our farm, please contact us. We're in the process of starting our new farm here in Panama, but would love help and support from near or far!
OUR HEALING BOTANICAL PRODUCTS
We believe that our skin and our health can be fully nourished by what God has put on this earth, if only we reach out and pick it! Beautiful, nourishing, healing, wonderful smelling skin, hair, body, baby and health care is growing under the sun, right outside our door- and that's what we want to bottle up and share with you.
The botanical products we made started out as Nicole's business, Sunkissed Botanics, until we decided to merge the two and create "Nourish Farm Botanicals".
All our products were handcrafted at our farm in Turlock, in small batches. We still use these products on ourselves and our children on a daily basis and have been doing so for many years.
I am no longer selling my botanical skin care products, but created a DIY Guide with recipes and instructions for my most popular products. Learn more about that by clicking here.