Fly Girl Farm: Female Farmers Cultivating Community from the Ground Up
Fly Girl Farm in Pescadero is home to a small but growing group of female farmers that is looking to support healthier communities in the Bay Area. I spent the day with Airielle Love, Fly Girl’s fearless leader and head farmer, as well as the rest of her team, to learn more about the women working to feed the North Bay with their passion for locally-grown produce.
The Fly Girl Farm team was already fast at work when I arrived at their property, breaking up soil clods and pulling dried bulbs from the ground to replant later in the season. Not one to stand around, I quickly joined in; impressed by the fiendish grace with which each of them handled a shovel. I was more than excited to be with an all-female farming team for the day, and was eager to learn about each of their diverse backgrounds. Airielle, originally from Nova Scotia, can trace her desire to start farming back to being raised in a homestead environment. Jaime, Fly Girl’s newest team member, is from Houston and studied microbiology in school. Bernarda is from Guanajuato, and has spent her whole life working in agriculture. Kaeleigh traveled from Indiana to learn how to farm, and is now Airielle’s business partner.
Now in its seventh year of operation, Fly Girl Farm has garnered greater attention and mounting success thanks to Airielle’s passion and perseverance. The farm produces all kinds of vegetables and several varieties of strawberries, but might be best known for its vibrant flowers and sumptuous floral displays at markets – Airielle’s specialty. “I really try to emphasize and maintain a particular aesthetic at markets, in addition to providing high-quality and diverse products,” she said.
The Digital Dirt visit came to a close with final thoughts from the team, and the girls grinned as I exclaimed at their full work days. They currently lease four separate plots of land, and also attend four farmers’ markets a week, no small feat for a team that consists of only four people. When asked what it meant to be a Fly Girl, Airielle was quick to point out that their success starts with their teamwork and communication. “This is a group of empowered, self-sufficient women. And being here, it’s more of a feeling than anything else. We are growing together, everybody is here to learn, and that’s what living is to me. This little community is thriving on this property.”
You can catch Fly Girl Farm at the College of San Mateo Farmers’ Market on Saturdays, and at other markets in the Bay Area. To learn more about our Digital Dirt visit with Fly Girl Farm’s Airielle, Kaeleigh, Jamie, and Bernarda, read the full story at pcfma.org/digitaldirt!
Remember, dirt first!