Who We Are
We are a faith-based, volunteer-run nonprofit farm inspired by Christ’s profound love for humankind to practice compassion without exception. We do this by offering our first choice harvest without prejudice or condition to all local community members experiencing food insecurity.
In a world easily divided by clan, creed, practice, status, and politics, Firstfruits Farm SLO is committed to acting Justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with The Creator through fostering ongoing partnerships between churches, community organizations, and individuals; in this way, we seek to be an intersection for our community.
From seed to harvest, we cultivate our crops through volunteer-run activities, welcoming all ages and skill levels. Each farm event starts with instructions, and we have training videos on our Youtube channel. Everyone is welcome to use their capabilities to love their neighbors as themselves.
We believe that every person bears the image of The Creator and is endowed with inherent worthiness. We understand many of our worthy neighbors lack access to fresh & nutritious food; so, we donate all harvests to our distribution partners who serve individuals and families experiencing food insecurity.
Team work is how we get things done at the Farm and we've got plenty of teams for you to join! Each team operates under the Farm Operations Team and each team leader coordinates projects under the direction of the Farm Liaison, Kathy Keil.
Seed Team, Captain Marti Kessler
Weeding Team, Captain Molly Wyer
Farm Care, Captain Paul Shackelford
Harvest Team, Captain Wes Carlson
Special Projects, Fred Kessler
There's no formal membership requirements other than an open heart and willing hands.
Just sign-up for an event and join the team!
Friends of the Farm
Set up a recurring monthly donation of any amount to become an official
We suggest $8 per month.
If 120 people give $8 a month, we will cover approximately 40% of our operations budget.
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Keep up with all the happenings at the Farm and orchard!
If you have any questions or want to schedule a group for a team building experience at the farm, e-mail us.
Meet Our Board of Directors
Darin Laity works in the space industry as a systems engineer at Vandenberg AFB. He also serves as the Superintendent of Operations at the 148th Space Operations Squadron. He formerly owned and operated a private farm and is the farm advisor for Firstfruits Farm SLO.
Darin is a cofounder of Firstfruits Farm SLO.
Kathy is a force of nature. She led our Weeding Team in 2020 and that team is why we were able to harvest 17,570 lbs of produce last season!
Kathy has been involved with Firstfruits Farm SLO since 2018.
Jen Smith is the Lead Business Intelligence Analyst for The Parable Group in San Luis Obispo City. She provides experience with digital media, digital design, & communication management.
She has been involved at the farm since 2017.
Wes Carlson is a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones Investments who has served clients in San Luis Obispo County for eight years. He has sat on multiple non-profit boards and provides community organization experience.
He has been involved with Firstfruits Farm SLO since 2013.
Faith Carlson is a registered ASW with the Board of Behavioral Sciences. She has served seniors and the homeless population in San Luis Obispo County for eight years. Faith provides management and community program development experience.
Faith has been involved at the farm since 2013.
Kyle is a Financial Analyst at Curation Foods. He is excited to use his skills to help keep the farm books balanced and more importantly help our community members.
Kyle is passionate about food justice and finance which makes him a perfect fit for our team.
Kyle has been involved at the farm since 2020.
Read Our Story
In 2011, two churches, Grace SLO and Trinity Church, came together to create Firstfruits Farm SLO as a joint farm ministry to supply first choice produce to God's Storehouse, a food pantry ministry operated by Grace Church...
A retired San Luis Obispo teacher. Marti is passionate about gardening and caring for people. She has experience serving in different community organizations and is certified in produce safety.
Marti is a cofounder of Firstfruits Farm SLO.
Paul is no stranger to the farm, having become a core member of the Farm Operations Team over the 2019 and 2020 growing seasons.
We are super excited to announce that Paul will be taking an even larger role at the farm in 2021.
Dinora Escalera Delgado
Dinora is a Leasing Agent at Valencia Student Housing. She is taking pre-nursing courses at Cuesta College with plans to continue on to their Registered Nursing program. Dinora is a SLO native and just a delightful human being!
She has been involved with Firstfruits Farm SLO since 2020.
When you help at the farm, you are directly impacting the lives of hundreds of families who will receive, at no cost, fresh vegetables from food distribution sites such as God’s Storehouse, Judson Terrace, the Salvation Army, Stand Strong, the San Luis Obispo Veteran’s Center, and the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County.
Fred Kessler was the president of his own private agricultural corporation that installed, serviced, and maintained dairy farm equipment throughout the state of Montana for 35 years. He is now retired.
Fred is a cofounder of Firstfruits Farm SLO.