The Next Generation Continues the Legacy at Good Humus Produce

College students Jeff and Annie Main started their farm in 1976. Photo courtesy of Good Humus Produce

It’s a Family Affair 

It was 1976 and the back-to-the-land movement was going strong. Two young California college grads, Jeff and Annie Main, had big dreams of farming and self-sufficiency in Woodland.

For eight years, the fourth-generation Californians played a big part in the organic farming movement of Yolo County. They helped start the Davis Food Co-op and Davis Farmers Market, where they sold green beans by the handful.

Jeff Main and son Zachary, during the early days of Good Humus. Photo courtesy of Good Humus Produce

In 1983, the couple moved to a sweet piece of land with two olive trees and a well in a little valley known as Hungry Hollow, about 20 miles from Capay Valley. They built a house and barn and grew a 20-acre farm, Good Humus Produce — a riff on the iconic Good Humor ice cream man, so named for a farmer’s reliance on good, nutritious soil and a good sense of humor. The farm became one of the first certified organic operations in the region. Here they made a home, raised a family, and passed along values like cooperation, community, the power of social change, and land stewardship.

“Raising our kids on the farm is the best lifestyle we could offer our children, and that still holds true,” Annie says.

The family is pictured in “The Citrus” on the Good Humus property. From left: Zachary Main, his wife, Nicole, and their children, Nolan and Zoe; Jeff and Annie Main; and their daughters, Claire and Alison. Photo by Raoul Ortega

Next Generation 

Today, daughters Alison and Claire have taken the reins, and their brother Zachary, a Cal Fire captain, bought the 10 acres next door, where he is building a home for his own family. He helps out when he’s not fighting wildfires. His sisters call him “the third trifecta point.”

Zoe and Nolan Main, Zachary’s children, climb a tree on their family’s farm. Photo by Raoul Ortega

Growing up on the farm, Alison watched all the hard work, day in and day out. Once she graduated from high school, she was ready to see the world and have a “normal existence.” She studied art and graphic design, then landed desk jobs in Brooklyn and Boston. She came home six years ago, inspired to head up Good Humus’ floral program. Now Alison is a full-time farmer.

Claire never had an a-ha moment. She went to Monterey College, studied abroad in Sweden for a year, moved to Peru, and taught English literature. She returned home, started working on the farm, got a photography job in Davis, and settled back in. Now she’s the shop manager at Good Humus, heads up the farm’s CSA program, answers emails, and keeps the website and social media up to date.

Freshly picked radishes from Good Humus Produce. Photo by Raoul Ortega

“Claire in the office is a game changer,” Alison says. Today, the family grows 200 varieties of flowers, fruit, vegetables, and herbs. Apricots are the crowd pleaser. Mulberries, oranges, lemons, and row crops with carrots and beets and kale also grow here. And lots of flowers for weddings.

Located 300 feet off the valley floor, the farm is sheltered from cold air, fog, and freezing temperatures. Each week the owners deliver to the Sacramento and Davis food co-ops and the Davis Farmers Market. In 1993, they started a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, now 150 members strong. All year long, a weekly CSA box features seven to eight seasonal items. Also, a number of jams and jellies are available online.

Sample CSA box from Good Humus Produce, with the addition of apricot jam (not typically included). Photo by Raoul Ortega

Stepping Back

Visiting farms in Europe with rock walls dating back centuries sparked a realization in Jeff and Annie that it often takes several lifetimes to create a farm. They are the first generation and may never see its full maturation.

But that’s OK. They have been pioneers, participants, and witnesses of the effectiveness of the organic movement. They’ve permanently preserved what they have built so far through an agricultural conservation easement, establishing that it will remain a sustainable farm long after they are gone.

Annie Main works with the farm’s abundant flowers. Photo courtesy of Good Humus Produce

“You just do what you think is right and what you believe in,” Annie says.

Each spring, the farm hosts an April Open Farm Day & Plant Sale and Mother’s Day Hats & High Tea, featuring a garden tour, fine tea, and lunch.

Products from Good Humus Produce can be found at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, the Davis Food Co-op, and the Davis Farmers Market 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. every Saturday, year-round, rain or shine.

For details about events, online offerings, the CSA, and more, visit

Good Humus Produce


Apricot Ice Cream