If I had it my way I would plant all peaches,” smiled farmer Sheri Hurley, owner of Hurley Farms on Silverado Trail. Their heirloom “Indian Summer Peach” is still available through September as the farm is gearing up to plant their winter greens while maintaining their popular jam and jelly operation and selling fresh eggs.
Sheri has lived on her four-acre farm for 18-years, but only recently has taken on the title of a true farmer. In 2005, she built a commercial kitchen on the property to take advantage of her 75 fruit trees that include nectarines, peaches, plums and royal apricots. She’s also added blackberry, raspberry and most recently blueberry bushes so she could make Jams and Jellies to sell at the Chef/Farmer’s markets. That endeavor has blossomed into a full-time business providing many local retail outlets with the jarred preserves including Browns Valley Market, ABC Bakery, Cal-Mart, Sunshine Market, Ranch Market Too as well as other regional locations.
“Places like Oakville Grocer and Stanly Lane also use our fruit under their name, which is exciting,” said Sheri.
Fruit is no longer the dominant force at the farm, Sheri along with her staff, which includes her mom, Mary, daughter, Jessica and sister, Shelly now have an abundant vegetable garden. They usually sell at the local farmer’s market in June and July, but are too busy with the jelly and jams to leave the farm the rest of the year. Seasonal produce is always available directly at the Farm.
“Our Kitchen is a working kitchen,” she said. “We hold cooking, canning, pickling and other classes through out the year. We also have wineries buy produce and we package it up for them to sell under their label so it keeps us busy.”
The highlight of a visit to the farm is the 200 colorful chickens, which are more than happy to greet you. For half the year, the egg-laying hens take over four rows of two-acre planted Syrah grapes.
“It’s a small sacrifice to keep happy chickens,” said Sheri, who also said they have about 30 retired chickens that they keep on hand. “They are just here and that’s okay, they have earned their keep.”
Sheri says they practice organic, but they are not certified. She prefers to grow her vegetables without pesticides.
While working as an accountant/tax preparer, Sheri said she grew the garden for her family, but it became too big to be just for the family. Now she can’t decide which is better, working in the dirt or being inside.
“I love what I do,” she said. “It’s wonderful to work with my family and we all get along. I’m so grateful, thankful and at peace.”
There is no one favorite thing about her farm according to Sheri.
“Some days I love being in the kitchen and the next day outside,” she grins. “The most rewarding aspect about farming is sitting down to dinner knowing we grew everything.”
Besides the Jams and Jellies, they offer other pantry items including mustards and oils as well as cater and create specialty wedding party gift boxes.
They also still have succulent and ornamental plants available for purchase. Seasonal plants for home gardens are available at various times of the year.
Farmstand hours are Monday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm. Wed – Sat during the winter.
2083 Silverado Trail, Napa Ca just a quarter mile north of Trancas Street.
Go to hurleyfarms.com for a complete list of offerings, specials and class availability. NVL