Andrea Davis-Cetina 01F: Quarter Acre Farm

Andrea Davis-Cetina Quarter Acre Farm blends hard work and activism

“During my Div I, while taking an NS class in kinesiology, I realized that my prior poor performance in the sciences didn’t have to do with my lack of interest; it had to do with the way science is traditionally taught,” says Andrea Davis-Cetina 01F. “When customers or clients come to me frustrated with the science and numbers involved in growing vegetables or running a farm business, I show them different approaches to solving their problems.”

After graduating from Hampshire, Davis-Cetina moved to California and spent a few years creating and maintaining edible gardens for restaurants and private clients. In 2008, she started Quarter Acre Farm, where she grows an array of certified-organic vegetables and popcorn. Everything is sold within two miles of her Sonoma Valley fields to restaurants and through farmers’ markets.

“I like being small because I don’t have to spend my time managing employees — I can just farm,” she says. “But that also means I’m responsible for everything, from weeding to harvesting and from marketing to selling.”

Davis-Cetina intended to study photography at Hampshire, but the Farm Center lured her in another direction.

“I was hired to work in the School to Farm Program, which ran out of Thorpe House,” she says. “After my first semester, I was head over heels in love with farming and changed my focus of study to agriculture. During my four years, I worked in almost every area of the farm. Looking back, I wish I’d spent even more time at the Farm Center.”

Her Div III, a nutritional analysis of a local and seasonal diet in the Pioneer Valley, led to her cookbook Local Delectables: Seasonal Recipes for the Pioneer Valley, published by Levellers Press in Amherst.

Davis-Cetina also maintains a weekly blog and hosts a radio show featuring guests involved in sustainable agriculture, seasonal eating, and social advocacy.

“The blog,” she says, “is a way for me to educate the public about the realities of growing vegetables, being a young first-generation farmer, being an activist, respecting nature, and celebrating the seasons. Even though I write for public consumption, it’s a record that helps me reflect and make decisions for the future of the farm.”

She also helped start the Sonoma Valley Farmers Guild, is working to revitalize the California Certified Organic Farmers’ North Coast chapter, and was nominated for the 2014 Ecological Farming Association Fellowship.

“I live and breathe this stuff,” says Davis-Cetina. “The books I read, the movies I watch, the meals I prepare, the magazines I flip through, the people I follow on Instagram; they all have a relationship to food and farming. But really, what doesn’t? Everything is connected.”

Learn more about Quarter Acre Farm and follow the blog.