This week’s farmer: Wes Jones

Wes Jones got his first taste of organic farming in 2012 while traveling through South America with his girlfriend, Nitana. For two months he and Nitana worked and lived on an organic, shade grown coffee farm in the cloud forest of Ecuador. Upon returning stateside they set off on a mission to find a place to settle and grow roots. They landed in the valley of Ojai, CA. The Farmer and the Cook, a local restaurant, market, CSA and farm, extended the opportunity to volunteer in the fields and help harvest veggies. Volunteering led to a job in the market for Nitana. Wes worked for Patagonia’s retail store in Ventura. Together they befriended Steve Sprinkel and Olivia Chase, the owners of The Farmer and the Cook. Six months later, suffering from a bad case of restlessness, they planned a grand bike tour/rock climbing trip, riding bamboo bicycles from Canada to Mexico via the coastal route. Steve and Olivia supported their journey by hiring Wes at the store and allowing he and Nitana to pitch a tent at the farm while preparing for the tour. Upon completion of the 2,800 mile bike ride, Wes and Nitana slipped into an opening at the farm house for two new people to take over as the new farm hands in exchange for room and board. They now live at the farm and work alongside the green thumb tutelage of Steve Sprinkel. They also work in the market/restaurant performing various tasks ranging from hot sauce making, pepper grinding, serving at the weekend cafe, cooking on the line and learning the ins and outs of running a successful business from the ever- insightful Olivia Chase. When Wes isn’t farming or working in the restaurant he spends his time rock climbing, surfing, riding his bike and enjoying the outdoors.

This program was sponsored by Hearst Ranch.