Kelly Lowrie isn’t just a local mama bear and creator of Traxx Farm Stand, she’s also officially Winters’ newest farmer with the completion of her course at the Center For Land-Based Learning in Woodland. Along with her certificate of completion, she obtained a half-acre of land to call her own, where she’s growing organic, local produce to sell at her farm stand.
A couple of years back, Lowrie was on vacation and came across a produce stand with an honor-system form of payment. She was so inspired by it, she opted to create her own: Traxx Farm Stand. While that pushed her to start her own business, agriculture was something that was instilled in her as a little girl by her grandfather.
“My grandfather, Floyd Fletcher was 100 percent the reason I am so passionate about homegrown produce. Growing up in Winters, I got to experience firsthand the ability to walk into the backyard and pick a piece of fruit right off the tree or grab a tomato and eat it from the vine,” said Lowrie. “There were fresh blackberries and raspberries at my fingertips. I also want people in our community to be able to experience how good heirloom and organic fruit and veggies taste.”
Lowrie talked the talk, but after opening her own farm stand in the end of 2021, she’s walking the walk. In fact, she walked all the way to the Center of Land-Based Learning and took a seven-month course to bolster her agricultural knowledge and know-how. She graduated this past September with flying colors and savored the hands-on experience the course provided.
“We had the opportunity to go to local, organic farms around the area and see and talk to farmers which is something you don’t get to do as a consumer. We got to tour their facilities, ask questions on how they run their operations and got to see first-hand how they go about doing it,” said Lowrie. “Farmers are very busy people, so to be able to have that little chunk of their time was invaluable. It was neat being able to see the different ways people go about farming and the different things that they do.”
One of the class tours Lowrie went on was to an urban farm in Sacramento, Route 64. Simply seeing that was another dose of inspiration for Lowrie to begin running her farm stand from her own home. From how busy that area of Sacramento is, to the sheer caliber of how much they produced, Lowrie was encouraged to emulate the same thing for Winters.
“It was very encouraging to see that it’s doable. Eventually, I would like to be downtown and be able to do something down there on a Saturday or Sunday morning in that little park area between the pharmacy and Ace. Even Rotary park — I’d love to have a little farmer’s market,” said Lowrie. “I really want to be able to bring this produce to Winters. I have big dreams and a lot of connections with amazing people who not only grow amazing produce but do their own honey and beef jerky. Further down the line, I’d like to work with the schools in town. That’s near and dear to my heart after being so involved with FFA. Maybe I’d even have some students come and work on my half-acre farm.”
After completing her course and seeing her ambition come to fruition, she encourages anybody who’s interested in local agriculture to engage in the same coursework she took.
As for the Traxx Farm Stand, Lowrie is running it from her home and — until she’s able to stock it full of her own produce — fills it full of locally-sourced produce.
To learn more about Traxx Farm Stand produce, call or text Lowrie at 707-474-2389. One can also email Lowrie at firstname.lastname@example.org and stay up-to-date following the Traxx Farm Stand’s social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram.