Wearing his signature overalls and surrounded by boxes of his legendary fruit, “Farmer Al” Courchesne has been a welcome sight at farmers’ markets around the Bay Area for over 30 years. And just like his peaches, Al is homegrown. Born in Louisiana and raised in Berkeley and El Cerrito, he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in anthropology. Shortly afterwards, he moved to Hawaii to teach at the Punahou School. There, he discovered his love of farming. He grew lettuce and tomatoes for two years in Hawaii before returning to the Bay Area.
He planted his first peach orchard in Brentwood in 1976. Thirteen years later, Al began farming organically in large part because of a commitment he wanted to make to the soil, water and community he lived in. The storybook image of Frog Hollow Farm--delightfully depicted on our fruit crates--celebrates the joyful abundance of fruit and nature enjoyed by the whole community. Throughout his farming career, Farmer Al has been a vigorous advocate for sustainable land use, conservation, and organic farming practices. Al lives on the farm with his wife Becky, their two daughters Maddie and Millie, and their ever-present dog Noci (which means ‘dark of night’).
Becky Courchesne is native northern Californian just like Farmer Al. Although she graduated from Linfield College with degrees in English and anthropology, cooking was always her first love. After moving back to the Bay Area, she began working in the kitchen at Alice Waters’ Cafe Fanny and later became head pastry chef at Oliveto in Oakland. It was there, while Farmer Al was making his delivery rounds, that the pastry chef met the peach farmer. Becky moved to the farm in 1995 and in 2000, inspired by the abundance of delicious fruit all around her, launched a line of now-famous organic conserves, marmalades, jelly and chutney all made with Frog Hollow Fruit grown right in her backyard.
Sarah first set foot on what would become Frog Hollow Farm when she was six years old. At the time, the land was owned by her father’s cousin, Clinton Smith, who had been growing apricots and cherries in Brentwood since 1926. In the beginning, the farm was named simply "Brentwood Farm.” It was not until another 20 acres was added in the early 80s that it became known as Frog Hollow Farm. Sarah has worked all aspects of the farm over its 33 year existence and today manages all administrative functions for the company. Sarah shares her commitment to the land, its history, and its traditions with her own daughter, Analise, everyday.
Robert grew up on a small family farm in western Pennsylvania, raising grass fed beef, and it was there that Robert developed his love for agriculture. He went on to work with several different companies within the food and ag industry, most recently with Niman Ranch right here in the Bay Area, before jumping on board with Frog Hollow in May 2009. After going through his first season and making sure he diligently sampled each and every fruit variety grown at the farm, Robert can safely say his favorites are Brooks Cherries, O’Henry Peaches and Warren Pears.
Director of Sales & Marketing
Pearl oversees e-commerce sales and all aspects of digital marketing for the farm, including the Farm to Table cafe. Pearl has focused on growing the Frog Hollow Farm's direct-to-customer business. She has streamlined order fulfillment and structured the sales channel with a focus on making it easier for all customers to order directly from the farm.
Pearl is experience in social media and digital media marketing. Before joining Frog Hollow Farm, Pearl worked as a journalist and as Website producer. She brings a combination of creative thinking and knowledge of the Web to Frog Hollow, along with a deep-rooted passion for customer care and customer retention. Her favorite fruits from the farm are the O’Henry peach and the Flavor King pluot.
Stephanie joined our team in September of 2006. Being from South Dakota originally her mid-western values fit in well with everyone here. She and her daughter, Trinity, who helps at our farmer's markets on weekends when she isn't at University of California Santa Cruz, are an integral part of the Frog Hollow Family.
Karen came to Frog Hollow Farm in May 2007. Since then she has worked tirelessly to not only build our CSA program but to keep it running smoothly. Karen handled all the administrative tasks of the CSA program until 2011 when her keen attention to detail was put to use wrangling the farm's constantly changing inventory. With a busy on-site kitchen, a bustling packing shed, and Frog Hollow's e-commerce efforts increasing its mail order shipments, Karen is instrumental in improving the farm's logistics and eliminating unnecessary waste.