It’s the love of the land and their family that brought Spencer and Melissa Tregilgas back to the Sacramento region, even though they enjoyed living on the East Coast and in Panoche, CA prior to moving to Placerville. Both Melissa and Spencer were involved in the Arts, but their children arrived and grew, as did their desire of having a more family-oriented life; one they preferred to observe first-hand and be an active part of.
The Tregilgas have been married for 14 years, and along with their 4 daughters (fondly known as the Feral Farm Kids), they have settled into a farming lifestyle that has the essential elements of hard work, dedication, resilience, responsibility and commitment, along with a sense of wonder, joy and opportunity as they work, live and play together. As depicted by the name, Free Hand Farm is like a free-hand sketch put to paper or land– lines can be drawn and then fluidly changed. The life this family leads is enriched by restorative freedom and choice in how they plan, manage and care for everything on their 95-acre farm, and then share it with others.
“We are fully committed to our partnership with the land, our livestock, our family and our community. We believe that adaptive management allows us to increase animal and soil health, providing the most nutritious food possible to our family and community,” both Spencer and Melissa shared.
They have farmed on historic Veerkamp land for 5 years, utilizing many aspects of the pastoral setting. Grass-fed Jersey cows are milked in a quaint 1930s dairy barn, where fresh, chilled milk is put into glass bottles, ready for pick-up. The milk is available in “herd shares” where customers buy shares of a milking herd, and the farmer is paid to care for and milk the animals. Also available from Free Hand Farm are 100% grassfed lamb, beautiful tanned sheepskins, yarn, roving, and raw wool for crafting and spinning.
In keeping with the Tregilgas family’s mission of regenerative land management, their flock of sheep is beginning to do targeted grazing projects off the farm, benefitting the El Dorado County landscape by reducing fuel load and increasing biodiversity.
Take a beautiful virtual walk on the farm by visiting facebook.com/Freehandfarm or the website www.freehandfarm.com. Scenic Free Hand Farm is located at 941 Cold Springs Road, Placerville. To find out more about visiting the farm, call (530) 295-9458.