Growing up in San Francisco, Yael Bernier discovered her passion for agriculture quite young, when her parents sent her to a one week farm camp in Sacramento. She loved drinking cows' milk still warm from the milkbarn, digging potatoes and eating watermelons straight from the field. She knew then and there she wanted to work with the land.

She was growing garlic in Penngrove in her late twenties when she met Paul folk dancing. He was a skilled farmer and mechanic who was working for Lou Preston, at the newly started Preston Vineyards. They began working together, eventually farming the land for four years which would become Dry Creek Peach and Produce in the future, several years before the Sullivans, the current owners, bought it.

Paul liked traditional Italian farmers' farming techniques and incorporated them into their endeavors. He also appreciated the idea of share-cropping, so leased land nearby to farm, sharing the profits with the land owner.

During this time Tom Peterson, another local farmer, was growing tomatoes and needed a place to sell them, along with apricots he was harvesting from another grower. As a UC Davis alumni he'd been to the very first farmers' markets in the state, which were located there, and brought the idea back to his Healdsburg farming friends. Tom, Paul, Yael, Granger Brown, the Kiffs, and Doug Stout were among the very first to sell their produce to the public, setting up outside the old Sunsweet dried fruit packing plant on Haydon in May of 1978. The rest is history...as they say. This year our farmers' market is 43 years old, thanks to these pioneers.

Today, keeping with the tradition of shared land, the Berniers farm on three rented parcels and have their own home farm. Their produce takes up two to three acres, and they have thirty-five acres of vineyard. This year their famous garlic varieties will be front and center in their booth, as well as their bountiful root crops and greens. Their son Zureal has developed his own ideas of farming, and is growing the garlic, corn, melons and strawberries Yael will have at the market this year, as well as other specialty crops as the 2021 season evolves.

When asked what lies in the future, Yael points to Zureal, who attended Cal Poly to study agriculture, and has been involved in the farm from a very young age. He has his mother's farming skills and his father's mechanical ones, so seems the ideal person to carry on the family's legacy.