Kaliko Farms' Story
Clockwise from top left: Hens in pasture at Kaliko Farms; the aftermath of the fire on the farm; Kaliko Farms product at Co+opportunity; Orian's home in flames; Kaliko Orian with her hens' multicolored eggs.
If you’ve ever admired dark chocolate-colored, green speckled, or vibrant blue eggs at Co+opportunity, there’s a good chance you were looking at the work of longtime co-op local vendor Kaliko Farms (Malibu, CA). Kaliko Farms’ eggs are more than beautiful on the outside: they have rich marigold-yellow yolks because they are laid by free-range, non-GMO project verified, corn- and soy-free hens in 15 varieties (including Black Copper Marans, Whiting True Blue, and Buff Orpingtons). Kaliko Farms began as a rescue effort when a retiring farmer planned to kill 300 pullets (chickens too young to lay eggs) and “the rescue turned into a small egg laying business as a way to support our birds and allow me to tend them full-time,” said Kaliko Orian in a recent email.
Until last month’s devastating Woolsey Fire, Orian’s Malibu hens roamed in pasture of the five-acre farm across the street from their home of 18 years, which was destroyed in the fire that also killed approximately 800 chickens. The surviving birds struggle with trauma and smoke inhalation, while Orian and her family have been relocated to a distant donated AirBnB with the few possessions they were able to grab before evacuating. “We had little time to evacuate, and when we did, the PCH Southbound to Santa Monica was so jammed that we were directed to turn around and go to the Zuma Beach parking lot,” said Orian, “we couldn’t go further North because another fire was making its way to Trancas.” From Zuma Beach, they watched the fire’s spread:
“The hope that our home and farm were safe ebbed and flowed with every shift of the wind. One moment the flames were being fanned away from our place, and seconds later the wind would shift and the flames would head back to Kanan where we lived. At the end, our home and literally everything we owned except for about two plastic bins of photographs and a duffle bag of my son’s possessions that he managed to throw together were completely destroyed... Burnt to rubble and ash.” Kaliko Orian
Among their destroyed possessions were tens of thousands of dollars of equipment and feed, vital to Kaliko Farms’ continued operation and support of their other flocks. For the moment, Orian and her family go to the farm every morning to care for the birds and return to their donated AirBnB in Playa Del Rey after the birds have been secured for the night. Their insurance hasn’t been sufficient to cover losses but has made them ineligible to receive FEMA support or aid from other disaster relief funds, which is why Kaliko Farms is this month’s (December, 2018) recipient of Co+opportunity’s Register Round Up Fund.
The Register Round Up Fund is a simple program which empowers our shoppers to round their purchase to the nearest dollar and donate the difference to our chosen recipient. At the end of the donation time period, we donate 100% of what we raise directly to pre-selected recipients - local charitable organizations that align with the co-op’s ends, and in extraordinary circumstances like those of Kaliko Farms, we will collect for disaster relief efforts on behalf of affected members of the co-op community.