The 28th annual EcoFarm Bus Tour promises a diverse and informative farm tour on the first day of EcoFarm.
This all-day field trip will visit 4 organic farms in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. The farms are located in the Pajaro Valley, near Watsonville. Long known for the production of high quality cool season crops, this region right next to the Pacific Ocean is an area of cool, foggy summers, sunny springs and falls, mild wet winters (we are praying!), and features a great range of crops suited to the climate and fertile coastal soils.
Tour stops will include:
Fruitilicious Farm, where partners Zea Sonnabend and Terence Welch will feature their 10 acre organic apple farm, including 8 varieties and 1 ½ acres of new trees, and their packing line and cold storage.
Viridis Aquaponics is the worlds largest aquaponics operation. Founder Drew Hopkins will show us the raising of sturgeon, utilizing their effluent to grow 100 varieties of organic lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes on 10 acres of ponds and greenhouses, using a multiple growing media.
Manuel Mercado, owner of River Valley Farms, will tour a portion of his 150 acres of organic strawberries and raspberries, all produced for Driscoll's. He will discuss his journey from immigrant berry picker in 1986 to his ownership of a highly productive farm.
Steve Storrs of Hidden Springs Vineyard and Storrs Winery will tour his 16 acre organic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyard, show the newly completed on farm winery, and provide tastes of his world class cool weather wines.
Amigo Bob Cantisano of Organic Ag Advisors, Sam Earnshaw of Hedgerows Unlimited, and Richard Smith of UC Cooperative Extension lead the tour.
Lunch will be a hearty natural foods meal prepared by noted chef Jim Denevan, of Outstanding In The Field in Santa Cruz, with many ingredients provided by the bus tour hosts. Morning coffee, tea, and snacks will be provided.
This pre-conference is approved for 7 Crop Management CEUs for Certified Crop Advisors.
"The best farm tour I've been on,"
"Excellent presentations by the growers,"
" Highly informative and fun".
The buses depart from Asilomar at 8AM. We have rooms available for those needing accommodations at Asilomar on the night before the tour (Tuesday, January 20). Visit our website to register and book lodging. Don't wait - the bus tour always sells out early.