Bus Tour 2019 Kicks Off EcoFarm Conference
This all-day field trip will visit 4 organic and biodynamic farms in and near the Pajaro Valley. The Pajaro Valley and surrounding foothills have an interesting mix of soil, crops and climate. Within a couple miles of the Monterey Bay, the ocean influence keeps temps mild year round, with fog in the summer and light frosts in the winter. It's an area with a large diversity of crops and farm sizes, famous for fertile soils and flavorful food.
Bus Tour stops will include:
Dirty Girl Produce
Dirty Girl Produce is farmed by Joe Schirmer now in his 20th year, growing 30 vegi crops and strawberries year-round on 32 acres on three parcels around Watsonville. Joe markets at 5 farmers markets, to restaurants and local stores. Famous for dry farmed tomatoes, Joe may break out his new Dirty Girl tomato seed packets if we are lucky.
Blossom's Biodynamic Farm
Carin Fortin and Delmar McComb of Blossom’s Biodynamic Farm produce a wide variety of veggies, flowers, animals and herbs, offering a year-round-herb CSA, numerous BD herb tinctures, salves, skin care and teas. They sell through farmers markets and online. Passionate activists in the BD movement, Blossom's Biodynamic Farm teaches many BD classes.
Rebecca King of Monkeyflower Ranch produces 7 award winning sheep’s milk cheeses, yogurt and lamb from 100 milking ewes on 40 acres. We will meet the sheep, tour the Garden Variety Cheese dairy and cheese plant, taste and purchase her wares. The farm is a participant in the California Healthy Soils Program, which is bringing benefits to the farm by building soil health, creating native plant habitat and sequestering carbon dioxide into the soil.
High Ground Organics
Jeanne Byrne and Stephen Pederson of High Ground Organics grow strawberries and year round veggies, marketed through their CSA, farmstand, U-Pick berries and farmers market. A UC Davis researcher will discuss the ongoing study of beneficial and pest birds found on this and 26 other Central Coast organic strawberry farms.
"The best farm tour I've been on."
"Excellent presentations by the growers."
"Highly informative and fun".
Amigo Bob Cantisano of Organic Ag Advisors, Jo Ann Baumgartner of Wildfarm Alliance, Sam Earnshaw of Hedgerows Unlimited, and Richard Smith of UC Cooperative Extension will 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, along with fruit and water during the day.
Don't wait - This event sells out early.
The buses depart from Asilomar at 8 AM, promptly.
Lodging at Asilomar is available on the night before the tour (Tuesday, January 22).