Bus Tour 2020 Kicks Off EcoFarm Conference
This all-day field trip will take you on an exploration of these farms:
Lakeside Organic Gardens
Dick Peixoto, owner of Lakeside Organic Gardens, started farming on his own while he was a senior in high school. After 20 years in conventional, he became frustrated with the corporate structure and was looking for a smaller business plan that was committed to the health of the soil. Starting in 1996 with 50 acres, he has expanded his acreage to 2,000 acres here in the Pajaro Valley and 1,000 acres in the Imperial Valley, farming 50 crops on 65 separate ranches. They now ship veggies throughout the USA and Canada. Visit Lakeside Organic Gardens ranch, walk the fields with Dick, and learn from the conditioned veteran in organic farming, the day-to-day workflow, cover crop tactics, IPM, and behind the scenes farm strategies. Dick is often quoted saying, “We farm the soil and the soil grows the crop.” You will learn why. Today, Lakeside Organic Gardens has become the largest family-owned and operated, solely organic vegetable grower/shipper in the USA.
JSM Organics is a diverse, organic-certified farm in Royal Oaks. Breaking ground in 2012 with virtually no capital or hired labor, farmer Javier Zamora began planting the seeds that would eventually grow a business that now offers a wide variety of organic products on 40 acres, including close to 300 varieties of flowers. Originally from humble farming origins in Mexico, Javier now prioritizes charitable food donations and hands-on farm education to help revitalize a sense of community that has largely diminished in the modern farming industry. JSM is a multi-faceted farm that specializes in strawberries, but also grows blackberries, apples, pears, flowers, and a variety of vegetables. Javier and his employees are focused on providing not only a higher quality product, but also a higher quality farmer-to-customer experience. This is achieved through dedication to their surrounding community and commitment to a more ethically driven sense of farm management.
Coastal Sun Cannabis & Coastal Moon Berry Farm
Coastal Sun Cannabis and Coastal Moon Berry Farm operate certified organic blueberry and Envirorganic Certified cannabis production in the Pajaro Valley. The tour will walk through the many and diverse production areas, including fields, greenhouses and processing facilities. The farms have developed a system of crop production that brings together the infrastructure of a hydroponic facility with an organic and biologically focused nutrient delivery system termed “bioponic,” referring to organic containerized cultivation. Containerized and cannabis farming are becoming widespread in California. It is no secret that allowing containerized farming to be called “organic” is highly controversial, and this important issue will be discussed.
Sam Earnshaw of Hedgerows Unlimited, Jo Ann Baumgartner of Wild Farm Alliance, 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.
Meet on the deck located behind the Hearst Social Hall at Asilomar. A continental breakfast with coffee and tea will be available on the deck starting at 7:00 am. Buses will begin loading at approximately 7:30 am and will leave PROMPTLY at 8:00 am.
Lodging at Asilomar is available on the night before the tour (Tuesday, January 22).
Wednesday January 22, 2020 – 8:00am - 6:00pm
Cost: $95 per person (includes lunch)