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Central Coast Farms & Ranches Bus Tour

Wednesday, January 18 | 8:00am-6:00pm

California’s Central Coast is unique for its foggy summers, sunny springs and falls, mild wet winters, and a wide range of crops suited to the climate and fertile soils. This annual EcoFarm bus tour is a unique experience to learn from farmers and ranchers leaders leading innovative operations. Join us on this full-day tour to experience and understand organic agriculture in the region. You’ll visit a land trust and ranch, a diversified organic farm, and a farmer collective.

$135 (Includes lunch at JSM Organic Farms)

Register here

Sites featured on this tour include:

Tera Farm

Founded during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tera Farm is a nonprofit based in San Juan Bautista that seeks to support small local farmers while helping us build connections with the food we eat. It operates in the San Francisco bay area, helping farmers in the Salinas Valley sell directly to consumers in the Silicon Valley, giving them an additional sales channel besides wholesale. The farmers supported by Tera Farm are small-scale farmers who are too small to even sell at a farmers’ market and rely completely on wholesale distribution. All produce is local, organic, packed on the farm. Because it is run by volunteers, TeraFarm ensures that farmers receive 100% of the proceeds and provides its services at no cost.

Fort Ord National Monument and Grazing Lands

The open land of Fort Ord National Monument in the heart of the Monterey area was converted from military use to community treasure in 1994. Its 14,000 acres includes grasslands, maritime chaparral, vernal pools, and oak woodlands. It is home to rare species of plants and animals, including California tiger salamander and the Contra Costa Goldfields. Since 1960, managed grazing by sheep and goats has been used to reduce fuel accumulation, aid in the control of coyote brush, and support native plant growth. The Bureau of Land Management partners in managing these Coastal Grasslands, working with local schools and universities, non-profit organizations, and private livestock operators to implement innovative grazing, oak and sycamore restoration, and other research.

Big Sur Land Trust’s Marks Ranch

Marks Ranch, once a major egg production ranch and home of Benjamin and Nisene Marks, was purchased by Big Sur Land Trust (BSLT) in 2007. BSLT protects wildlife corridors and cares for the ranch’s beautiful rolling hills, oak woodlands, 90 species of wildflowers, and grazing lands for 250 cattle. In recovery efforts from the 2020 River Fire, which burned Marks Ranch, BSLT partnered with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary as part of the Healthy Soils Program run through the California Department of Food and Agriculture. This program helps working ranches and farmlands improve soil health, promoting its ability to sequester carbon. Sustainability director Patrick Riparetti provides oversight to grazing practices, the Healthy Soils Project, fire recovery, and oak restoration efforts at Mark’s Ranch.

Tour Leaders:

Javier Zamora | JSM Organic Farm

Nathan Harkleroad | Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA)

Nathanael Gonzales-Siemens | Rodale Institute

Logistics

Lunch will be prepared by JSM Organic Farm with many ingredients provided by local farms. JSM Organics is a diverse, organic-certified farm in Royal Oaks which offers a wide variety of products on 40 acres of land. We will meet on the deck located behind the Hearst Social Hall at the Asilomar Conference Grounds. Buses will begin loading at approximately 7:30 am and will leave PROMPTLY at 8:00 am. Morning coffee, tea, and snacks will be provided, along with fruit and water during the day.

Date and Location

Location: 
Asilomar Conference Grounds
Day: 
Wednesday
Date: 
01/18/23

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Thank you to our EcoFarm 2023 sponsors!