We are a small farm on the coast between La Selva Beach and Watsonville in Santa Cruz County, in California. We advocate and practice sustainable farming techniques and methods, out of a belief that agricultural practice in this country needs to undergo a transition out of an extractive, resource intensive model operating across national and international markets, and into a localized economic and agricultural model that values the land, the community and the workers before profit.
We grow using organic methods and strive towards a bio-dynamic/permaculture informed agriculture; while we are certified organic, we hope our methods and practice go beyond organic standards and aim at a greater long-term health and sustainability for our land.
We grow vegetables, flowers, herbs and fruit. We raise laying hens and meat birds, as well as ducks for meat and eggs, meat rabbits, and pigs. We minimize our use of fossil fuels wherever possible, use no synthetic pesticides or herbicides, rely on compost, manure and cover crops to better our soil and increase its fertility, as well as our own mixes of seed meal, bone meal, and various minerals for direct fertilization of crops at planting time. Our animals are raised on pasture, are given no hormones or antibiotics, and if raised for slaughter are slaughtered cleanly and as humanely as it is possible to do so by us onsite, or in licensed facilities.
We value ingenuity, good ol’ fashioned know how, hard work and struggle. We like good tools, and the skill and knowledge to use them well. We’re brewers, preservers, and small farmers, and we’re sitting here surrounded on all sides by the Goliath of industrial agriculture, trying to make a go at this. We like a good fight now and then, and the sight of a black flag.
We grow good food. We do so because we love it, because we believe that food is the first wealth, because we want to do something good for ourselves, the world, the people around us, even if that one thing is small. At the end of the day, we are tired, dirty, happy. This place is the end result of years of dreaming and scheming and figuring-it-out. Here on this good piece of land, on the edge of the coast, on our small corner of turtle island, we’re fixing to sink shovels into the ground, plant an orchard, and watch it grow.
The old idea is still full of promise. It is potent with healing and with health. It has the power to turn each person away from the big-time promising and planning of the government, to confront in himself, in the immediacy of his own circumstances and whereabouts, the question of what methods and ways are best. It proposes an economy of necessities rather than an economy based upon anxiety, fantasy, luxury, and idle wishing. It proposes the independent, free-standing citizenry that Jefferson thought to be the surest safeguard of democratic liberty. And perhaps most important of all, it proposes an agriculture based upon intensive work, local energies, care, and long-living communities—that is, to state the matter from a consumer’s point of view: a dependable, long-term food supply.
…though we feel that this work must go onward, we are not so certain that it will. But the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.
—Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America, 1977