The Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association generates opportunities for farm workers and limited resource aspiring farmers to grow and sell crops from its two organic farms near Salinas, CA. ALBA offers training in organic farming, marketing, record-keeping, labor law, and other topics that are relevant to operating a farm business. In 2002, ALBA established ALBA Organics as a licensed produce distributor to support the sales and sales training needs of ALBA farmers. The on-farm coolers, warehouse, and delivery infrastructure at the ALBA farm near Salinas are major assets for both the farmers and the organization. ALBA Organics connects its customers with the highest-quality product available in season, and offers the opportunity to support small-scale, limited-resource and beginning farmers. In 2008-2009 ALBA helped establish nineteen new farm businesses and 13 in 2010. Our partnership with ALBA means we are able to get quality produce and support individuals and families as they begin their farming operations. By supporting ALBA we play a part in ensuring that future farmers have the opportunity to learn about sustainable farming practices and that means more organic goodness for the future! www.albafarmers.org
Glen Ivy Farms
With just over 20 acres of certified organic fruit orchards Glen Ivy's 1,400 trees yield a year-round abundance of stonefruit, citrus and avocados, to name just a few. Careful stewardship creates a healthy, vibrant food supply and a sense of care for the land that is tangible. They also have about a 1/2 to 1 acre vegetable garden (depending on season) with most, if not all vegetables, of heirloom varieties.
Heath & LeJeune Organic Distributor
Heath & Lejeune was founded in 1981 by Harland Heath and Pat Lejeune, two Los Angeles produce veterans committed to building a brokerage operation dedicated to “Service with Integrity.” Rick Lejeune joined the firm later that year, bringing an early interest in organic gardening and farming, and began building a branch of the business that catered to the needs of the small, but rapidly growing network of organic farmers and retailers spread around the country. Today, Heath and Lejeune is a leader in the movement towards a more sustainable food system and one of the top organic produce distributors in the nation. Like us, they are committed to green alternatives in packaging and transportation, advancing standards for worker welfare and justice, and supporting the farmers who are creating a new agricultural model that promotes a healthy environment for plants, animals, and people. Our partnership with Heath and Lejeune allows our small operation to reach and support the great local farms in their network. We are honored to work with a distributor that shares our values, and thank everyone at Heath and Lejeune for their continued support of our programs and great service.
Olson Family Farms (Kingsburg, CA)
Olson Family Farms is a 4th generation family-run stone fruit operation on 500 acres in Kingsburg, CA where the Olson family emigrated to from Sweden in 1888. Because the Olson family lived on the land they farmed and were concerned for their own wellbeing, they continued to grow their peaches without the use of synthetic chemicals even after many farms made this transition after WWII when these chemicals became widely available to agricultural producers. In the summertime you can still find brothers Richard and Wayne and his sons Olaf and Magnus hauling their delicious peaches, plums, and nectarines- keeping their amazing family legacy alive. www.olsonfamilyfarms.com/
We would also like to thank the following farms:
T&D Willey Farm
Glen Ivey Farm
Lakeside Organic Gardens
South Central Farmers
The South Central Farmers Cooperative (SCF) is made up of community members who are committed to growing food for their community. Together they farmed 14 acres in the heart of South Central Los Angeles (the largest urban farm in the country at the time) until they were evicted in 2006 for commercial development of the land. Since then, the cooperative was able to acquire land in Bakersfield, California where they farm now. Community members travel to Bakersfield daily to care for the land and provide their delicious produce through a CSA program, farmers markets, and wholesale distribution. SCF has been an inspiration and our first partner in this work. We are happy to learn from and partner with this team and their exceptional community based model of food access. www.southcentralfarmers.com
The Tanaka’s – Glenn Tanaka, wife Shirley, and son Ken – manage a third-generation family farm on 30 acres in the heart of Irvine, Calif. After struggling in the wholesale market as a relatively small producer, the Tanaka family turned their operation into an educational center where kids and adults can learn about how food is grown. The Tanaka family distributes its delicious produce through a CSA program and fresh farm stand. Tanaka Farms offers great tours for schools and families where you can pick your own fruits and vegetables. For more information check out their website www.tanakafarms.com.
Unity Farm (Rubidoux, CA)
Two years ago brothers Antonio and Gabriel started their farm in Rubidoux, CA. Gabriel had always grown things in his backyard and with the support of his oldest brother, was able to make his dreams come true and establish their 12 acre growing paradise. The land Unity Farms occupies is close to the Santa Ana River and the soil is rich and beautiful. It makes a big difference; you’ll know when you try their squash, corn, tomatoes, or watermelon. Antonio, the eldest in the family, and Gabriel, the youngest, describe themselves as very different from one another but their common vision to contribute to the world by growing safe and nutritious food while honoring and caring for the earth inspired them to work together and create “Unity Farm”.
Weiser Family Farms
Weiser Family Farms began in 1977 when Sid Weiser, a chemistry teacher and counselor at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles decided to pack up the family and follow his dream of working off the land. Sidney and his wife Raquel laid down roots in Tehachapi, California. There, they learned to tend to the fruit trees . . . apples, peaches, and pears. In the ensuing years, they acquired farmland in other locations where they branched out into a variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Today, Weiser Family Farms grows in the Greater Bakersfield area, Tehachapi and the Lucerne Valley, cultivating a tapestry of high quality produce year round. Learn more about Weiser Family Farms by visiting their website and blog at: http://www.weiserfamilyfarms.com/