The 27 San Diego County Farms of Farm to Fork Week 2018

January 15, 2018
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Credit: Pixdeluxe

San Diego County is the home to more small farms than any other county in the United States. Here we want to celebrate the family farms that are not only the suppliers to some of the most exciting restaurants in the county, but also heroic in their own rights.

The farms featured here are a committed group of producers who grow produce free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, who focus on land stewardship and water conservation, who treat their farm workers fairly and compassionately. They are all doing their part to keep the tradition of small, family farming alive, to bring seasonal food to local tables, and to contribute to building a community food system in our county.

 

Courtesy of Dickinson Farm

Good news for us, the farms listed below offer tours, classes, CSA memberships, and direct-to-consumer sales. 

Stehly Farms Organics

They offer farm tours and sell their produce directly to consumers.

Stehly Farms Organics is a small, family owned company that grows, packs, and distributes certified organic avocados, citrus and berries nation-wide. Located in Valley Center, CA, Stehly Farms Organics is both owned and operated by brothers Jerome & Noel Stehly. SFO harvests thousands of acres across northern San Diego County, including a 300-acre ranch which has been farmed by the Stehly (pronounced Stay-lee) family since their father purchased the land over 50 years ago. As third-generation California farmers, the Stehly brothers love farming and are proud to provide consumers with the best tasting organic produce available.

Cyclops Farms

They host events like farm dinners, are open to the public for visits, and sell their produce directly to consumers.

Cyclops in Oceanside, California is certified organic through CCOF. They plant a large variety of vegetables, strawberries, flowers, and herbs, which they sell at farmers markets and at their farm stand on the farm, in addition to providing organic produce to local restaurants. They look forward to finding new ways to share their healthy organic veggies with the San Diego County community.

Point Loma Farms

They sell their produce directly to consumers and host occacional events. Check their Facebook page for details.

Point Loma Farms is a CCOF Certified USDA Organic farm based in San Diego, California, committed to using only the finest heirloom crop varietals. In addition to produce, they raise and supply pure bred mangalitsa pigs. 

JR Organics

They offer CSA memberships and sell their produce at farmers markets.

The Rodriguez Ranch started in the 1950’s.  It was originally 55 acres of wild scrub brush cleared by hand and with mule teams.  It started as a conventional tomato and squash farm but went through several transitions over the years. At one time, the Rodriguez Ranch was a domestic supplier and international exporter of culinary herbs.  Following several illnesses caused by exposure to agricultural chemicals, Joe, Jr., decided to try the organic method of farming.  Then in 1986, after much success growing crops organically, Joe obtained his CCOF certification and J R Organics was formed.  The growing practices used include the finest fertilizers, compost, beneficial insects and proper soil management.  You are assured the produce grown at J R Organics is richer in vitamins, minerals and flavor than most vegetables, herbs and fruits you could obtain anywhere else. We grow a wide variety of organic crops from arugula to zucchini. Subscribe today and start getting quality produce at great prices.

Be Wise Organics

They offer CSA memberships, allow farm tours with prior booking, and sell their produce directly to consumers at area markets.

Be Wise Ranch is a CCOF certified, organic family farm owned and managed by Bill Brammer, and a team of dedicated employees, many of whom have been with us since we started farming in 1977. "Certified organic" is a legal term which means that, by state and federal law, anyone who sells produce as "organically grown" cannot use synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers to grow any of their produce. We are certified by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), a non-profit certification organization, who comes out to inspect our farm and records at least once a year. We work hard to improve the quality of the soil, which we feel improves the taste of our fruits and vegetables, and makes the plants more resistant to disease. Our unique micro-climate, just eight miles east of the Pacific Ocean and 20 miles north of San Diego in the Sante Fe Valley and San Pasqual Valley, allows us to provide our customers with delicious, farm-fresh produce all year round. They specialize in flavorful varieties of organic fruits and vegetables, and offer a wide selection of organic produce that local San Diego customers can buy through the Community Supported Agriculture Program, which delivers boxes of fresh vegetables to pick-up points in various neighborhoods throughout San Diego County or at many area markets.  

Dickinson Farm

They sell produce online, hosts events and farm tours, and sell to consumers directly at the farm. 

Mike & Stepheni purchased the Wallace D. Dickinson homestead in National City in February  2012, as their forever home. They noticed fresh produce was hard to come by in National City. With no real farming experience they planted a few fruits trees & learned how to plant a small garden patch, and with that, the Farm began. In the SoCal sunshine, the crops spouted up with ease providing excess in abundance of what they could eat. Mike & Stepheni started giving away the excess to friends, family & even a crop share. Then decided to give the excess to Dreams for Change to help feed those that couldn’t afford to buy their own. By January 2016, the few trees & garden patch became 16 raised boxes, an orchard, 4 hedgerows of coffee, a hop patch & 20 in ground rows; 1/4 of an acre total. Plans were set & licenses obtained - the little garden patch became Dickinson Farm. They grow and sell organic heirloom fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Maciel Family Farms

They sell produce to consumers directly at various farmers markets.

The Maciel family have been farming in Bonsall, CA since 1967. Anthony and Adam Maciel have been growing and selling their fresh vegetables in the county since the first farmer's market in Vista. Today, you can find their fresh vegetables in various farmer's markets, selling the likes of rainbow carrots and swiss chard, beets, zicchini, onions, lettuce, fava beans, celery, kale, fennel, cilantro, arugula, radishes, and more. All pesticide free. 

Rodney Kawano Farms

They offer a CSA membership and sell produce to consumers directly at various farmers markets.

Rodney Kawano farm is located on the beautiful, rolling hills of North County San Diego. Rodney Kawano, owner and 3rd generation farmer in Southern California, secured several acres of land in Oceanside and Vista. Using rich fertilizers and organic minerals, Rodney and his family grow the sweetest and tastiest produce showcasing how delicious nature can be. Although not a certified organic farm, Rodney knows the importance of adding organic minerals to the soil as minerals enhance the flavors of the crop to yield the best possible produce.The growing practices used on the farm include the finest fertilizers, compost, beneficial insects and proper soil management. They are 100% GMO free, and do not use Round Up or fumigate. Although not a certified organic farm, Rodney knows the importance of adding organic minerals to the soil as minerals enhance the flavors of the crop to yield the best possible produce. The produce grown at their farm are richer in vitamins, minerals, and flavor than most vegetables, herbs and fruits you could obtain anywhere else.

Brown Date Garden

They are open to the public for tours and tastings, and sell directly to consumers online.

The Brown Date Garden was purchased by Tom and Florence Brown in 1930, when the California date industry was still in its early stages. During the week, Tom and Florence were school teachers in Glendale, California; on the weekends, they grew dates in the desert. They moved to the farm full-time in 1941 because of the gasoline shortage. After their deaths, Tom's nephew Ted Fish and his wife Donna took over the ranch. In time, their son "Little Ted" and his wife "Little Donna" joined them, working side-by-side with "Old Ted" and "Big Donna." The Brown Date Garden has grown Medjool, Deglet Noor, and Barhee/Barhi dates since 1930, for wholesale, retail, and mail-order customers. They have about 50 pet Asian peafowl living (peacocks) living in Brown Date Garden. They dating back to when the family first purchased the ranch. The birds freely roam the farm property during the day and at night they roost in the tops of the date palms.

La Vigne Organics and Beck Grove

They sell directly to consumers online and at many markets throughout the county.

This is a small, family-owned farm in Fallbrook, California, located in the northern most part of San Diego County. Back in 1968, the land was originally planted with avocado trees, but by 1982 — when Helene and Robert Beck headed south from Los Angeles looking for a new home and a healthier lifestyle — the grove had fallen on hard times. Undaunted, the Becks purchased the property, got their hands dirty and set about restoring this ailing tract of land. Through trial and error, soil studies and classes, Helene and Robert decided that organic was the way to go, and shortly thereafter, they also began the process of becoming certified biodynamic. They are a certified biodynamic, organic grove of more than 2,000 exotic citrus fruit trees producing the likes of Fuyu Persimmons, Nagami Kumquats, Kaffir Limes, Kaffir Lime Leaves, Bearss Limes, Minneolas, Blood Oranges, Meyer Lemons, Satsuma Tangerines, Mexican Guavas, Cara Cara Navels, Cherimoyas, Fremont and Pixie Tangerines, Passion Fruit, Sapotes, Pomegranates and Surinam Cherries. THey also grow lemongrass, rosemary, bay leaves, hoja santos and curry leaves.

Sage Mountain Farm

They offer CSA memberships, give farm tours, and sell directly to consumers at their farm stand.

Phil and Juany Noble own and operate Sage Mountain Farm and are an active part of the organic food revolution that is sweeping across our country. Starting with a small garden they ended up having some extra produce; not wanting to let anything go to waste they decided to sell some at the local farmer's market and Sage Mountain Farm was born. They practice and maintain organic, sustainable farming practices, and all of the fruits and vegetables are grown on the family farm using sparkling clean natural well water and healthy organic processes. At their high desert property, they also use organic guidelines to raise steers, chickens and pigs. Motivated by their passion for bringing produce to the marketplace, and their love for the outdoors and farming, they planted fruit trees, fenced of the property and purchased some of the land adjacent to their original 5 acres. They now own multiple properties and have started Sage Mountain Beef, where they also offer green-fed beef and pork, for purchase or, as part of our beef CSA program.  Click here for information about Sage Mountain Beef.  

Connelly Gardens

They sell directly to consumers at their farm stand, host an annual plant sale, and have special events.  

Connelly Gardens is a small farm located in the serene hills of Ramona in San Diego’s back-country. Farmer, Tim Connelly, has been growing specialty vegetables in the county since 1985.  Connelly Gardens produces an abundance of herbs, specialty vegetables, edible garnishes, and micro-greens. Tim's farm, Connelly Gardens, produces culinary herbs, specialty fruits and vegetables, micro-greens and edible garnishes for fine dining establishments in San Diego and throughout the nation. Tim uses several growing techniques including field cultivation and hydroponics.

Copper Fox Farms

They offer a CSA program, sell at farmers markets, an plan to host more community events in the future. 

Copper Fox Farm is owned and operated by Stephan and Natalie Youngers. As a Market Garden, Stephan and Natalie intensively farm less than an acre in urban San Diego. Their passion to provide fresh and organic produce to locals is what drives them to garden full time. The farm specializes in unique and heirloom varieties of produce. Their vision is to expand Copper Fox Farm to provide yoga classes and meditation sessions.

Eben-Haezer Egg Farm

They are open to the public for direct sales of farm fresh eggs, produce, and homemade sweets.

Eben-Haezer Poultry Ranch is a small family farm located just a short drive from San Diego. Established in 1957, they have been providing quality eggs to the greater San Diego for three generations. With the support from the community, they have joined with local restaurants, vendors, business people and residents to provide local fresh eggs to all of San Diego County. Aside from serving the freshest eggs, they also have year round tasty treats made from age old Dutch recipes.  Enjoy some our Dutch Butter or Spice cookies. You can also enjoy some of fresh, all natural, fruits and vegetables. The selection changes from week-to-week, season-to-season.

Wild Willow Farm

They have a CSA program and host many events and classes.

Wild Willow Farm & Education Center is a six-acre working farm located in the southwest corner of the United States, less than three miles from the Pacific Ocean and two-thirds mile north of the Mexican Border. The farm is nestled along the banks of the scenic Tijuana River, and borders the river's stunningly beautiful estuary nature preserve. Wild Willow Farm is now in its fourth year of developing a farm and growing food while educating local citizenry about sustainable farming, permaculture and how to live sustainably in our region. The farm continues to evolve rapidly both on and off the ground.

Roadrunner Farms

Their roadside stand is open year-round.

Roadrunner Farms grows seasonal fruit and vegetables pesticide-free.

The great farms below are primarily wholesale and supply many markets and local restaurants throughout the county.

Olivecrest Farm

Olive Crest Farm is a high quality produce provider for local restaurants that participate in a farm to table lifestyle. 

Rose Acres Farm

Find their eggs at local markets.

David Rust began selling his family’s shell eggs to corner grocery stores in the early 1940s. His reputation as a high-quality, trustworthy egg supplier grew, and he started buying eggs from other farmers to meet the growing demand from city grocers. By 1954, Rust had enough business to purchase 40 acres of land and start expanding his own flocks.From the beginning, Rose Acre Farms has been committed to innovation and stewardship. In the 1960s, Rose Acre Farms devised the first inline egg processing operation in the country—cutting down costs through increased efficiency while also improving food safety. Ongoing innovation and quality improvements, as well as commitment to the health of Rose Acre Farms flocks, spread the business to other cities. As the company expanded, the Rust family took great care to maintain the founding values of Rose Acre Farms, always growing the organization without compromising quality, food safety, or animal health. Rose Acre Farms is an innovative company dedicated to producing shell eggs and egg products of exceptional quality while protecting animal health and welfare.

The Red Door Family Garden

Go Green Organics

Lucky Dog Ranch

Barbie Thompson Lee runs a small farm in Valley Center, Califorian. She uses every inch of it growing some uncommon vegetables and herbs. They devote their time and space to growing heirlooms and special varieties that can make picky vegetable eaters, and even pickier chefs, pretty excited. They just focus on one thing: pure natural, intense flavor.

Rancho La Paz de Mi Corazon

This family-owned fruit orchard is located in Fallbrook, California. 

Agua Dulce

This small, sustainable farm in southern San Diego County, is built on the belief in the power of farming to feed people and steward the Earth. They grow all kinds of produce, raise goats, and culitvate heritage items like Oaxacan Green Dent Corn.

Mellow Melon Man Produce

Valdivia Farms

Smitts Farm

Rancho J’Balie

A 40-acre family farm located in inland San Diego, Rancho J'Balie grows Hass, Reed and Sir Prize avocados.

Article from Edible San Diego at http://ediblesandiego.ediblecommunities.com/food-thought/27-san-diego-county-farms-farm-fork-week-2018
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