From the Field – Inaugural Post – Spring Has Sprung at the Oliveto Community

It all happened over the last few days, spring just suddenly appeared after some much needed rain. We’ve been busy visiting our farmers & had a chance to survey what’s currently sprouting at Catalan Farm this past Monday. David Byron, one of our kitchen interns got a tour from Maria Catalan herself.

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Star Route Farms – Profile

star_route

Established 1974

Owner

Warren Weber

Warren Weber moved out from Berkeley in the early seventies, after receiving his PhD. The job market was bad, so he thought he would try farming. They learned by doing it.

Chef Canales says Star Route Farms is “by far, ahead of everyone in terms of lettuces, frisée, and leafy salad greens. They grow the way we cook.”

Challenges

In the late 90s, the organic food industry became national and global. Market conditions changed. The farm had to downsize, and change things up in response.

There are the ongoing challenges: weeds, pests, water, regulatory issues, etc.

Principles

Warren truly enjoys farming. He says it is a natural and basic occupation. He gets satisfaction finding the correct balance between production and nature. That’s what organic farming is all about. He is grateful to be working in the Bay Area, where many people appreciate the importance of finding that balance.

Practices

They try to be attentive to what people really want.

They have been farming organically for a long time.

They have good employees and good customers.

Hopefully, the product speaks for itself.

Length of relationship with Oliveto

22 years

Location

40 acres in Bolinas and 20 acres in Coachella

Crops

Leafy greens. Seasonal crops: cucumbers, beets, squash, spring onions, garlic, leeks, cippolini, carrots, lettuce, chicories, herbs, artichokes, beans, broccoli, broccoli rabe, brussel sprouts, fennel, peas, turnips

Organizations/ Certifications

Star Route Farms is the oldest continuously certified organic grower in California, and Weber, has long been active in the organic industry as a past president of California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), co-founder of the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), president of Marin Organic, and past vice-president of Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT). The farm is presently certified by Marin Organic Certified Agriculture.

Distribution

Many restaurants

Farmers’ markets

San Francisco Ferry Building – Saturdays

Marin Civic Center – Thursdays and Sundays

Website

http://www.starroutefarms.com/

February 6th, 2009|Farmers, Star Route Farms|0 Comments