Joe Schirmer grew up in Santa Cruz and began working at Dirty Girl Produce in 1997 before buying the farm in 1999. A graduate of both UCSC and the UCSC Farm and Garden Apprenticeship Program, Joe worked on several farms gaining experience before striking out on his own.
Schirmer grows premium dry farmed tomatoes that are sweet and lively with minerality. They also supply Oliveto with some of the very best haricots verts and shelling beans.
There are five different plots of land in five different micro-climates allowing for many different kinds of produce. The two most disparate climates are Santa Cruz’s banana belt, where the weather is relatively hot and dry, and La Selva Beach where there is a stronger coastal influence. The river bed soil is some of the most fertile in Northern California.
Farming is a form of activism for Joe, whose aim is to create a better world.
Length of relationship with Oliveto
12 acres in Santa Cruz Country
Dry farmed tomatoes, haricots verts, strawberries. Secondary crops: salad mix, spinach, arugula, romaine lettuce, radicchio, chard, kale, dandelion greens, leeks, shallots, garlic, onion, radishes, carrots, green beans, Gold Wax beans, Cannalini beans, Tongue of Fire beans, Cranberry beans, basil, parsley, cilantro, turnip, beets broccoli, cauliflower, Romanesco broccoli, cabbage
Organizations / Certification
CCOF certified organic
Joe currently sits on the board of directors for the Center for Urban Education on Sustainable Agriculture which runs the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and is current president of the board of directors for the Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Markets.
San Francisco Ferry Building – Saturday
Live Oak Santa Cruz – Sunday
Jack London Square – Sunday
Downtown Santa Cruz – Wednesday
Westside Santa Cruz – Saturday
Berkeley Derby Street – Tuesday
Felton – Tuesday