We work really hard to make sure that your farm box gives you the most diverse tasting of responsibly grown, nutritious food that our 200 mile corridor has on offer during the course of the four seasons. While the stone fruit, grapes, and apples are coming from larger organic orchards on the I-5 corridor over the hill, where winter chill and summer heat are in abundance, your vegetables come almost entirely from the faces you see below. I thought it would be a good time to introduce you to these guys.
Some of them have been around, working the soil since the early 70’s and a few of them are fresh on the scene.
This is my father, Tom Shepherd (Shepherd Farms). He is farming in Buellton now around the Folded Hills winery on Nojoqui park road, but he has been a stalwart of Santa Barbara County organic farming since 1973. Tom loves to grow strawberries, melons, and heirloom tomatoes, that’s what get’s him really excited. You won’t see much product coming from this guy over the winter months though because where he farms sees extreme frost and his yields are far from abundant. But in the summer we love most everything he grows!
John Givens is just about the best farmer around. John Givens helped train the two younger boys below, Chuy Salas (Sunrise) and Alex (Frecker Farms). John Givens has been farming since about the 70s also and his main farm is centered in Goleta. Although John is able to really crush his farm game because he also has other “smaller” farms in Buellton and Gaviota giving him ability to have to have a deep rotation of plantings. It’s taken us five years to break John’s shy sense of being but he’s opened up and now we know why his employees have the utmost respect for him.
Chuy Salas (Sunrise Organics) is a handsome new farmer that was trained by John Givens above. Just five years ago, he was farming in Carpinteria at my dad’s old farm off the 192. Now he’s grown to 100 acres in Buellton. Chuy does farmers markets mostly in Los Angeles and has a giant wholesale business where he get’s his produce all over the country. By how ambitious he is, we wouldn’t be surprise if he’s the new Cal Organics in just a few years.
BD Dautsch (Earthrine Farms) has been farming since the late 70’s and has put his focus into herbs, citrus, and other specialty items. BD is the definition of a hard working organic farmer and you can tell by his beautiful product. His farm in Ojai is as magical as it gets.
Steve Sprinkel has been farming alongside my dad, BD, and John since the 70s. About five years ago, Steve took risky move and opened a restaurant with his wife. Farmer and The Cook in Ojai. He’s the farmer & she’s the cook. Steve was the original grower for Whole Foods back when they only had one store front in Texas. Now he is just farming five acres for his wife and their restaurant. If you haven’t checked out his awesome restaurant we highly recommend it.
Jose Alcantar is a really good family friend of ours and has helped us HUGE along the way. Jose used to work for my dad way long ago but was mostly trained thru Tutti Frutti Farms in Lompoc. Jose has several different farms but currently his biggest farm that he focuses on the most is in Buellton. Jose does lots of farmers markets in Ventura & Los Angeles and sells to smaller restaurants. We adore Jose.
Alex Frecker was trained by John Givens too. He’s been farming independently for a little over five years. He started with just five acres at my dad’s old farm in Carp and now he’s taken over the entire thing! Alex is ambitious as heck and is charging thru life. He’s in most of the SB farmers markets these days, LA and just about any of the better ones. He’s growing like crazy and it’s awesome to watch him take off. He’s young & humble and works incredibly hard.
And this is how you crack a pomegranate!!