Marty Jacobson and Janet Brown along with three full-time employees.
2 acres (on which herbs for hydrosols and oils are grown) in Lagunitas and 10 acres (on which all the vegetables are grown) in Nicasio, about 25 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
In 1994, Marty and Janet began growing tomatoes on a ½-acre plot of land. They have since diversified and expanded, adding a number of other crops, and a line of hydrosols and essential oils. They grow over 150 varieties of their 10 primary crops on a dairy ranch owned by the Lafranchi family and permanently protected by a conservation easement. Marty and Janet’s goal is to farm sustainably within an organic, biologically complex system. Janet is active in farming issues: she is a board member of Marin Organic, Chair of the Marin Food Policy Council, and Program Officer for the Center for Ecoliteracy.
Marin Organic Certified Agriculture (MOCA)
The farm uses a variety of strategies to promote the fertility of its light clay soil. The use of cover crops, specifically annual ryegrass, purple vetch, and hairy vetch, is beneficial in numerous ways: it suppresses weed growth, minimizes evaporation of soil moisture, protects topsoil from erosion, adds humus, and fixes atmospheric nitrogen to the soil in a form readily usable by plants. Low-till cultivation and mowing helps prevent topsoil loss from wind and water. The addition of compost provides nutrients and texture to build a light, fluffy, water-retaining soil. Wildflowers provide a habitat for beneficial insects.
The use of drip equipment and mulching greatly reduces their water requirements. Their farm pond supplements the water furnished by the Marin Municipal Water District.
Sea kelp promotes strong and vigorous plants, aged manure and compost add nitrogen, ground oyster shells add calcium, and granite rock powder provide a source of naturally occurring plant micronutrients. Marty has been cultivating local microorganisms to promote soil health and fertility.
Insect and disease outbreaks have not been a problem due to their careful monitoring, growing, and soil management practices. Their vegetable farm is a real ecosystem that provides habitat for finches, quails, turkeys, crows, and herons; all which are beneficial to pest control.
In mid-October, Allstar Organics hosts Harvest Day at the Farm with pony rides, games, bluegrass music, farm animals, exhibits, vendors, and great food. Every day in October, the farm is open as a pumpkin patch.
Listen and Learn
CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »