Marty Jacobson and Janet Brown, and 3 full-time employees.
2 acres (on which herbs for hydrosols and oils are grown) in Lagunitas, 10 acres (on which all the vegetables are grown) in Nicasio, and 20 acres in Petaluma, about 35 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
In 1994, Marty and Janet began growing heirloom tomatoes organically on 1.5 acres at their home in Lagunitas. They have since diversified and expanded, adding crops, varieties, and value-added products. An all-weather farm with distinct seasons and a highly mineralized, clay-based soil, Allstar uses a diverse cover-cropping system, microbiological drenches, and aged nutritional mulches. They grow over 100 varieties of 10 primary crops on the Lafranchi family dairy and cheese factory in Nicasio. The land is permanently protected by a Marin Agricultural Land Trust conservation easement. Janet is active in farming issues and is a Marin Organic board member.
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 October, the pumpkin patch on the farm in Nicasio is open every day for visitors. Families can pick out pumpkins, enjoy a maze and hay rides, and shop for local products. The farm also offers tables, seating, and room to run.
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 »