Amber Balakian and her father, Clarence, and grandmother, Stella, along with 5 full-time and up to 20 seasonal employees.
75 acres located in Reedley, about 200 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
Amber Balakian’s great-grandfather, an immigrant from Armenia, first planted a vineyard in Reedley more than 80 years ago. Her grandfather, John Balakian, was born and raised on the property, and much of the vineyard is still producing grapes today. About 10 years ago, the Balakians began switching to organic practices in response to health concerns and market demand. They were certified organic in 2002. In 1999, they began planting heirloom tomatoes in an effort to expand their produce selection. They are currently developing a line of canned products using Armenian recipes passed down from generations.
At Balakian Farms, employees are considered the most important asset in their business. The Balakians are committed to the farm not just as an occupation but also as a way of life.
Guaranteed Organic Certification Agency (GOCA) since 2002
White ash fertilized with humus and other organic amendments.
Drip and sprinkle irrigation, fed by ditch and well water.
Plowing, disking, hand hoeing, and hand weeding.
Organic sprays, beneficial insects.
Much of the original vineyard that Amber’s great-grandfather planted is still producing grapes today!
Saint Benoît (French for Saint Benedict) founded several monastic communities across Europe. For centuries, these communities have crafted some of the best artisan food products in the world.
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 »