Balakian Farms

Courtesy of Balakian Farms

People

Amber Balakian and her father, Clarence, and grandmother, Stella, along with 5 full-time and up to 20 seasonal employees.

Farmland

75 acres located in Reedley, about 200 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Farm History

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.

Certificaton

Guaranteed Organic Certification Agency (GOCA) since 2002

Soil

White ash fertilized with humus and other organic amendments.

Water Use

Drip and sprinkle irrigation, fed by ditch and well water.

Weed Control

Plowing, disking, hand hoeing, and hand weeding.

Pest Management

Organic sprays, beneficial insects.

Fun Fact

Much of the original vineyard that Amber’s great-grandfather planted is still producing grapes today!

Location

10510 S. Lac Jac Avenue
Reedley, California

About CUESA

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 »