Vince and Vicki Bernard along with one employee, Cesar Pascual, who sells at farmers markets.
50 Acres in Riverside County, about 430 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
Vince and Vicki Bernard bought their first citrus grove in 1984. They pride themselves on the flavor and sweetness of their fruit, which they attribute to the combination of their rich soil and suitable southern California climate. They always pick the fruit within two days of bringing it to market.
The Bernards believe in paying careful attention to the planting and growing processes. They closely monitor the water needs of the trees, use beneficial insects to control pests, use seaweed and mulch to balance nutrients, and “constantly harass” large pests like gophers and squirrels. Vince also believes in placing flavor ahead of appearance and hand-selects rootstock that will produce the sweetest fruit.
The decomposed granite and clay soil is fertilized with seaweed and urea.
Release of beneficial insects (parasitic wasps, lady beetles and lace wings); hand-trapping gophers (the Bernards do not use synthetic pesticides).
Before purchasing their first grove, Vince and Vicki tasted fruit from groves all along the coast of Southern California and then bought the grove with the sweetest fruit!
Swanton was the first strawberry farm in the U.S. to sign a contract with the United Farm Workers of America/AFL-CIO. In 2006, the farm began offering an Employee Stock Ownership Plan to employees, the first such program in production in U.S. agriculture. Swanton is certified by the Agricultural Justice Project as a fair farm and continues to work toward a more fair and equitable food system.
CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of farmers markets and educational programs. Learn More »