Jim Heierle, along with Dirk Ooijkaas, who mans the farmers market, and 10 additional full-time employees.
1 acre comprises 7 greenhouses in Menlo Park, about 20 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
In 1981, Jim Heierle started Brookside Orchids, a family-run business. Brookside grows popular orchid species as well as a few rare flowers outside of the orchid family, including Bat Lily and Ornamental Ginger. They also have an orchid boarding program that allows customers to “board” their orchids in the Brookside Orchids greenhouse until they begin to bloom.
Every flower is hand-cultivated, and special care goes into ensuring the plants receive the perfect balance of water, fresh air, and indirect sunlight. Orchids are grown in a mixture of fir bark, charcoal, and perlite and treated with a synthetic fertilizer.
The orchid family, Orchidaceae, is the largest and most diverse of the flowering plant families, with over 25,000 species.
Menlo Park, California
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 the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »