Maria, Julio, Alex, Juan, and Ana Catalán, along with 2 part-time employees.
14 acres in Hollister, about 100 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
Maria Catalán got her start farming at the Rural Development Center (now ALBA) in Salinas, and started her family farm operation in Hollister in 2001. During María’s childhood in the Mexican state of Guerrero, her grandfather grew melons and other foods to feed the family; María wanted to pass both the delicious food and the knowledge on to her four children. María believes that children, whether or not they intend to be farmers, should know how to raise their own food in a way that respects the air and the earth. In order to promote this philosophy, the farm partners with Northern California high schools and universities to bring students to the farm to work, eat home-cooked Mexican food, work at markets, and get a sense of farming life in a Latino community.
California Certified Organic Farmers since 2005
The Cataláns maintain the fertility of their clay soils by adding compost and planting cover crops.
An allotment from the local irrigation district provides the water for the Cataláns’ drip irrigation and sprinkler systems.
The Cataláns manage problems with pests such as cucumber beetles, earworms, and aphids by planting pest-resistant crops, providing habitat for beneficial insects, and rotating crops.
Maria was one of the first Latina migrant farm laborers in the United States to become a farm owner.
Swanton Berry Farm was the first strawberry farm (and the first organic 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 agriculture in the U.S.
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 »