Dan Lehrer and Joanne Krueger, along with their young son, Julian, and 1 full-time helper.
22 acres in Sebastopol, about 60 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
After farming on a very small scale in the their Berkeley backyard for many years, Dan and Joanne bought an apple orchard in 1999. The couple converted their land to organic, planted several new apple varieties, and erected three greenhouses in which they now grow edible, native, and rare plant starts. By growing their plant starts organically, Dan and Joanne say, “we produce stronger, healthier plants that are typically more disease-resistant and more pest-resistant than their chemical-dependent counterparts.” The farm brings plants to the market during the spring and summer, and apples in the autumn. Joanne and Dan also sell value-added apple products under the name Little Apple Granola.
Registered organic since 1996, California Certified Organic Farmer (CCOF) since 2003
Plant starts are grown in a custom organic potting mix and apples are grown in Goldridge loam, a Class I soil.
Apples are dry farmed and grown with no irrigation. Plant starts are hand-watered and sprinkled using water from Dan and Joanne’s domestic well.
Plant starts are hand-weeded. Orchard weeds, such as blackberry and poison oak, are mowed.
Pheromone disrupters are used to control the codling moth, Flatland’s primary apple pest. Ladybugs are used to control aphids in the plant starts and oil spray is used for thrips and spider mites. Snails and slugs are hand-removed whenever possible.
In the last several years, Dan and Joanne have planted over 30 rare heirloom apple varieties from the southern and eastern United States.
Dan and Joanne make the apple juice for their apple cider vinegar and apple caramels on a wooden press. It takes 40 pounds of apples to make 1 gallon of apple syrup for the caramel base.
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 »