Robin and Nancy Gammons with their daughter Jill and 3 full-time employees.
5 acres in Aromas, about 95 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
The Gammons purchased the plot of land in Aromas and began farming in 1977.
Robin and Nancy Gammons were both native Californians and enthusiastic home gardeners when they met in 1970. They were married in 1975, and, with the help of Robin’s father, were able to purchase land in Aromas. They started farming in 1977. The farm is named after their four daughters: Lucy, Jill, Dusty, and Prema. The Gammons’ approach to farming has always been organic and ecological, and they have a strong commitment to maintaining a natural, healthy ecosystem on their property. One of their four daughters, Jill, is now following in her parents’ footsteps and has begun a flower-growing project of her own on the farm.
California Certified Organic Farmer (CCOF) since 1988
Built up with compost, turning everything back in.
Drip and misting irrigation. The land has native springs and a high water table.
Hand and machine weeding.
Although they have acquired a small tractor, they continue to use a rototiller and hand tools for planting, so as to disturb the land as little as possible. They have found that this approach means that they have very few insect pests to contend with. The healthy, harmonious farm ecosystem self-regulates and takes care of those pests. They do have one non-insect pest: the deer that roam the beautiful countryside surrounding their farm, and they are currently building a fence to protect their crops from being munched by deer.
When the Gammonses first began farming, their land had 3 inches of topsoil. Now, after many years of adding compost and organic matter, their land has almost 3 feet of rich topsoil.
McGinnis Ranch is steep: it sits on a 12% grade. The harder it rains, the less fun it is for Howard, who sometimes spends days replacing soil that has washed down the hill. But the grade allows maximum sun exposure and extends the farm’s season significantly.
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 »