Happy Quail Farms

People

David and Karin Winsberg along with their two sons, Andreas and Felipe.

Farmland

2 acres comprise several backyard plots and greenhouses in East Palo Alto, about 35 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market; 1 acre is in greenhouses and 1 acre is in field production.

Farm History

David grew up on a 300-acre vegetable farm in Florida and began farming as a profession shortly after he moved to the Bay Area in 1978. The farm (originally a hobby quail farm) has evolved into an “artisanal, speciality, urban micro-farm.” David has found his niche in specialty peppers and now produces over 30 varieties of sweet and hot peppers. The farm uses eight of their pepper varieties to make paprika by sun drying, dehydrating, and then grinding them in a corn mill.

Climate-controlled farming allows David the ability to produce peppers long before and after they can be produced in the field. His 28,000 square feet of greenhouse is heated in the early spring and the late fall using natural gas in a radiant heat system – the most efficient heating source available for greenhouse production. David also grows crops outdoors, including South African gem squash, summer squash and a few unusual products such as rhubarb and horseradish.

Certificaton

None

Soil

Clay silt loam built with compost, small quantities of wood ash, gypsum, and beneficial microorganisms. Greenhouses are intensive production systems and David supplements the soil with conventional fertilizers. He feels that these fertilizers are more environmentally sustainable than the organic alternatives which may alter habitats when collected.

Water Use

Drip irrigation with well water both outdoors and in the greenhouse.

Weed Control

Hand cultivation.

Pest Management

Release of beneficials and organic pesticides such as neem oil.

Fun Fact

Happy Quail Farms introduced the now-popular Pimiento de Padrón Spanish pepper to California in 2001.

Location


East Palo Alto, California

About CUESA

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 »