Heirloom Organic Gardens

People

Grant Brians, his family, and 15 full-time employees.

Farmland

175 acres in the Hollister area including Brians Ranch, the second member of CCOF on the Central Coast; and 50 acres in Panoche Valley, about 100 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Farm History

A farmer since age 14, Grant has experience in both small-scale agriculture and corporate agribusiness. He started farming organically in 1975 and is the only original California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) member remaining. In early 2006, Grant acquired Heirloom Organic Gardens from founder Stuart Dickson. The farm uses a combination of organic and Biodynamic practices to grow over 100 varieties of vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Grant is committed to flavor, freshness, organics, and genetic preservation. The farm primarily grows open-pollinated varieties that have been passed down through generations (also known as heirlooms). Grant is constantly expanding his repertoire of such varieties.

Certification

California Certified Organic Farmer (CCOF) since 1976

Soil

Silt loam, clay, and sandy loam soils are enhanced with compost, trace minerals, cover crops, and pelleted organic fertilizers.

Water Use

Drip and overhead irrigation from well water.

Weed Control

Hand and tractor cultivation; flaming to singe weed seedlings.

Pest Management

Habitat for beneficial insects, crop rotation, heirloom cultivars, climate awareness, soil cultivation, water management, organic additives, and “letting nature take its course.”

Fun Fact

The oldest cultivated variety Heirloom Organic Gardens grows is the Golden Custard, a yellow scallop squash that dates back to the Middle Ages.

Location


Hollister, 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 »