Kalayada Ammatya and James Beutel along with 12 full-time and 30-40 seasonal workers. Kalayada has two daughters: Aomboon (“Booney”) and Onanong (“Ona”) who live with them on the farm in Yuba City. Aomboon’s husband, Tim, also works on the farm, and members of their extended family help on the farm and with sales at farmers markets.
104 acres in Winters, about 67 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
Wife-and-husband team Kalayada and James (“K” and “J”) have been farming the same land since 1982. James is a retired professor of pomology, the branch of horticulture that is concerned with the study and cultivation of fruit. He grew up on an avocado orchard in Orange. Kalayada was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, and is a registered nurse.
Kalayada and James believe in using natural growing methods and maximizing the use of the sun. They prune most of their fruit trees in the summer after harvest to provide the most sun exposure to each tree, which then stimulates growth and, they believe, leads to sweeter fruit.
The farm’s Yolo loam is amended with cover crops, manure, mowed sod, and organic fertilizers.
Micro sprinklers, drip, and flood irrigation.
Mowing and discing. Minimal synthetic herbicides are used to prevent weeds from competiting with trees for nutrients.
Integrated Pest Management including pheremone disruption. Minimal pesticides are also used. K&J uses antibiotics in the spring to treat and prevent fire blight in their Asian pear orchards.
K&J Orchards has a long fruit season that begins with the first cherry harvest in spring and culminates in pear and apple harvests in autumn.
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 the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »