Knoll Farms

People

Rick and Kristie Knoll along with 1 part-time and 14 full-time employees.

Farmland

18 acres in Brentwood (about 50 miles from the Ferry Building Farmers Market).

Farm History

In 1979, Rick and Kristie Knoll purchased a weedy 10-acre alfalfa field. Today, it is a thriving, productive entity that grows some of the most outstanding produce in the Bay Area. This small piece of land in the middle of a growing suburb is a wonderful example of what a small family farm can achieve. In 2003, they were gifted an additional 8 acres.

Along with a great variety of produce, plants and weeds, they raise 20 free-range chickens, a pot-bellied pig, two cats, one dog, and a host of beneficial birds and insects. Everyone and everything on this farm is integral to creating its thriving, biodynamic ecosystem. In addition to selling at our market, Rick and Kristie have a loyal following among some of the best restaurants in the area.

Certificaton

Certified Organic. Knoll Farm became certified organic in 1984. They’ve always farmed using practices including organic, biodynamic and permaculture, among others. However, in 2002, Rick and Kristie dropped out of certification because they felt the term “organic” was being co-opted by industrial agriculture. They returned to organic certification in 2009.

Soil

The clay soil is amended with raw and composted organic matter, cover crops, and crop stubble. Crop-animal rotations, earthworm castings, and biodynamic preparations add nutrients to the soil.

Water Use

Water is sourced from onsite wells and the local irrigation district.

Weed Control

Hand and machine cultivation, inter-crop rotation and mulch.

Pest Management

Maintenance of habitat for beneficial insects, crop rotation, biodynamic preparations, and agroforestry.

Fun Fact

Rick Knoll claims that his favorite fig variety, Melissa, is named after the famous Allman Brothers song about a woman (Melissa) who was as sweet as this fig.

Location


Brentwood, 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 »