Ramon and Sonia Rojas, along with 12 full-time and 40 part-time or seasonal employees.
260 acres in Exeter, about 210 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
In the 1980s, Ramon’s family immigrated to the US to escape the political situation in his native country, El Salvador. After working a number of jobs, he met Frank Paredez, a third-generation farmer who showed him farming techniques and how to sell at farmers markets. After many years working with Frank, Ramon decided to make a go on his own and started Rojas Family Farms.
Tulare County farm advisors help Ramon decide what crops and techniques work best for the local conditions. For soil fertility, he uses a combination of cover crops, compost, manure, natural amendments, and synthetic fertilizers. He uses a variety of methods to combat pests and uses synthetic pesticides minimally. All fruit is picked as ripe as possible.
Sandy loam and clay soil. They use compost, cover crops, leave crop stubble, rotate crops, use synthetic and organic fertilizers, and apply both aged and raw manure to build up the soil.
Water is pumped from on-site wells and canals that run from local dams that collect runoff from nearby hills. They irrigate using flood, furrow, and drip techniques.
Hand weeding, machine cultivation, and synthetic and organic herbicides.
The Rojas release beneficial insects, create habitat for beneficials, use pheremone disruptors, apply synthetic and organic pesticides, and use crop rotation to manage pests on the farm.
Ramon uses feedback from farmers market customers to decide what crops to plant.
The original Saint Benoît (or Saint Benedict) founded several monastic communities across Europe. Over centuries, these communities have crafted some of the best artisan food products in the world.
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 »