Roscoe Zuckerman along with 50 full-time and 250 seasonal employees.
1,500 acres in Stockton, about 80 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
Roscoe Zuckerman is the third generation farming this land. His grandfather (also named Roscoe) came to the area in the 1920s and fell in love with the Delta Region, finding it to be a unique microcosm of the central valley. The Zuckermans’ farm is located on an ‘island’ in the delta formed by the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers flowing toward the bay. The water is held at bay by levees that surround the farmland. The Zuckermans once had upwards of 15,000 acres in the area, and have survived many floods. The last big flood was in 1982 (August 22) when the island flooded. As Roscoe says: “You lose everything you own in the blink of an eye.” It took 6 months to drain the land and recover from that loss. 700 acres next to the 1500 acre plot is still flooded and can’t be farmed. All members of the Zuckerman family have been part of the farm in one way or another.
Soil type is “peatland.” It is made up of 90% organic material deposited over the years from tule marshes and peat bogs, created by rivers flowing down. The Zuckermans use some commercial fertilizer, but also cover crop with oats that are tilled back in. A foliar feed is applied through sprinkler irrigation.
Sprinkler irrigation and spud ditches in fields. The water table is at 4.5 feet, and the farm maintain levees by inspecting them twice a day, looking for cracks or sloughing.
Mechanical cultivation and some commercial herbicides as needed.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach that includes beneficial insects, light pesticides, organic pesticides, and crop selection.
Zuckerman’s Farm is located between 12 and 20 feet below sea level!
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 »