Jen Emiko Higa Corey met me at the Fairview Gardens Farm Stand on Monday morning to take me on a tour of this Goleta, California farm and to answer my questions about the operation of this highly productive organic business.
This valuable land was preserved for agriculture in an urban landscape. I came to see if the techniques, marketing and production ideas that make this farm business work on so many different levels could be used in rural communities like ours in PEI.
Using a land trust to preserve farmland is something
many people might want to know more about. In many areas of North America, valuable farm land is being lost to development. A private owner agreed to put this land in a Trust managed by a non profit corporation that agrees to run the land as an organic farm. On our walk, Jen explained how the farm manages crop production in this front field and how it even values it's "view-scape" by being aware of what the public sees as they drive by. And by the way it IS January and Fairview Gardens is actively growing.
The strawberries are coming early, thanks to rain and warm weather. Although the berry crop is always welcome for the cash it brings, the concern is that a sudden cold snap could be a major setback for these "seascape" plants. Jen explained the difference between the slower organic cropping technique at Fairview and how it differs from other commercial growers in the region. (In 2007, there were 6,414 acres of strawberries harvested in our county at a value of $312,754,997). At Fairview Gardens this is a high value AND a high quality crop.
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You can contact Jen Emiko Higa Corey at Fairview Gardens and visit their website for more information.
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