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Laguna Farm

Locally, sustainably grown, in a way that benefits the environment, the workers, the habitat, and you!

Our growing standards

We are proud and honored to be your family’s farmers and to supply your table with fresh living, pesticide free food. We take seriously the responsibility to produce the highest quality produce without the use of toxic chemistry. Please accept our invitation to ‘tour’ our farm and learn how we grow!

Here you will see a diverse ecosystem of symbiotic elements working together. From the deeply rooted native oak trees, the native plants, the habitat for beneficial birds, insects and animals to the fallow land that rebuilds soil health. Our soil is nourished by the replenishing flood waters of the Laguna de’ Santa Rosa along with the application of organic local compost and beneficial cover crops.

Growing in a four-season agriculture climate offers us the opportunity to harvest for market and our CSA year-round. Our resable plastic hoop houses enhance the warmth of the sun and protect from autumn’s early frosts. A protective blanket of Remay or “cover cloth” protect young starts from cucumber beetles, light frost, weed seeds, birds and deer.

It is important to us to build a healthy ecosystem on our farm and grow flavorful, nutrient dense vegetables in a way that respects our environment. Fallow land, habitat restoration, soil building techniques, solar power, crop rotation, seed saving, local distribution and community building are just but a few ways Laguna Farm is participating in this vision.

 

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The Workers

Laguna Farm is a worker friendly family farm. We provide year-round employment which offers employees and their families security and stability. Our living wages are enhanced with entrepreneurial opportunities, worker-owned crops, access to marketing through our farm-store, and steep discounts on bulk produce. Field-workers, market sales staff, administrators, delivery drivers, produce packers and both owners all work side-by-side in the spirit of commodore.

Nacho

Laguna Farm is owned and operated by Jennifer and Ignacio; two long-standing employees, co-workers and now business partners.

With over 18 years of experience farming along the Laguna de Santa Rosa, Ignacio, fondly known as “Nacho” masterfully manages a field-crew of six full-time workers. Planning the seeding, transplanting, weeding, and harvesting cycle of over 100 plant varieties, Nacho ensures a year-round harvest for over 450 CSA boxes, 5 farm markets, our farm store, several restaurants, a large wholesale account and numerous special orders. He has been known to offer growing advise and trouble shooting tips for our member’s own gardens. Proudly fathering his adult sons who work beside him, and adoring his young daughter, you will see the only match to Nacho’s brilliance is his kindness.

Jennifer’s political activism began when she supported her teacher’s union by participating in a student lead walk out of Santa Rosa Middle School. Empowered by DSCN4652the effectiveness of common cause, she furthered her activism at SRJC by lobbying congress, drafting pro-student, environment and immigrant legislation and unifying like-minded individuals. Upon becoming a parent, Jennifer’s focus turned toward nourishing foods, old-ways skills and the family farm. Through her co-ownership of Laguna Farm, Jennifer promotes social, environmental and food justice while raising her young son in a healthy and thriving environment.

“He felt with the force of a revelation that to throw up the clods of earth manfully is as beneficent as to revolutionize the world. It was not the matter of the work, but the mind that went into it, that counted — and the man who was not content to do small things well would leave great things undone.” Glasgow, Ellen

 

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The Habitat

Laguna Farm is named in honor of the Laguna de’ Santa Rosa, the most biologically diverse region of Sonoma County. The laguna drains a 254-square-mile watershed consisting of much of Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Sebastopol and Forestville.

This watershed is a winter resting point for tens of thousands of migratory birds who rely on the flood waters in the winter for its food. Spring and summer months invite songbirds to shelter, breed and nest. The Laguna is home to more than 200 species of birds ranging from bald eagles to hummingbirds. Home to rare and endangered salmon, steel-head, salamanders, snakes, dragonflies, bees, native plants, mountain lion, bobcat, coyote, mink, badger, river otter, and a tremendous number of incredibly vocal frogs.

Many have tended this land before us, including farmers, ranchers and Native American tribes consisting of Miwok, Pomo, and Wappo. These waters have changed dramatically during the cycle of human interaction and use. It is our goal to contribute to a thriving laguna for all to enjoy. By farming in harmony with the seasonal flood-waters, preventing soil erosion, planting native trees, shrubs and grasses, we lend our hand to nature in a gesture of well-being and harmony.

 

Please visit The Laguna Foundation and join us in this effort.

 

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The Environment

As farmers and local business owners, we play a vital role in protecting our environment. Our production, harvesting, marketing, packaging and distribution methods all conserve energy and natural resources while reducing waste and encouraging re-use.

Laguna Farmers conserve water through a variety of responsible irrigation practices. We limit our mid-day irrigation cycles and irrigate the crops mostly in the morning and sometimes evening hours. Several of our crops are “dry-farmed” or “water-stressed” which produces a superior fruit (by concentrating it’s flavors rather than pumping them up and watering them down) and saves water too.

We add locally produced and farm-made compost to our fields. Using local organic compost supports the composting efforts of Sonoma County citizens and reduces the dependence on trucked in amendments. By replenishing our soils with locally produced compost, we add nutrients back into the soil and do not deplete our land over time. This practice is done naturally in a way that gives back to our planet rather than chemically which in turn depletes and degrades it.

All of our seed sowing, transplanting, weeding, harvesting, washing and packing is done by hand. This creates jobs, adds a personal oversight to our production and reduces our carbon footprint with a human touch. Laguna Farm salad greens are tended and harvested in a way that large monoculture farms can not do. Our greens are individually cut and bagged; never mowed with diesel powered equipment.

Farming on a floodplain brings us the added responsibility of protecting our waterways and the wildlife that depend on it. Our tilling cycles are planned based on environmental factors such as water conservation, top-soil retention, and erosion control. Great care is taken to protect our wildlands surrounding the Laguna de’ Santa Rosa.

Our business structure supports sound environmental practices by being a truly “local” farm. Our membership-based farm returns customers weekly. This cycle allows us to send out our produce in reusable packaging only to have it returned into our farm cycle. Reusing berry baskets, tomato baskets, egg cartons, produce bins, milk bottles, paper bags and boxes along with minimalist packaging make a huge difference on a global scale.

Laguna Farm’s energy and resource conservation techniques include LED lighting, solar power, our famous straw-bale insulated walk-in cooler, irrigation timing, efficient produce delivery, gray-water management, reusable packaging, community-wide composting and much, much more.

 

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And You!

Have you ever wondered why during the hot summer months you crave sweet berries, juicy tomatoes, refreshing melons and light spring salads? Notice how in the winter we devour vitamin C packed citrus, while warming the home with slow-cooked stews. We oven roast carrots, beets, parsnips and squash, bake potatoes and eat hearty! Eating local seasonal foods are what our bodies and often lifestyles crave. Your weekly CSA box or farm market offerings guide you toward “in season” eating. Biting into corn the day it is picked and enjoying carrots with their life force radiating from them brings you the most nutrient dense flavorful produce available.

 

Children who’s families subscribe to our farm-shares develop a deep appreciation for where their food comes from and the seasons in which they find them. Often just knowing that the beets came from “the farm” will encourage otherwise skeptical eaters to take a bite, then another, then another! Soon enough they are found nibbling fennel fronds while asking for another bunch of carrots PLEEEEASE!

 

Local access to clean, healthy, chemical-free, seasonal produce is an important consideration that goes beyond taste and texture. Your health, environmental sustainability, food security, local jobs, and the greater Sonoma County economy benefit from your participation in this growing movement.