HOLLISTER — The 2018 EcoFarm Bus Tour promises a diverse and informative all-day field trip, visiting four organic farms in and around Hollister on Wednesday, Jan. 24.
The Hollister plain and surrounding foothills feature a great range of crops suited to the climate and fertile coastal soils, as demonstrated by the range of farms to be toured. Tour stops will include Evergreen Acres Dairy, Pinnacle Organically Grown Produce, Coke Farm and Morris Grassfed.
Lunch will be catered by acclaimed chef Jim Denevan of Outstanding in the Field in Santa Cruz, with many ingredients provided by participating farms.
Evergreen Acres Dairy of Tres Pinos is a goat dairy operated by Jane and Mike Hulme. They produce raw milk, hard and soft cheeses, yogurt, kefir and more, milk California’s only Guernsey goat herd, and utilize Maremma guard dogs for protection. Five acres of pasture host ducks that produce eggs for market. Bus tour participants will have the opportunity to taste some of these products and purchase goods from the on-farm store.
Phil and Katherine Foster of Pinnacle Organically Grown Produce grow 60 vegetable and fruit crops on nearly 300 organic acres in San Juan Bautista. They produce high-quality compost and grow many cover crops to promote fertility, and utilize biological insect control, hedgerows, and nutrition for pest management. Solar power and biodiesel create energy for the farm and delivery vehicles. They sell at 10 farmers markets, a popular farm stand, and to wholesale distributors throughout Northern California.
Dale and Christina Coke of Coke Farm began farming on a quarter acre of organic strawberries in 1981. Today, they grow a huge array of organic vegetables, fruit, and grain, plus they market for more than 60 Central Coast organic growers via wholesale, restaurants and farmers markets.
Julie and Joe Morris will lead tour participants on an adventure at Morris Grassfed, where they, their kids and crew produce direct-marketed, high-quality grass-fed beef using advanced practices that improve soil, plant, and animal health on dryland pasture that has been in the family since the late 1800s. Now in their 25th year, the Morrises are renowned for their commitment to sustainability and exceptional beef.
Tour buses will depart from Asilomar Conference Grounds at 8 a.m., with a second meeting place at 8:45 a.m. in San Juan Bautista. Register at www.eco-farm.org/conference/2018/register-now.