Garcia Organic Farms is a family farm established in Fallbrook, California since 1994.
Today we interviewed Garcia, who married into the Garcia family 15 years ago and has since been running the farm to share her story of being a farmer and working in a family-owned organic farm!
Below is the full interview:
Meet your farmers 👩🏻🌾👨🏼🌾 Coco & Juan Garcia
Meet Juan Garcia and the family
Mix figs from Garcia Organic Farms
Capulin cherries 🍒 from Garcia Organic Farms
Meiwa kumquats at the Santa Monica Farmers Market
1. What is the history of your farm? What inspired you to become a farmer?
The owner of the farm is my father in law Juan Garcia. I was married into Garcia Organic Farm and have been running the farm for 15 years!
Our farm was established in 1994. We started selling in San Diego Farmers Market and eventually expanded into Santa Monica farmers market.
Outside of farming, I am a nurse and a mom to a 9-year-old and a 13-year-old who love to help on the farm.
2. What are your farming practices? What are your neighboring farms’ farming practices?
We have been CCO certified since we started farming in 1994 and our specialties are citruses and avocados.
Our neighbor has a vineyard and cattle farm who both are also practicing organic farming.
3. What does a typical week look like for you?
Winter time which is December to May is our busy season!
We pack up on Monday. Tuesday morning we do the 2 hour drive to Santa Monica Farmers market.
During a Thanksgiving season like this time, we do a 7 hour drive to and from the market!
4. Who is helping on the farm?
Most of my family help around the farm. It is mostly my brother and my father in law. They both help with picking and they have hired 2 other pickers to help during the busy season.
5. What crops do you grow during different seasons?
In the winter, we grow citrus, avocado, limes, lemons, and other crops. We have around 10 different types of tangerines, 5 types of nables, and 10 types of kumquat.
In the summer, we grow stone fruit, plums, apricots, and Persian mulberries!
And during fall, we have persimmons and quavas!
6. What is the most difficult challenge your farm is facing right now?
Because of covid, we have been selling pretty low. We have donated a lot to charities but there’s still a lot left in our inventory and on the trees. We usually have a busy season now but that doesn’t seem to happen this year.
7. Share one thing that you are most proud of about your farm.
My father in law, Juan Garcia, is the most humble, kind and open person. He has worked so hard to grow our operation to a 27 acre family farm.
8. Share one thing you like the most about being a farmer.
I love the people! Having the relationships with the customers and other farmers and is what I like the most about doing what I do.
I love answering every question that customers have at the farmers' market . I also love that we do tours on the farm that allows us to show and educate people about organic farming.
9. What do you wish most people knew more about sustainable farming?
It's the safest way to go! Yes, it might be smaller in size and a bit pricy. But the quality is just better and worth the extra price.
10. Why is it expensive to go organic?
It's just harder to maintain. For example, bugs are more attracted to aromatic fruits such as certain types of lemon. Since we can’t use pesticide on the lemons, we will have to opt in for more expensive options.
11. What is the best way for people to support your farm?
It is buying our produce and supporting sustainable farming!
12. Where do you see your farm in the next 5 years? 10 years?
In 10 years, we want to expand our farm to be operating at a larger scale!
In 5 years, we want to open up another farmers market in San Diego county. I hope that my father in law can finally retire and just be at the farmers market where he can meet their customers.
13. The best question you have gotten so far:
The best question so far is “What do you like the most about the farmers market?” I like communicating with people and talking about the history of our family farm!