You don’t see many second-generation organic farms because the organic farming “revolution” is still relatively young. That’s why we think Capay Organic is so noteworthy. The second-gen organic farm has been operating in Capay, California, since 1976.
Kathleen Barsotti and Martin Barnes, the farm’s founders, were dedicated to healthy farming and healthy food since the farm’s inception. At first, the farm was merely a part-time endeavor for Kathy, but evolved into a full-time gig quickly. Originally, the farm was 20 acres.
While the farm had humble beginnings (it began with a small farmers’ market), it quickly expanded. By the early 1990s, Capay Organic was established and began supplying the area with organic produce.
Currently, the farm resides on 500 acres of certified organic land, and produces more than 103 types of fruits and veggies. Now, though, the founders’ three sons run the farm.
Noah Barnes has built “the farm’s wholesale business model with restaurants and markets” and works on creating strategic business partnerships. Thaddeus Barsotti is the farm manager and selects, grows, and tests the specialty produce varieties. Freeman Barsotti is dedicated to creating a “financial model for farmers to connect produce directly to consumers.”
While the three brothers head the farm, Capay Organic also employees a small army of workers who help with the farm’s sales and managing the farmers’ market.
Although Capay Organic is naturally sustainable because it’s organic, Thaddeus has made certain that the farm goes “beyond organic” by managing the farm’s resources (soil, energy, and water), and by establishing the following:
– Using cover crops, green waste compost, and poultry pellets.
– Using sediments traps, and by planting native grass and hedgerows. (This prevents topsoil erosion.)
– Expanding the farm’s biodiversity and pollinators’ species, and establishing a poly-culture farm environment that features a five-year crop rotation of 60 fruit and vegetable varieties.