How does an American family farm thrive in a time with imports flooding the market? Great produce, value-added products, and diversity.
Through San Francisco’s CUESA – The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture – I recently toured Glashoff Farms, an 89-acre, 100+ year old Suisun Valley farm owned by the Glashoffs for several generations. Today they grow berries and walnuts (with trees over 150 years old!), as well as oranges, prunes, persimmons and more.
Obsessed with walnuts, I was in heaven seeing the harvesting and processing, ending with a taste of their walnut oil. Take a tour though the farm through my eyes and taste the Glashoff’s produce at the Ferry Building on Saturdays.
Visiting the Farm
Plan to visit Glashoff next year for their berry u-picking. You can also orer online or drop by the farm on a trip to Napa (just a few miles away!) to buy some fresh walnuts, jams, and more in their “honor system” store.
Down go the walnuts!
The majority of the walnuts are processed into walnut oil. Previously part of the Blue Diamond growers co-operative, when the price of walnuts plummeted, the Glashoffs decided to process the nuts into the high value walnut oil (delicious as a bread dipper, in desserts, or dressings).
Honor Farm Stand
Maria said the farm stand has been very successful in terms of selling their products without oversight. I marked up the photo to point out a few things for other farms thinking of doing the same.
They have detailed instructions for visitors (1) as well as promotion of the u-pick. The stand has both fresh products (2) as well as their jams (3) and other “value added” higher margin products.
The Future: Helping the Family Farm with Agri-tourism
After studying at Chico, daughter Lizzy is returning to the farm to help the business diversify even more by hosting events and possibly agri-tourism stays. An idyllic setting with gardens and so close to major roads, it’s a natural! Stay turned for more.
About CUESA Events in San Francisco & Beyond
CUESA “is dedicated to promoting a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs.
They arrange some wonderful educational events both at the Ferry Building Marketplace and outings in San Francisco in beyond – great for tourists and locals who want to learn more about sustainable food and agriculture.