The produce you receive from Local Harvest Delivery is grown by organic and/or environmentally conscious farmers, without the use of pesticides or chemicals. Your subscription is supporting healthy soil and sustainable agriculture.
Also important to us is the value of talking to the farmers directly and knowing them on a personal and professional level. The following bios include details about our relationship with each farmer. We learn weekly what’s fresh and in season and provide our customers with the best quality produce available.
Owner Robert Dautch
Known by some as the “Organic Alchemist,” BD has been farming for nearly 40 years. After an inspiring year farming in Southeast Asia, BD decided to make farming a full-time profession, settling upon the name Earthtrine. The name comes from astrology, referring to his family’s triangular combination of astrological signs. Otherwise known as “harmony of the earth elements,” the Earthtrine farm in Ojai is a farmer’s nirvana. Famous for their culinary herbs, Earthtrine is home to more than 20 varieties of flavorful herbs, from the common to the not-so-common, including rosemary, thai basil, lemon basil, oregano, fennel, chervil, cilantro, mizuna, horseradish, chamomile flowers, lovage, and mustard-family plants. Additionally, BD grows a wide selection of organic salad greens, bitter greens, assorted mixed vegetables, and 10 varieties of their popular figs. Julie worked for BD, Robert Dautch from 2006-2010. Residents, tourists and renowned chefs come weekly to select their weekly produce from him. She drove his farm truck to the farmers market while he was out of town. She visited his farm a couple of times and attended multiple events on his magical Ojai property. She has learned so much working with him and can share expert information on cooking with specialty fine herbs such as tarragon or epazote.
Owner Tom Shepherd
A fifth-generation Santa Barbara resident, Tom Shepherd has been farming organically in the area since 1973. One of the earliest members of the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market Association, Shepherd has committed himself to inspiring children, families, and schools to grow their own gardens and eat locally. They grow over 55 varieties of organic produce including broccoli, cauliflower, heirloom tomatoes, kale, leeks, artichokes, peas, tomatillos, arugula, chard, cabbage, fava beans, jalapeños, elephant garlic, and other farm-fresh produce. Tom uses an organic growing method, and although he is not certified, his word is real. Working at the farmers market, you just want to share a conversation with Tom while buying a bag of his greens. Both his and Julie’s better halves are artists and they connected through shared lifestyle. She also respects how Tom has real perseverance and works really hard day after day to grow. He has faced some major land issues in the past years and has moved forward and kept farming. It’s always nice to chat over a beer at Hollister Brew Co. too.
Ellwood Canyon Farms
Owner Jack Motar
Jack Motter and Jeff Kramer are life-long friends who grew up in fourth generation farming families in the small town of Brawley, located in the Imperial Valley in the desert of Southeastern California. They each attended college in Santa Barbara and have lived in this area since 2002. Jack established Ellwood
Canyon Farms in 2009, and Jeff has been on board since 2010. They are very excited and feel blessed to be farming in the fertile Goleta Valley. Ellwood Canyon Farms is currently located on 50 acres of diverse organic farm ground located up Winchester Canyon Road in Goleta California. Jeff and Jack started Ellwood around the same time Julie and Sarah started Local Harvest Delivery. They also became closer through a mutual friend and Julie’s farming position at Fairview. They supported each other. Jack and Jeff are farmers in the blood and they are great at it. Plus they are smart at business and highly organized. Julie has attended and assisted at some of their gatherings and loves chatting with them.
John Givens Farm
Owner John Givens
Certified organic for 25-plus years, Givens Farms is committed to a more sustainable farming ecosystem — from composting to cover cropping and offering greater biological variety. The farm harvests daily, so consumers have a chance to sample the best produce available. Specialties include a variety of leafy greens and salad mixes (including kale, swiss chard, dandelion greens, arugula), cilantro, parsley, spring onions, squash, sugar snap peas (a local favorite), cucumbers, carrots, and other “green juice” favorites. John took a while to warm up to Local Harvest Delivery. Julie’s friend talked to him on behalf of them and he has been great to work with. You can always depend on his team. He was a mentor to Julie when she farmed at Fairview and he is a true business man with a 20-year plan.
Owners John and Ruth Lane
Lane Farms is owned and operated by John and Ruth Lane. The Lane Family has been farming in the Santa Barbara/Goleta area since 1868. Open 7 days a week, their produce stand at 308 S. Walnut Lane, SB, has been in operation since 1939. They grow about 30 different items, but specialize in strawberries, sweet corn, lettuces, tomatoes and squashes, all of which are sold locally at their two produce stands and at the Santa Barbara Farmers Markets. Lane Farms practices sustainable and organic methods, although is not certified organic. They have a long-time, good reputation in the community and their customers know they can get good, clean, wholesome produce from Lane Farms. It took Julie a couple of years into Local Harvest Delivery to connect with John and his amazing farm stand manager Veronica. She loves checking in with him when she stops by his farm stand. He is a gentlemen with a huge passion for natural farming. She always enjoys how he talks openly and truthfully about issues he is facing with his crops and how he deals with it without any chemicals. Julie adds that she may like that farm, but her whole family truly enjoys visiting the corn maze during Halloween, or picking our Christmas tree there.
This newest edition is a farm started by ___, son of Jesus ___, who is the farm manager a John Givens. Jesus is awesome. While I worked at Fairview Gardens he was always ready to mentor me. _____ worked at Givens before starting his own farm where Jesus helps out when he’s not already farming at Givens. He’s got mad skills and knowledge, his produce is high quality, and we now work closely together.
Preserved by the Land Trust of Santa Barbara
Fairview Gardens stands on a tiny corner of what was once the largest Chumash Indian settlement on the Central Coast of California. The original ranch got its name, the story goes, when Mrs. Hollister exclaimed over the “fair view” she saw from her shiny new farmhouse circa 1895. Under her feet was some of the richest topsoil in California – 30 feet thick in some places – and as far as she could see, citrus and walnut groves stretched to the foothills and to the sea. The groves are mostly gone, but Fairview Gardens – now just twelve and a half fertile acres – still flourishes, in part because it has constantly reinvented itself while development arose on its borders. Now, the remaining twelve acres feeds a growing suburban population, educates their children in the ways of the earth, and provides a place for music and cultural events. This tiny piece of land has also stirred controversy and galvanized a community to save and protect it. Julie goes way back with Fairview – 2004 was when Michael Abelman hired her for a markets and office manager position. Three months into it, she became more needed as the marketing manager, coordinating harvest and all sale/Farmers Market. She learned so much. She left to grow babies in 2006, but was back in position in 2011. In 2012 she became the director of farm operations. She farmed and learned so much.
Owner Steve Hollstien
I worked with Cesar Gomez at Fairview. I planned and he farmed. I know how good he is and respect his ability to create new tools to make a job easier or faster. He is now farming for Hollister Farm. I have celebrated Christmas, gone fishing, and had barbecues with his family. I really enjoy working with Cesar. His salad mixes are to die for as he has mastered the triple washing.
Milliken Family Farms
Owner Chris Milliken
Milliken Family Farms, LLC is a family owned and operated, small scale farm that focuses on natural sustainable farming methods to bring the most delicious specialty produce directly to our local community. Over the last four years they have converted approximately 12 acres of land near More Mesa in Santa Barbara to natural methods. About half of the land is covered with greenhouses affording us the ability to extend the growing seasons. Julie started working with Chris with Local Harvest Delivery, but he is so much more than just a farmer to them. It’s almost as if they are part of each other’s businesses. Similar to their relationship with Earthtrine, they use what bounty the farm has weekly. They care for his success also because he has kids the same age as theirs, same grade and school even.
Tutti Frutti Farms
Owner Chris Cadwell
They’re a family business located in Central California. Chris is a fifth generation farmer, and they started farming on fourteen acres of hillside property in Carpinteria, planting a variety of fruit trees. They named the farm “Tutti Frutti” (Italian for “All Fruits”), and soon branched out into growing produce for the coastal communities of Southern California. From the start they believed in organic growing practices and have always followed those guidelines. All of their produce is CCOF certified. In 1990, they moved family and farm to Santa Rosa Road, a more remote piece of land between Buellton and Lompoc. Over the years, their farming operation has grown to about 300 acres. Tutti Frutti Farms grows a variety of organic vegetables, from heirloom tomatoes and peppers to cool weather crops, like artichokes, peas and greens. Back in 2005, Julie met Barbara while doing the weekend Santa Barbara Farmers Market for Fairview Gardens. For 11 years, she’s seen her at every market selling the Cadwell family’s produce. She is always overjoyed when she spots some chanterelles on their table. Barbara has since then been a joy to work with. She’s always on top of her game, organized and all.
Roots Organic Farm
Owner Jacob Grant
Jacob Grant, a 41-year-old California native, started Roots in 2002, and it’s small even for a small farm, with only 10-15 acres planted at one time. In a very short time, Roots gained favor for its sweet carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, and melons. On a bicycle tour across the U.S., Grant fully realized his passion for farming. While cycling through hundreds of miles of corn and soybean crops in the Midwest, he came upon a farmer, also on a bicycle, and they struck up a conversation. Right after he finished that bike trip is when he got back into hands-on farming. It was late 2002 when he rented a five-acre parcel and Los Olivos Organic Roots was born. By putting in 10-hour days, six days a week, with part-time help during the summer, he was able to make enough to support himself the first year. Each year he added another acre until he was leasing a 15-acre plot with a barn. Jacob Grant and Julie met at the Farmers Market and through similar friend circles. He’s not just the best farmer in our area, and in her opinion alone, but a father of two, the same age as hers, and above all an amazing artist which has high credit for Julie. He’s smart in business and easy to work with. She also personally loves the amazing colors and amount of variety he grows. She enjoys sharing life’s story and a piece of her life with him while at the market.
Ojai Valley Sprouts
Owner Norma Ortiz
Starting with the best seeds possible, Ojai Valley Sprouts has been the main purveyor of organic sprouts in the region. With only half an acre, the sprouts are all grown in an outdoor greenhouse, allowing just enough natural sunlight to keep the sprouts juicy and crisp. Starting with organic seeds is key, plus lots of pure, clean water. They grow more than 25 varieties of organic, nutrient-rich sprouts including pea greens, micro green mix, red rose radish, curly daikon radish, the popular sunflower greens, spicy sprouts mix, arugula, sprouted lentils, black eye peas, soybeans, sprouted cashews, and wheat berries. Tova has worked with Norma for as long as Julie has worked at markets. Both their oldest kids went to Starr King together. If Julie liked Tova, of course she would hit it off with the daughter of the original founder of Ojai Sprouts. Norma is so cool, they work closely together to provide, once every few months, a batch of sprouts she grows exclusively for Local Harvest Delivery.
Hilltop & Canyon Farms
Owners Tessa and Robert Abbott
Pioneers in the region’s avocado and lemon industry, Hilltop & Canyon Farms has been farming the same Carpinteria land since 1923. This family-run business, headed today by Tessa and Robert Abbott, is known for their special care to quality, sustainable farm practices, and building community through food. Over ten years ago, they introduced their products into the farmers markets and have since worked in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Ag Futures Alliance, Edible Communities, and Goodland Kitchen in Goleta. Certified organic, the farm relies heavily on homemade compost and mulch, with all members of the family helping in the fields, including their daughter Edie. Specialties include avocados and lemons, 30 different types of field flowers, heirloom shell beans (Bulgarian, Christmas Lima, Cranberry, Tiger’s Eye, and more), melons, squash, tomatoes, and rare varieties of peppers, including the Japanese shishito pepper. During the winter months, market goers can even purchase avocado tree firewood. Julie worked with Tessa at Fairview back in 2005. She is amazing with flowers and creating recipes. She’s now a mother of 3 children and they grow the best avocados. Her husband, Robert, always waits for the perfect oil balance before he harvests his trees. They are delicious and always well cared for so they ripen perfectly.
Harvest Santa Barbara
Owned by the Eiler Family
Back in Santa Barbara, Brook and Jasper’s skills came together at Shepherd Farms. Starting in 2009, Jasper managed the community-supported agriculture program and developed farm-based education programs for local schools. Brook designed an event space at the Carpinteria farm that drew people to the farm for dinners, workshops, and other events. In 2011, Jasper joined Farmer Direct Produce Network to help bring local, sustainable produce to school cafeterias throughout Santa Barbara County. Now they’re building on this work with Harvest Santa Barbara, linking the farmers who grow the finest fruits and vegetables with people who love their food. This business was initially started by Sam, their Farmers Market manager, and Wes, who worked at the market. Now it’s owned by Jasper, who worked at Fairview before. Julie also worked with Shaw, their produce buyer, back at Fairview. Local Harvest Delivery buys bulk items from them and they deliver which saves time.
Fair Hills Farm
Owners Nancy and David Rydell
Their first apple orchard was planted in May, 1992. Fair Hills Farm land is located at the three-way intersection of Hog Canyon, Estrella, and Jardine Roads. The Estrella River basin offers a unique climate with hot sunny days and cool nights that are perfect for growing apples, stone fruit, and grapes. Fair Hills has over 19 apple varieties, 30 peach and nectarines, and numerous plums, pluots, apricots, cherries and pears. Nancy and David are super friendly. They work the market with their daughters. When they cancelled their organic certification, they shared why and have always been open. It’s easy to work with them because they are very organized and their apples are epic!
Rancho Santa Cecilia
Owner The Marquez Family
For more than 14 years, the Marquez family has been farming in the Carpinteria Valley. Their 42-acre farm includes several unique varieties of tropical fruit, as well as their famous tangerines. Jessica Marquez grew up on the family farm, working the majority of the markets alongside her brother, Anthony. The Carpinteria Valley, known for its unique microclimate, has allowed the farm to experiment with various tropical fruits, many new to the tri-county region. The Marquez children can be spotted at various markets all over Southern California, seven days a week. Working alongside family, Marquez could not think of a better job. Exotic delicacies including pepino melons, white sapote, strawberry and pineapple guavas, fuyu persimmons, and creamy cherimoyas. They also offer a great selection of apples, avocadoes, and citrus, including meyer lemons, mandarins, and sweet clementines. Carlos’ daughter, Jessica, is so fun. She’s young and dynamic plus her dog is so cute! She’s been growing her own stuff in her personal yard. Julie loves all their exotic fruits and their beautiful flower bunches.
Chuy’s Berry Farm
Owned by Mesa Produce
With hydroponic growing methods and hoop houses, Chuy’s Berry Farm has creative methods for maintaining a year-round growing season for raspberries (red and gold), blueberries, blackberries and strawberries. Chuy is preparing their land for organic certification and therefore uses strict organic growing practices. Jesus Chuy Mendez has grown berries for Mesa Produce and farmers markets for years with his coconut water greenhouses. He’s interesting and such a hard worker.