Farm visit with C&L Farms

orangehomegrownfarm visit

C&L Farms is nestled within the rolling hills of the Central Coast in the City of Nipomo. C&L Farms is a partnership between three young men who specifically grow food for farmers markets. Rafael Cardena is a second generation Farmer. His father started growing in this valley back in 1983 with one acre of land, and now owns over 176 acres (New Era Farms). Rafael started out as a young boy learning from his father. Rafael now owns 12 acres of his own, which encompasses C&L Farms. Rafael and his partners Marcelino and Jorge manage all aspects of the business. Marcelino can be found at the Orange Home Grown Farmers & Artisans Market selling strawberries, golden berries, blackberries, blueberries, free-range eggs, and a variety of vegetables at the market most Saturday’s.

The trio has been participating in farmers markets for the last 7 years. They attend 18 markets in total, with just three located in Orange County. Rafael is food safety certified and the farmers are proud to share that they handle everything themselves, from the picking, to the seed harvesting, to the shipping. They practice seed saving on their farm so they continue the life-cycle of all of their plants, and save money by never having to buy seeds.

They are not certified organic, but they do practice farming techniques that incorporate beneficial pest management, and only use chemicals when necessary. They constantly test their soil to keep a healthy balance of nitrogen, potassium, and other important minerals. Their produce is picked daily so when you buy from C&L Farms, you know you are getting fruits and vegetables picked at their peak ripeness. They also practice crop rotation of 2 -3 month sections. Their chickens are very happy and have a lot of room to run around in their free range area. They also have the benefit of eating a lot of the vegetables grown at the farm. Stop by and introduce yourself to Marcelino this Saturday and check out their amazing selection of berries and locally grown produce.