Farmer McKay Smith invited the Orange Home Grown team to visit Smith Farms. McKay and his family have three organic farm locations in Orange County. They are located in the cities of Fountain Valley, Irvine and Huntington Beach. Orange Home Grown began their farm visit in Irvine, which is McKay’s largest certified organic farm, spanning 8.5 acres. Smith’s Farms is a family business. McKay, his wife, and daughters sell at their farm stands and farmers’ market locations throughout Southern California.
McKay Smith’s father and grandparents were farmers. Although he grew up learning conventional farming practices, he pursued organic farming in 1996 when he acquired the farm land in Irvine. When he began organic farming, there wasn’t anyone around to consult. Therefor McKay looked to reading books in the library and experimenting on his own farmland. He had to learn through trial and error. Organic farming requires more time than conventional farming, but as an organic farmer, McKay doesn’t mind doing so because he feels sacrificing his time and energy is doing his part for nature and humanity. McKay relies on many certified organic methods to keep bugs, pests and the elements from damaging his harvest. He believes in and delivers sustainably grown organic produce to all sixteen of his farmers’ market locations. Orange Home Grown is so privileged to have Smith Farm’s participating in our weekly farmers market each Saturday.
Smith Farms is known for their organic strawberry varieties and tomatoes. They often sell out on Saturdays. McKay attends markets to meet customers and get an idea of what they’d like him to grow. McKay buys young strawberry plants in September. He gets them from farmers in Nor Cal so when he plants them on his Orange Country farm in October, the difference in climate fools the plants into thinking it is Spring. The strawberry plants start bearing fruit in January, extending the usual 4-month strawberry season to 6.
Our Orange Home Grown Education Farm also practices organic farming methods. We invite you to come out and volunteer every Friday from 9:30am-11:30am! McKay tries to visit our farmers’ market whenever he can and is always eager to hear from you or answer any questions you may have regarding their growing methods. Support his local farm by shopping at their farm stands or shopping at the Orange Home Grown Farmers & Artisans Market every Saturday! KNOW YOUR FARMER!