Produce: See La Milpa Organic Farm Seasonal Produce Chart
Farmland: 5 acres at ALBA in Salinas, CA and 10 acres near Lake San Antonio
People: Maria Luz Reyes and husband Florentino Collazo are the owners. They both work in the fields. Their sons Edgar, Fabian, and Alexis help at the markets when they’re not in school. Maria founded La Milpa in 2005, and her husband Florentino joined the farm in 2008.
Certification: Certified Producer in Monterey County; California Certified Organic Farmer
Farm History: Maria Luz worked at an asparagus farm before taking off on her own with the help of Agricultural Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) in 2005. She really enjoyed the ALBA program because it provided her with all the knowledge she needed to start her farm, and gave her the business administration skills on how to conduct and maintain sales of farm produce. Maria Luz enjoys growing organic crops because of their superior flavor, and her close supervision ensures that they are of the highest quality. California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) certifies all her produce as organic. In 2007, she expanded her farm and bought land further inland to grow heat-loving crops.
Pest Management: Spiders and red ladybugs are used for chemical-free, biological pest control.
Weed Control: They mainly use a hoe and tractor. When they are not growing anything on their farmland, they plant organic grass to prevent weeds from growing.
Soil: Their method of nutrient replacement for the soil consists of composting, crop rotation, and the use of fertilizer 442.
Personal Note: The farm’s name, La Milpa, comes from the ancient combination of squash, beans and corn—dubbed the “three sisters of life” by the Native Americans—that grow in a bio-intensive manner.
What motivates you to do this work? Maria enjoys working independently and being her own boss. She likes growing organic products because they are healthy and beneficial to the environment since they do not use harmful chemicals.
To Contact: 831-235-5608