Our family (Ron, Sandi, Sara and Erin) owns a small farm northeast of San Francisco in the secluded Capay Valley, a warm interior valley of the North coast Range of California. Our farm, Capay Oaks Farm, is collectively named after our lovely valley, and the oak forest that occurs along the oxbow creek wrapping our house and barn. We grow olives, apricots, herbs, a small crop of warm-climate wine grapes, and a variety of other fruits in small quantities. Our primary effort goes to our highly crafted organic olive oil. We are also very involved in the local/organic food movement and Ron is a board member of our farm cooperative (Capay Valley Growers) comprised of 27 Capay Valley farms that direct markets our collective products throughout the Bay Area.
In addition to producing olive oil Ron is a Landscape Architect (Lutsko Associates, landscape) and runs a nursery, Chamisa Ridge Nursery, (after the ridge behind the farm). The landscape architecture firm focuses on merging ecology with design to create spaces for people. The nursery emphasizes regionally appropriate plants that are not readily available in the nursery trade and can survive w/o irrigation. Many of the plants we provide result from our explorations throughout the arid west, the Mediterranean, and Latin America.
We all contribute to the variety of tasks inherent to running a farm-based business. From farming the land, to harvest, pressing, bottling, and marketing, each of us has a role and often times the roles overlap into a blur of activity when needed. Nature does not always allow for a predictable schedule – farming needs come up suddenly, crop timing and size vary from year to year, and demand for our products can be unpredictable. There are ongoing tasks like mowing, pruning, and irrigation repair; there are occasional tasks such as bottling and delivering oil; and occasional fun activities like giving farm tours, and hosting meals and events; and then there are the frenzied (but most fun tasks of all) where everyone, including all of our friends, participate in harvest, pressing and tasting. We all work together to pull it off, and we hope you will receive enjoyment from our collective efforts.