Blue Heron

Lori Perry & Dennis Tamura

Dennis Tamura got his start in agriculture while studying gardening with Alan Chadwick during the 1970s. He subsequently helped to run the U.C. Santa Cruz Farm & Garden Apprenticeship Program for several years before founding Blue Heron Farms in 1985. Blue Heron Farms is located in a sheltered valley blessed with a cool climate and soil that is soft and easy to work with. They are surrounded by live oaks and habitat that is home to deer, bobcats, and coyotes. Both Dennis and Lori agree that their greatest asset is the people who they work with, including a wonderful group of men from Jalisco and Michoacan, Mexico, and a dedicated farmers’ market staff and flower crew. As Lori says, “Although the hard work never seems to stop, there’s not a day that goes by that we don’t feel lucky to be farming here on the Central Coast, where people really care about organics and we are able to sell directly to farmers’ market customers!”…

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Markets:South Berkeley (Tuesday)North Berkeley (Thursday)Downtown Berkeley (Saturday)Season:
April – NovemberProduct: Diversified vegetables and flowersFarmer's Name: Lori Perry & Dennis Tamura, CA
Phone: (831) 722-8635
Website: Location:
Corralitos, Santa Cruz County, CADistance From Berkeley:
80 milesSoil Type: Sandy loamWater Source: WellAbout the Farm:
Dennis Tamura and Lori Perry own and manage Blue Heron Farms. They employ 15 full-time farmworkers during peak season (May – October), and their sons and grandsons also work on the farm.Organic Certification: Certified Organic by CCOF since 1986Fertilizer: Compost (produced on-site), pelletized blended organic fertilizers, fish emulsion, cover cropsWeed Control: Hoeing and hand-weeding, tractor cultivating, torchingPest Management: Blue Heron Farm uses good crop rotation and fertility maintenance to combat pests. Vegetation surrounding the farm provides habitat for beneficials, and they use row cover and fences for protection. When needed, they use OMRI-certified sprays including Pyganic to control flea and cucumber beetles on their brassicas and lettuce, and neem oil to control aphids on lettuce.Acreage: 20 acres