Guru Ram Das Orchards

Tucked on a hillside at the mouth of the Capay Valley is a 12 acre orchard that produces some of the most sought after fruit in the Bay Area. For nearly 40 years, Guru Ram Das Orchards has been a site of constant and creative experimentation in pursuit of truly great tasting fruit. With 40 varieties of organic, ecologically managed stone fruit, figs, pears, persimmons, pomegranates and citrus–and an artisanal approach to how we ripen and finish the fruit–our products are favored by chefs and home cooks alike.

The first generation of farmers at Guru Ram Das Orchards were Didar Singh and Didar Kaur Khalsa, who purchased the land in 1980, established an orchard and built a family home. Didar Singh is retiring into a second career as a guitarist/rock god and mentoring the next generation in the tradition of artisanal fruit production at the farm. Joanna Normoyle now runs the farm and draws on her background in organic farming and culinary arts and a UC Davis graduate degree in agriculture/orchard systems. She is the fifth generation in her family to work in the Northern California food and agriculture community.

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Markets:South Berkeley (Tuesday)Downtown Berkeley (Saturday)Season:
Year-RoundProduct: Organic, ecologically managed stone fruit, figs, pears, persimmons, pomegranates and citrusFarmer's Name: Joanna Normoyle
Esparto, CA 95627Farm Location:
Esparto, Yolo County, CADistance From Berkeley:
80 milesSoil Type: Clay loamWater Source: WellOrganic Certification: Certified Organic by CCOF since 1986Fertilizer: 6-8 tons of compost per acre is applied once a year. The citrus trees also get a feeding of water soluble blood meal every February.Weed Control: Weeds are controlled with mulch around the younger trees. The orchards are also mowed with a tractor, or with a weed eater for closer work.Pest Management: Trees are interplanted in a haphazard way which probably limits both insect and disease pressures. The peaches and nectarines are sprayed with lime sulfur in December to control peach leaf curl. The grapes are also sprayed with sulfur in April, and again in May if needed.Acreage: 12 acres