Swanton Berry Farm

Jim Cochran, Bill Kennedy

Swanton Berry Farm produces high quality crops with special attention to flavor. Their products are unique in that they are both 100% organic and 100% union grown, packed, and delivered. Even their farmers’ market employees are covered by the union contract. In 2004, Swanton initiated a unique stock bonus plan
enabling career-oriented employees to gain ownership of a substantial portion of the company. The farm currently has 10 co-owners. Given razor-thin profit margins and limited access to land, the barriers to entry into farming are high. Swanton’s stock bonus plan offers a future generation of farmers a viable entry into the profession. In addition to pioneering fair labor practices, Swanton has always been at the forefront of the organic farming movement. In 2002 they were awarded the EPA’s Stratospheric Ozone Protection award for their work to develop methods of growing strawberries without the use of soil fumigant methyl bromide. Now, these are truly righteous strawberries.

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Markets:South Berkeley (Tuesday)Downtown Berkeley (Saturday)Season:
Year-RoundProduct: Strawberries, blackberries, olallieberries, jams, globe artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, and celeryFarmer's Name: Jim Cochran, Bill KennedyMailing Address: P.O. Box 308
Davenport, CA 95017
Email: mail@swantonberryfarm.com
Phone: (831) 247-0985
Website: http://www.swantonberryfarm.comFarm Location:
Davenport, Santa Cruz County, CADistance From Berkeley:
76 milesSoil Type: Mixed, sand and clayWater Source: Municipal & on-site resevoirsAbout the Farm:
Swanton Berry Farm is operated by founder Jim Cochran, along with 35 year-round employees, and 50+ employees at peak strawberry season. They were the first organic farm in the U.S. to sign a contract with the United Farmworkers of America AFL-CIO, and they continue to use 100% union labor.Organic Certification: Certified Organic by CCOF since 1987Fertilizer: Compost, cover crops, incorporating crop residue into the soilWeed Control: Mechanical and hand cultivationPest Management: Swanton builds healthy soil, which in turn grows healthy plants that are naturally more pest-resistant. They also encourage beneficial predators and use horticultural oils and soaps as a last resort.Acreage: 60 acres