Our Farm

Terra Firma is located in beautiful Winters, California, one of the oldest fruit and vegetable growing regions in Northern California.  Because of its high annual rainfall, rich soils, mild weather, year-round creek, and location just 70 miles or so from San Francisco, Winters has provided urbanites in the Bay Area with fresh produce for over 100 years.

We farm a number of sites along the north and south banks of Putah Creek totalling about 200 acres.  Microclimates and different soil types allow us to produce almost 100 different crops each year, including spring, summer and winter vegetables as well as stone fruit, citrus and nuts (pistachios and walnuts).  We have two distinct seasons here:  dry and hot from May-October, and cool and wet from November-April.  There are very few crops we can’t grow in Winters for at least part of the year, and the majority of the items in our boxes every week come from our own fields and orchards.

We are blessed with a reliable, clean, and sustainable water supply.  The Blue Ridge Mountains to the west of Winters are the watershed for Lake Berryessa, the source of water for the Solano Irrigation District (SID) canal that supplies much of our irrigation water as well as drinking water for the cities of Fairfield and Vacaville.  Since the Monticello Dam was built in the 1960s, SID has never run out of water.  The lake is also the source of Putah Creek, which irrigates our fields located along its banks as well as recharges our groundwater wells.

Our farming practices do not just follow the letter of the National Organic Program law or the minimum standards set by our organic certifier, CCOF.  Rather, in the spirit of the organic farming movement, we continually strive to practice ecologically sustainable agriculture that protects and builds the soil, provides habitat for wildlife, conserves energy and water, and produces healthier, more nutritious fruits and vegetables.  You can find out more about our farming practices in our FAQS as well as in our newsletter archive.

Terra Firma also has a commitment to providing sustainable employment and encouraging local economic development.  We provide full-time, year-round employment for our workers.  We employ roughly ten times as many people per acre as most farms in our region.  By selling, packing, and delivering our products ourselves (adding value) we are able to offer a range of jobs that allow employees to move vertically as their careers progress.

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How does an Orange become Organic?

Why is some of Terra Firma’s citrus fruit Certified Organic, and some not yet? There’s a pretty simple explanation and it helps explain some of the quirks of how we farm and get you such a wide variety of produce. … Continue reading

The View from Below

As you probably have heard, over the last week a series of events occurred at Lake Oroville — the second largest reservoir in the state — that caused the mandatory evacuation of almost two hundred thousand people living downstream in … Continue reading

Dear Diary

Fifty years before Terra Firma came into existence, George Hemenway tended dozens and dozens of acres of fruit trees and vegetables on much of the land we currently farm.  He kept a handwritten daily dairy of his work on the … Continue reading