About Our Farm
The Beginning of a Movement
Our farm, Capay Organic, is a second-generation organic farm that got its start in the Coastal Range's Capay Valley, 90 miles northeast of San Francisco and 35 miles west of Sacramento. The farm was founded by our parents, Kathleen Barsotti and Martin Barnes, in 1976 – marking the early stages of the organic foods movement. Understanding the sometimes harmful methods of modern agriculture, they realized that there was a niche for quality organic produce grown the way that nature intended it to be – organically.
The Capay Valley's unique microclimate and soil type provides an environment in which we successfully produce an array of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Taking it one step further, Capay Organic takes special care to select and grow specific crop varieties where exceptional flavor is the focus. With a determination to bring the best-tasting produce to consumers, we are proud to have pioneered and introduced new crops to the marketplace, such as cherry tomatoes, sweet pea flowers, ambrosia melons and heirloom tomatoes. With a steadfast commitment to the genuine quality of the produce and the wholesome farming practices used to create it, the early days of marketing organic produce to the general public was a battle that took Kathy a lifetime to overcome.
Understanding the sometimes harmful methods of modern agriculture, they realized that there was a niche for quality organic produce grown the way that nature intended for it to be-organically.
Starting with one small farmers market in Davis that was founded by our parents and fellow students while in grad school, and a few gourmet restaurants that understood the superior principles and quality of organic agriculture, Capay Organic slowly developed a market for its produce. By the early 90s, Capay Organic was an established small, organic family farm, supplying Bay Area stores, restaurants and farmers markets with quality organic produce. The years of growing and selling nothing but the highest quality produce to dedicated customers had paid off.
Realizing the important relationship between the farm and individual customers, our mother started Farm Fresh To You, our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in 1992. Farm Fresh To You took root delivering boxes of farm-fresh produce from the fields of Capay Organic to customers' doorsteps or offices. The service started with a handful of customers, with the deliveries being done from a family station wagon by our grandparents once a week. The service was greatly accepted in the Bay Area and Sacramento and with much excitement and hard work we began to see more and more produce boxes leaving the farm.
Our mother spent a lifetime building the farm while raising us, her family of four boys! From the early stages of our childhood, she fostered a true love for and connection to the land by giving us an important role in the building of our family farm. As we took part in everyday operations, from field work to office tasks, she managed every aspect of Capay Organic and Farm Fresh To You until her battle with breast cancer ended at the age of 51 in July of 2000. Today, we are proud to carry on this tradition with Capay Organic and Farm Fresh To You still operating true to the values cultivated from the first 20-acres.
In 2007, we expanded our agricultural roots and began farming in the Imperial Valley allowing us to expand our growing ability during the cold winter months of the Capay Valley, and extend the availability of some of our most loved heirloom and traditional crops to residents looking for trusted, organic produce in the Los Angeles area.
Throughout the years, the demand for Capay Organic's produce has grown our farms to 600 acres. We are still humbled by the amazing support of dedicated partnerships with produce wholesalers and relationships with restaurants, our Farm Fresh To You customers, farmers markets and a retail store - Farm Fresh To You, located in San Francisco's Ferry Building. Today we continue our mission to transform agriculture in America by connecting local farms and communities in a method that is environmentally and economically sustainable. Every day we are excited to carry on the tradition of our second-generation farming and watch the support grow thanks to you!