Love Apple Farms integrates the rigors of traditional farming practices with a modern, unique business model. We have an exclusive relationship with 2-Michelin star Manresa Restaurant for which we grow for 52 weeks a year. Apprentices will learn how to work closely with a high-end restaurant to produce unique, high-end specialty crops as well as standard crops.
Our farm is also an educational center where we teach community members a large range of gardening, homesteading, and culinary skills. Our apprentices will develop skills in customer relations, marketing, and event planning, in addition to the skills learned in the classes.
We also have a tomato seedling sale every Spring, which is a great opportunity for apprentices to develop greenhouse and nursery skills, as well as teaching skills.
Size of farm: The farm property is 21 acres total. We are growing vegetables, herbs, fruit, and edible flowers in 100 raised beds that are each about 50 square feet. We are growing fruit trees throughout the property. We have a pasture of a few acres. The rest of the property is undeveloped woods or facilities (housing, classroom, barn, greenhouse).
Diversity of produce and livestock: Throughout the year, we grow over 300 varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers. That includes heirloom tomatoes (75 – 100 varieties every summer) and multiple varieties of eggplant, summer squash, winter squash, peppers, lettuce, mustards, beets, turnips, radishes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, kohlrabi, Brussels’ sprouts, kales, chard, spinaches, beans, peas, basil, oregano, rosemary, lavender, cilantro, parsley, lovage, salad burnet, quilquina, amaranth, violas, borage, chervil, mint, tarragon, calendula, nasturtium, sunflower microgreens, purslane, and more.
We currently have 50 laying hens, 2 dairy goats, and 2 bee hives. We breed our dairy goats every other year and raise kids for either sale or slaughter. We raise baby chicks a few times a year to replenish our laying hen stock as well as meat birds for slaughter and consumption on the farm.
Skills that can be learned: See Love Apple Farm's Skills Checklists
Student farmer details: Our full-immersion farm school is tuition-based, and crafted for the specific benefit of our farming students. We educate people in the fine minutiae necessary to not only grow artisanal vegetables, fruits, herbs and edible flowers, but specifically train students to farm for chefs and restaurants. This farm school education deepens students’ understanding of agriculture over and above regular farm-based curriculum and apprenticeship training, as it is geared toward the art and science of growing for fine restaurants.
As restaurants world-wide move swiftly toward exclusive partnership with local farms, they seek a specific type of farmer. They look for a highly educated person who is creative, tech-savvy, and finely tuned to the idiosyncrasies endemic in top chefs. Perhaps more importantly to a person with little access to land or those unable to start a farm from scratch, many restaurants are providing land and directly employing qualified individuals trained in haute cuisine vegetable production. This emerging and exciting job market is an extremely viable way to farm without the normal risks that conventional farmers face.
Farmer University at Love Apple Farms fills this niche perfectly. As the long-time exclusive partner to world-class Manresa Restaurant, Demeter-Certified bioydnamic Love Apple Farms know exactly and precisely how to train farmers to perfectly match the needs and requirements of gourmet restaurants. In addition, we find our farm school curriculum also uniquely suited for Life Lab instructors, who need to understand horticulture and intricate, small-scale vegetable production for schools.
Our student farmers will also learn important aspects of CSA farming, agri-tourism principles and strategies, and most importantly: how to acquire, run and manage a successful farm-based business.
All of our students must be members of the NABDAP program. To learn more about Farmer University at Love Apple Farms, please visit www.FarmerUniversity.com
Mentor Farmer: Cynthia Sandberg
Address: 2317 Vine Hill Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95065
Phone: 831-588-3801 E-mail: email@example.com