Hall’s Organic Farms strives to grow the freshest and healthiest vegetables and strawberries it can possibly grow on 15 acres of land in the Salinas Valley. Stevie Hall, a Salinas native, takes pride in having pursued a career in farming. The interest started young; he became involved in local 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) programs, where he was introduced to the world of dirty boots and hard work. Following high school, he attended Hartnell College to study agriculture and was an intern with the USDA Research Service alongside a lettuce breeder. He was eventually led to the Agricultural and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA), an extensive Salinas-based program that trains beginning farmers. Established in 2001, ALBA works to represent a growing niche of small farmers among the agricultural giants in the area. Aside from training aspiring farmers in organic agriculture production, business planning, and marketing, ALBA goes a step further to ensure the economic and social success of their students. Following graduation, former students have the option of establishing themselves on small plots of land that ALBA provides, accruing additional acreage as they become more confident in their practice. The farmers can also sell their produce through ALBA Organics, the program’s licensed food hub. This permits each farmer to have access to markets they might not otherwise due to their size, and allows them to focus on other goals during their beginning years.
Hall’s Organic Farms is a prime example of the powerful platform that ALBA has created for beginning farmers. Starting on a quarter acre of land, Hall successfully completed the program and eventually worked his way up to farm on five acres. Since the completion of the program, he has expanded to 15 acres and looks to add more acreage soon. Stevie’s own desire for organic produce paired alongside ALBA’s commitment to ecological land management has given him the tools to manage his farm with both economic viability and sustainability in mind. Stevie grows over 30 varieties of fruits and vegetables, and has gained a reputation at local farmers’ markets for his gleaming rows of produce and hilarious veggie puns. While the kale, chard, and mustard greens are to die for, the crown jewels of his business might be his organic strawberries. Six varieties of strawberries are grown on the farm: Albion, Monterey, Sweet Ann, Camarosa, Cabrillo and White Pine, all of whose distinctions are both subtle and delicious.
Hall’s Organic Farms is Certified Organic and USDA Organic!