Specialty greens, sorrel, lettuce, herbs, kiwi fruit, cut flowers and avocados.
Four Sisters Farm
Nancy and Robin Gammons
After starting the farm on five acres in Aromas in 1977, the Gammons raised four daughters who were the inspiration for the farm’s name. The girls helped with the farming and with sales at farmers markets over the years. They are now all grown and have flown the nest, but like all good children, they come to visit!
“We are always adding new varieties of chicory for our customer to use in their salads,” said Nancy.“Chicory livens up a salad with different colors, textures and tastes.” A relative of endive, chicory has curly, bitter-tasting leaves that can be eaten raw or cooked like greens. The green variety is the most common. Also popular is Radicchio, a red-leafed Italian variety. Chicory has a lot of Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
The Gammons have always farmed organically and they received their organic certification in 1988 from CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers). Their strong commitment to being a steward of the environment is reflected in the way they maintain a natural, healthy ecosystem on their property.
When the Gammons started the farm, the land had just three inches of topsoil; now they have 20 to 24 inches of good, fertile topsoil. The Gammons have built up the soil with compost, turning everything back in. By maintaining a healthy, harmonious farm ecosystem, and using only a rototiller and hand tools for planting to disturb the soil eco-system as much as possible, the soil regulates itself and pests are minimized. A tall fence keeps the deer at bay. To control weeds, the Gammons do hand and machine weeding. The Gammons are fortunate to have land that has native springs and a high water table. A drip and misting irrigation system provides the crops with the water and moisture they need for healthy growth. Currently, three full-time employees help with the farming operation.
Weed Control: Hand and machine weeding.
Pest Management: They use only a rototiller and hand tools for planting, so as to disturb the land as little as possible. They have found that this approach means that they have very few insect pests to contend with — the healthy, harmonious farm ecosystem self-regulates and takes care of those pests. They do have one non-insect pest: the deer that roam the beautiful countryside surrounding their farm, and they are currently building a fence to protect their crops from being munched by deer.
Water Use: Drip and misting irrigation. The land has native springs and a high water table.
Certifications: Certified Organic by CCOF since 1988
Read more about Nancy Gammons in Cultivating a Movement: Organic & Sustainable Farming.