Cut flowers and organic produce including gem lettuce, braising greens mix, bok choy, carrots, fennel, broccoli, cilantro, radish, various baby greens, fennel bulbs, leeks, green onions.
Lori Perry and Dennis Tamura, owners
216 Merk Road
Watsonville, CA 95076
Lori and Dennis have been growing organic produce and flowers since 1987 on 21 acres in Corralitos. They received their organic certification from CCOF when they began farming. The land was pasture when they purchased it, but it had been used for farming in earlier days. Flowers and produce are grown in rotation on the farm which utilizes drip and overhead irrigation from a well on the property.
Lori and Dennis came to farming through idealism, but by different paths. While attending UC Santa Cruz, Dennis was inspired by lectures by Master Gardener, Alan Chadwick, who created the organic farm at the university in 1967. Dennis became so interested that he eventually dropped the other things he was doing and entered an apprenticeship with Alan. He later participated in the U.C. Farm and Garden program as apprentice coordinator for several years. When the program became more academic, he enrolled at Cabrillo College to study horticulture from the academic viewpoint with Richard Merrill. Later, Dennis decided to see whether the gardening he’d learned from Chadwick could be turned into a farm business, and started Blue Heron.
As a young woman, Lori aspired to be a writer, and believed that the most important subject anyone could write about for our time was land use and agriculture. So she entered the Cabrillo horticulture program, and that is where she met fellow student, Dennis. Later, Dennis decided to see whether the gardening he’d learned from Alan Chadwick could be turned into a farm business, and Lori eventually joined him. Lori thought that she wouldn’t be any good at farming, but found to her surprise that she really could do it. As a side effect of doing agriculture, she no longer has the slightest interest in writing about it. And as a side effect of farming, Dennis no longer has time to garden!
Farming at Blue Heron is a labor of love. “Having meaningful work like farming is a luxury, but you pay with your life’s blood,” said Lori.“Especially during the summer, leisure time doesn’t exist — not at the level of quality and care we put into the farm. But providing local families with fresh, nutritious food is very satisfying; so is the harmony we feel with the support of our dedicated crew of 15 employees,” she added.