Jeff Larkey and his crew are stewards of 65 acres of beautiful and fertile Santa Cruz coastal valley farmland, including fields at Rancho del Oso along Waddell Creek, as well as Ocean St. Extension at the rural/urban fringe along the San Lorenzo River.
From humble beginnings Route 1 Farms has grown to meet the needs of the community without sacrificing the ideals of sustainability, productivity, beauty and efficiency. Route 1 seeks to farm the land in a way that is harmonious with nature and the people who work the land. Farming practices include ample use of compost, cover crops, beneficial habitat creation, crop diversity and rotations to ensure the long-term viability and fertility of the land.
In these crucial times in history we have to find alternatives to conventional methods of production. Many of the methods and materials used in conventional agriculture have advanced (not really the right word) to the point where they are threatening the survival of many forms of life including as well, the survival of small diverse organic family farming systems. For instance, the USDA and many of our states and universities do not seem to think it is a big deal for our seed stocks to become contaminated by genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). These patented crops are being put uncontrolled into the environment which are cross pollinating with non–GMO crops that we depend on to produce our seed with. For this reason we have made the Safe Seed Pledge and also pledge to do our part to spread awareness and inform our constituents of this danger. We urge all of you to inform yourselves and if you feel moved to act, and to get involved.
Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families, or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political, and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and, ultimately, people and communities.