Santa Cruz Farms

Type:Farmer
Owner:Toby Kline
Phone:831-818-5602
Email:tobiaskline@hotmail.com
Bio:

Santa Cruz Farms is owned by Toby Kline and grows and sells exclusively in Santa Cruz County. The farm celebrates the beauty, the joy, and the community that small scale agriculture allows.

Land:

Santa Cruz Farms is about four acres in total with growing done at two locations. One is on an 80 acre ranch just north of SC on HWY 1.
The other piece is in lower Bonny Doon. Having two pieces is not ideal, though they are quite different and both very beautiful. They are very complimetry as one is warmer and more protected and the other more coastal. A goal is to get both pieces into a more perennial system.

History:

Tobias Kline says "Santa Cruz Farms has been years in the making. I was a UCSC student studying agroecology at the farm on campus and got hooked on the beauty, the joy the community and the lifestyle that small scale ag allows. I was able to travel the world some and spent 10 years working abroad and at home in organic ag. I was able to work with some amazing farmers in incredible places and learned much. In 2005 an opportunity to start a small garden in Bonny Doon with a friend on his land presented itself. Little did I know it but that was the birth of what is now SC Farms. It is very exciting and rewarding and hard work! I feel so honored to be carrying on the tradition of organic here in Santa Cruz, CA."

Pest Management:

Santa Cruz Farms have planted native hedge rows around the farms. These create habitat for many predatory bugs. Also they do crop rotation and do a lot with cover crops in the winter. They release lady bugs into strawberries which seems to help with mite issues. They do lose about 5-10% + to pests but that is just how it is. Ultimately, creating a rich ecological environment is key. Balance is key. Nature takes care of itself.

Soil:

At both sites they have a rich clay/silty loam which is good to start with. Cover cropping and green manures help with erosion, replenish fertility and add organic matter to the soil. They also apply composted horse manure and during the season they fertilize through irrigation lines with whatever is needed. Always "organic"

Water Use:

Both sites have wells, pumps and big storage tanks. Luckily the gardens are down hill from the tanks so they have great gravity pressure which keeps things simple. There are always "water issues" so they must monitor usage and keep it as conservative as possible. Mostly, they use drip tape which puts the water right where its needed. Every drop counts!

Weed Control:

Lot of hand weeding (with hoes)and mulching. Plastic and organic materials.