Branch Mill Organic Farm and Retreat Center is an educational and personal growth center dedicated to demonstrating sustainable living practices. Our mission is to foster a community where people discover a connection with others, their environment and themselves
Branch Mill Organic Farm History
Growing up in rural Marin County, my family grew and harvested an abundance of fruits and vegetables. My mom canned & preserved a bit of everything from our ½ an acre including: rhubarb, raspberries, pears, apricots, peaches, apples, tomatoes, peppers, and much more.
Times passed and we moved to Santa Barbara in the late 60’s. We had lots of figs and avocados and I continued my 4-H project of raising rabbits. My mom passed and we moved back to northern California as I moved on to college. I traveled to many countries after graduating, but I found myself drawn to working in the fields to get a small bit of cash to continue exploring the world. I picked grapes in Ville Franche in France, olives in Crete, Greece, tomatoes and eggplants in northern Israel, and flowers and other crops in the occupied territory of Egypt.
Later, I returned to Barcelona, Spain where I taught English for almost 3 years. I came back to the U.S. and became a literacy teacher and later a public high school teacher. After 33 years of teaching, my dad, (now over 90 ( but don’t let him know I told you), and I decided to try our hands at farming so we bought a nearly abandoned farm in Arroyo Grande; hence, the beginning of Branch Mill Organic Farm. We decided to go through the rigorous process to become certified organic, believing that the complex inspections and documentation was worth being a part of a larger movement of being truly organic.
Today, our farm of 10 acres is still in its infancy, but we are moving toward our vision is to make the farm fully sustainable and to involve young people and students to create a community farm. We have several student interns who want to learn about organic farming.
We are now farming 5 acres of the farm with plans to expand. We have planted a fruit and berry orchard, and have many plots of vegetables including 5 kinds of winter squash, corn, watermelons, garlic, 4 kinds of potatoes, 3 kinds of kale, chard, arugula, parsley, cilantro, and many medicinal herbs as well as raspberries, ollaberries, and lemons.
For summer season, we have many different varieties of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, tomatillos, and more to come.
We have a 6,000 sq foot greenhouse we are restoring to grow seedlings and unique herbs and edible flowers.
Hope you’ll visit our farm and sample our delicious fruits and vegetables.
Farm founded in 2010
Board Member Bios