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Scott Park

Owner, Park Farming Organics. Board member with the California Tomato Research Institute (CTRI), Grower/Cooperator with UC Davis Russell Ranch, Certified Crop Advisor

 

Scott is a first generation farmer in Meridian, California (50 miles north of Sacramento). After graduating from Willamette University with a degree in Political Theory he partnered with the foreman of the farm he worked at during his college summers growing 300 acres of processing tomatoes in 1974. In 1979 the partnership amicably dissolved and Scott continued to grow tomatoes. In the fall of 1985 Scott rented a field near other fields he was farming. Expecting the ground to be hard and unforgiving he was shocked by the mellow, crumbly nature of the soil. Reflecting on the farmer’s practices he realized that there was a better way to farm than “burn and pillage”. Since then Scott’s farming practices have been based on soil health management.

 

The continual serendipitous results led to a farm system that has shrunk external inputs to cover crops, compost, microbials, and seaweed. Park Farming now has 1684 certified organic acres spread over 10 miles on 27 fields of various soil types. 10-15 crops are grown every year depending on markets, crop rotation, and what is best for the soil. The farm is family owned with his son, Brian, managing the daily activities of the farm and his wife, Ulla, managing the accounting side of the business. The farm’s success at generating a good profit while improving the soil, the surrounding environment, and the lives of people working on the farm and the nearby community has captured the interest of the USDA Natural Resource and Conservation Service, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UC extension agents, CalCAN (California Climate and Agricultural Network), CAFF (California Alliance of Family Farmers), Chico State University, OFRF (Organic Farming Research Foundation), Willamette University, CDFA, Xerces Society, CAPCA (California Pest Control Advisors), General Mills, Bianco-DiNapoli tomato products, Shumei Natural Agriculture, and farmers from California, Japan, Germany, Denmark, Australia, Africa, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Romania.

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