Lucero Organic Farms
Ben, Karen and Curtis Lucero, along with Curtis’ wife Priscilla, son Curtis Jr. and four seasonal employees.
50 acres in Lodi and Clarksburg on several parcels of land, about 90 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
Ben has been an organic grower since he was a teenager, when he tended a backyard garden with his brother. He started his first organic farm in the 1960s and although he found it difficult to make a living, didn’t give up. When the farmers’ market movement took off 20 years later, Ben found his niche and made a real profit for the first time. In 2006, Ben’s eldest son Curtis retired from the Army after 20 years to become one of the farm’s co-owners.
The Lucero’s ensure that their products are top quality and flavorful. “If it doesn’t taste good then we won’t bring it to market.”
Depending on the parcel, the soil types vary from a light sandy loam to a rich, dark, crumbly loam. Each is amended with an organic compost that contains no animal products. Fish emulsion and cover crops enrich the soil with nitrogen, a key plant nutrient. Crop rotation also helps to prevent depletion of minerals in the soil.
Water is sourced from private wells in Lodi and in clarksburg we get it from the sacramento river.
Hand and machine cultivation.
Crop rotation, selection of resistant varieties, hand removal, creation of habitat for beneficial insects, owl boxes to control rodents.