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Caffin Family Orchards
Learn the essentials of dovetailing multiple complimentary enterprises that build synergies from production through marketing. We'll be looking at Chaffin Orchards (www.ChaffinFamilyOrchards), known for their integration of livestock and orchards, as a model. The presentation will discuss holistic grazing principles and permaculture techniques that work effectively in a Mediterranean climate. The focus will be how to get the most out of your land and other resources through enterprise stacking.
Chris Kerston has worked for the University of California, various cattle ranches, and other farms. Since 2007 he has been part of the Chaffin Family Orchards team and is the Director of Marketing and one of the three farming partners. He speaks all over the west coast to both farmer and consumer groups about alternative farming models. He's been on the forefront of the collaborative process with state and federal regulators getting them to recognize alternative ecological agricultural models and the consumer's right to healthy local foods. He's also been recognized as a leader in the emerging agri-tourism/farmstay market.
Chaffin Orchards is a 2,000 acre, 5 generation, diversified farm that features Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Grassfed Beef, Lamb, Goat, Pastured Chicken and Eggs, Heirloom Stonefruits, Citrus, and Wool. The farm manages part of the largest old growth olive orchard in North American. With the use of permaculture techniques and holistic management grazing the farm is able to minimize inputs and maximize fertility by mimicking natural systems. For the last decade they've been leading innovators by integrating grassfed livestock into their old growth orchards. Their sheep and cows now do nearly all their mowing on the orchard floor. The goats handle their invasive weeds, keep irrigation canals clean, and clear firebreaks. And the meat and laying chickens act as pest control, eat downed fruit, and fertilize. The farm uses about 85% less fuel than it used to and is able to operate with just a handful of employees. They also direct market over 90% of their goods selling shelf stable products online and the more fragile or perishable items through local farmers markets and CSA's. For more information about the farm go to www.ChaffinFamilyOrchards.com .