Rec for expert to manage small urban residential organic farm

Hello! Here's the background on this question: my parents have lived for several decades on a 2 acre property in the East Bay and during that time have cultivated dozens of fruit trees including stone fruits, apples, pears, nuts, olive trees, grape vines, and berry bushes.  Somehow they managed this with little and at times no hired help in addition to making wine and olive oil while also working and raising three children (I still don't understand how).  They have put a lot of time and energy into learning about organic farming and applying their knowledge.  Late last year, my dad passed away, and my mom, though fit and healthy for her age, cannot imagine continuing to manage this over the long term, though loves the house and the property and is not ready to move.  Does anyone have a recommendation for a professional, nonprofit group, company, etc who would be qualified to manage this property for her and our family - continue cultivating the plants and managing harvests? I imagine our family would want to continue being involved (helping with harvest days, wine making etc) but want to find someone to direct and oversee things.  I imagine this would be above and beyond the typical landscaping and gardening company.  Ideas welcome, thank you!

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If it were me, I would send an inquiry to the farmers market coordinators of the markets near me for referrals.

I also think this is a good time to make sure that the activities on the farm are legal in terms of zoning, business activity, etc., and also do some hard thinking with your mom and siblings about what the business relationship would ideally be. Paid employee? Lessor/lessee? Partner? Clearing the air on these things will set the stage for a good business relationship going forward.

You should ask at the Biofuel Oasis on Sacramento in Berkeley. One of the owners is Novella Carpenter, who is famous for urban farming. 


Bj Sheehan (925) 818-5293 does landscape design and management. He's incredibly knowledgeable about a broad range of plants and can help to manage land as well as teach you how to do it. He's helped us and my grandparents on numerous occasions. Good luck!

Someone mentioned Biofuel Oasis. They're a good resource.

I strongly recommend talking with Yolanda from Pollinate. Her former brick-and-mortar shop, closed during the lockdown, was a treasure for us when we were growing food and raising chickens nearby -- we'd pop in there often for supplies and advice. Nowadays she's running a four-property farm and offers various levels of help and mentoring.

Hi there,

I work for a well known and loved Bay Area organic  orchard doing marketing.  We have an amazing crew of highly skilled people who are especially versed in tree care and fruit harvests but are incredibly adept in all things plant care and irrigation.  They are typically interested in side work.  They are not versed in wine making or olive pressing. I don’t think they could manage your farm since they are employed full time but they could most certainly take excellent care of it.  

If you’d like to learn more please feel to contact me.