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Condor’s Hope

Steve Gliessman and Robbie Jaffe have a lifetime commitment to creating healthy food systems where nourishing foods are grown in ways that benefit the environment and the people who grow the food; and there is a direct connection between the people consuming the food and the farmers. Condor’s Hope is a place where they put their principles to practice bringing together their love of farming, the environment and community. Steve is professor emeritus of Environmental Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) where he founded the agroecology program. He is currently editor of the Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems Journal. Robbie founded Life Lab, a nonprofit organization that develops school garden curriculum, programs, and trainings, and was a lecturer in environmental education at UCSC. She was also one of the founding members of the Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Market, one of the first certified farmers markets in California. Together Steve and Robbie started the Community Agroecology Network (CAN), a nonprofit that collaborates with rural communities in Mexico and Central America to develop sustainable food systems through agroecology.

Located at their family farm at the base of the Sierra Madre Mountains in the Cuyama Valley, five acres of dry-farmed grapes and olives are grown and harvested in ways that respect and protect the natural surroundings. Grapevines are head pruned in the traditional Mediterranean style. Rows of olive trees are interspersed among the vines. The dry, Mediterranean climate is similar to those where vineyards and olive orchards were first planted centuries ago. Robbie and Steve strive to carry on this tradition with a system where plants can produce high quality wines and olive oil for generations to come.

Dry Farming at Condor's Hope

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