Location: Half Moon Bay, CA
Louis Iacopi and his son, Mike, along with 2 full-time and 15 seasonal employees.
165 leased acres in Half Moon Bay, about 35 miles from Ferry Plaza Farmers Market
Upon his arrival from Italy in 1939, Louis’ father, Michael, settled in Pescadero, where he learned to farm. In 1962, Louis began his farming career with 200 acres in Half Moon Bay. He farmed there until 1979, when he moved the farm to its current location. Until recently, he grew produce mainly for the wholesale markets, but low returns encouraged him to sell more of his produce directly to consumers.
To maintain soil fertility, the Iacopis use synthetic fertilizers in combination with cover crops and compost. They use herbicides only when necessary—usually in the winter, when the ground is too wet for the tractors. At the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, the Iacopis also sell Brussels sprouts from a nearby farm.
The land’s proximity to the coast results in many soil types, from heavy clay to sandy loam. Cover crops, manures, and commercial fertilizers are used to improve soil structure.
Overhead sprinkler irrigation. Water is collected as it runs off neighboring hillsides into an on-site pond.
Mechanical and hand cultivation. Herbicides are used minimally, only if necessary, which usually occurs in the winter when the ground is too wet for the tractors.
Crop rotation and use of disease-resistant seeds minimize pest outbreaks. Pesticides are not used.
The location of one of the Iacopis’ plots of land is very unusual: between landing strips and surrounding the Half Moon Bay Airport.