ALBA Organics Farm Tour in Spanish
A crew from Earl’s warehouse had the opportunity to visit ALBA in Salinas for a tour in Spanish. Tony the marketing, sales and distribution manager for ALBA took the group on a personal tour around the farm. They walked through fields of strawberries, kale, apples, lettuce, hot peppers and more. Tony was very generous with free samples and the group was able to taste produce right off the field. Apparently Felix was the only brave one, or should I say crazy one to taste a ghost pepper. He tried to hide it but his face gave away the burning sensation he experienced!
ALBA generates opportunities for farm workers and limited-resource, aspiring farmers to grow and sell crops from two organic farms in Monterey County. In 2002, ALBA established ALBA Organics as a licensed produce distributor to support the sales and training needs of beginning farmers as an essential component to their development and success as entrepreneurs. ALBA Organics provides farmer-vendors with vital technical assistance on crop planning, field production, post-harvest handling/packing, as well as the marketing for distribution to a variety of customers. (Source: albafarmers.org)
ALBA offers a 10 month program comprised of a 6 month educational course in the classroom followed by a 4 month hands on farming course. The farming course educates the students on operations, and business management. Fees for the course are based on a sliding scale according to an applicant’s annual income and number of dependents. Part of the tuition is used for education and the rest is invested in the final 4 month course to be used towards seeds, parcel, packaging, and sales. Any profit they make from their sales goes back to the student farmer. After the completion of the 10 month course, Alba will lease out a parcel for the student farmer to start his/her production. The graduates are free to sell their produce to whomever they want. Typically they sell it to ALBA. The students are able to lease the land for up to 5 years and then it is time for a new graduate to lease the land.
Earl’s crew finished the day with a delicious lunch on the farm. The group had a very fun, interesting, and educational time visiting ALBA farms. Tony was a great host and the consensus was that the group we would all do it again!
Written by Eddie Enriquez and Susan Simitz