After learning from and growing with his mentor John Givens in Goleta, Alex Frecker bought a tractor, a disc, and some shovels with almost all his savings and signed a lease on a 3 acre property in Carpinteria, CA at 25 years of age. “The days were long, and I wasn’t really sure what my goal was, but I knew that I wanted to take the knowledge and experiences that I gained working for John and apply them in a way where I too could grow vibrant, healthy vegetables and then market them in some way. I basically spent 4 months just putting all of my physical and mental energy, not to mention almost every penny I had saved, into this plot of land that was now growing a small abundance of seasonal vegetables that needed to be picked and sold, immediately,” Alex says. His efforts with his small organic row crop farm soon bore fruit: Alex was accepted into the Pacific Palisades Farmers Market, where he’d sold organic vegetables for John Givens Farm for years, and began building his customer base. “I think people were stoked to see a young guy who had boasted years in advance that he was going to have his own farm someday, now at that same market selling his own organic veggies, and really following through with his claims,” Alex says.
Since 2013, Alex has taken over one of the last large tracts left in Carpinteria: 18 acres where he grows 30-40 commodity crops, including fennel, strawberries, and even organic hops for local breweries. “ It was definitely a bit of a stretch to increase our acreage by so much in a year, and I think that was a step where most small row crop farms that are geared towards production fail. It is tough to prepare for the overhead costs that are introduced by increasing your production exponentially. The next step was getting sales to support those costs,” Alex says. Frecker Farms ramped up production and sales with the cooperation of Harvest Santa Barbara and fellow cooperative Isla Vista Food Co-op.
Since then, Frecker Farms has made all our farm-to-table fantasies a reality by hosting farm field dinners. A collaboration with local chefs and breweries, these dinners are prepared and served in the fields where the produce is grown, and local musicians serenade the lucky attendees. Be sure to follow Frecker Farms on Facebook and Instagram for all of their updates, including upcoming events in the Carpinteria area!
Co+opportunity is proud to support truly local organic farms like Frecker Farms - stop by and pick up some of their delicious fennel at your Co-op today!
Photos © Frecker Farms