It’s HAPPENING peoples! 30+ CropMobster leads generated and a 9 acre orchard lease secured from visionary Sonoma County land owner. As we’re learning it’s not about the commodities but about the community! So let’s keep this train of good rolling for the Devoto Family. Help their family and premium local food and drinks business survive and thrive here locally in Sonoma County!
Thanks to all of you CropMobsters and the Press Democrat’s Bite Club Eats blog by Heather Irwin, the Devotos are making great progress on the hard task of finding affordable land to keep their business in Sonoma County. The Devotos are overwhelmed by the loving support of the community and want to express their thanks to each and every one of you. They have received 30+ calls and emails from Sonoma county residents sharing leads on possible land for lease. Thanks to you one 9 acre lease has been secured.
“We are happy to report that a Sebastopol property owner has agreed to lease us 9 acres long term. His property has a long apple history and he believes that as its steward, returning the orchard to its full splendor by replanting with us, will ensure that west county’s apple heritage will continue for his children’s generation. — Stan Devoto,”
ACTION: Please keep SHARING and crowdsourcing this alert far and wide to help them reach their goal of 50 acres for planting premium heirloom apples.
Original CropMobster Post
Help the Devoto Family and Devoto Orchards Cider find 50 acres to plant heirloom heritage Apples! The Devoto Family has been a community, food and farming cornerstone for Sonoma County since the 1970’s. And while their business is solid and growing – if no affordable land for planting apples becomes available soon – they will have to look outside Sonoma County and yet another legacy farm and heirloom apple business will be lost. Let’s make a miracle happen!
Devoto Orchards Cidery is the county’s largest producer of hard ciders made with Sonoma County grown apples AND … the largest cidery in California that uses exclusively CA-grown & certified organic apples
This is not just about preventing a loss, but about helping secure our local food and economic prosperity. There is huge upside! Their apple business and Devoto Orchards Cider brand is growing nicely and, with the miracle of additional land, will continue to create tremendous value for our local food economy, our community and environment.
This is not going to be easy for a variety of factors. But we can do it by getting the word out and thinking together about how to solve this problem!
It’s going to take a property owner with vision and who believes this is important and the right thing to do!
Here’s the deal:
- They need ideas, connections and community support
- They are unable to afford to buy land at this time. The ideal solution and wish come true would be to lease 50 acres for planting heirloom apples in Sonoma County
- Note: it doesn’t have to be one big parcel – each can be as small as 9 acres
- The challenge is finding a 25-30 year lease.
- The Devotos will build a fence, a well and replant the orchard– all at their cost – and pay the land-owner a good rent every year
- They are stewards of the land – and will turn your property into a beautiful, thriving organic farm
If you have land, leads, tips or suggestions please contact Hunter Wade ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND & STORY
Two generations ago – in 1976 – Stan and Susan Devoto moved from Berkeley “back to the land” and bought the Devoto home ranch in Sebastopol. Visionaries of their time, they valued bio-diversity and grew over 50 varieties of heirloom apples, over 30 varieties of cut flowers and were one of California’s first micro-green growers. They were founding members of many of the Bay Areas premiere farmers markets – including San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza market.
Times have changed and most of Sonoma County’s apple orchards have been replaced, taking with them an apple industry that began in 1811 when Russian fur traders planted North America’s first Gravenstein apple at Fort Ross on the Sonoma Coast.
But they’ve held their ground, and now tend to nearly 100 organic heirloom apple varieties while fighting to save the Gravenstein. They sell their apples and flowers at 6 bay area farmers markets and have been able to continue farming for now – due to their value added product – hard cider. They are now county’s largest producer of hard ciders made with Sonoma County grown apples.
THE PROBLEM IS….
They’ve hit a wall. The 2nd generation of the farm needs more apples – but they are struggling to grow and thrive in a Sonoma County where apple land prices have soared to 10 times the national average. The only thing holding them back from being a 3rd and 4th generation farm – is access to farm land in Sonoma County.
- Good land is now $75,000 – $100,000 per acre
- The average price of apple growing land in the rest of the country is $7,500 per acre
- The apple industry has gone from 10,000 + acres to under 2,000 acres.
- Orchards are not being replanted because farmers need a 25-30 year lease and property owners don’t want a lease to tie up the future sale of their property for millions.
Devoto Gardens & Orchards is a 20 acre diversified family farm that was founded in 1976 by Susan and Stan Devoto. The farm started out as one of the North Bay’s original micro-green growers, and slowly evolved in biodiversity.
The family grows over 50 varieties of heirloom apples, specialty cut flowers, and pinot noir grapes. They draw their inspiration from a true passion for slow food, sustainability, beauty, and the preservation of heirloom varieties such as the local Gravenstein apple.
Buy Devoto Orchards Cider Today!
Devoto Orchards Cider is a small family farm and cidery and yet, at the same time, the largest cidery in California that uses exclusively CA-grown & certified organic apples. Since 1976, They’ve grown nearly 100 varieties of heirloom and cider apples used in their farmstead cider blends.
Located on an east-facing slope in the Sebastopol hills, their orchard is at the nexus of the Green Valley, Russian River Valley, and the Sonoma Coast growing appellations, microclimates famous for producing world-class Pinot Noir wine grapes and heirloom apples. The porous, sandy soil and coastal fog create an environment from which their apples thrive.
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