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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Center for Agroecology

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Organic Mixed Production Blocks for Direct Markets on California's Central Coast: A Guide for Beginning Specialty Crop Growers


Crop diversity on small-scale farms is key to direct marketing strategies such as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), farmers’ markets, farm stands, and restaurant accounts. Crop diversity also benefits on-farm ecology, risk management, and economic viability. However, managing a diverse cropping system requires significant experience and planning for the farm operation to be productive, competitive, and financially viable.

This guide focuses on producing mixed blocks of 30- to 60-day, direct sown and transplanted crops suitable for CSA and direct market sales, with the goal of improving cropping system efficiencies and economic viability. Note that the guide does not address specific crop information, but focuses instead on managing the mixed crop production block as a whole.

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