Learn all about JSM Organics, a certified organic farm in Monterrey County that cultivates Bay-Area famous berries, veggies, herbs and flowers, and see images from a day spent shadowing their rad founder, Javier Zamora.
Talk to your farmer; know where your food comes from.
Which is exactly what I did when I had the pleasure and privilege of spending the day with Javier Zamora, touring JSM Organics.
Agriculture takes a deep root in Javier’s family history and upbringing. His eyes light up and his eyes glitter when he talks about farming! Which he began doing at just 7 years old in Mexico. His passion for the land is infectious in the most beautiful of ways.
I hope the images below inspire you to talk to a farmer, and get to know where your food comes from just a little bit better too.
How I met Javier Zamora
I attended a Kitchen Table Advisors panel at Whole Foods this past summer, exploring how we are “radically connected" to our food system. From the farmers who nourish us to the eaters who hold the power to influence buying at stores like Whole Foods Market.
Javier was one of the panelists and I befriended him after. With an ask.
The ask: can my camera and I please come visit the farm, shadow ya for a day, learn more about the rad work ya do, and turn it into an epic blog post?!?!
He said yes and exactly one week later I made my way to JSM Organics in Monterrey Country.
Who is Javier Zamora?
Born and raised in a farming family in Michoacán Mexico, Javier is a second-generation farmer, and began working the land at 7 years old. Making his way to the US in his 20’s and originally landing in LA, where he took an 18-year farming hiatus to work in construction, security and restaurants.
The economic crisis of 2008 inspired his move to the central coast and to return the work he instinctively knew how to do: farming. Deciding to return to work the land, he studied landscape design at San Joaquin Delta College, horticulture at Cabrillo College and organic production at US Santa Cruz.
With limited resources and no previous farming experience in the US, Javier joined ALBA’s (the Agriculture & Land-Based Training Association)Organic Farm Incubator and graduated in 2011.
Upon graduation, with virtually no capital and no hired labor, he bought 2 acres in 2012 and just like that JSM Organics was born!
A Brief JSM Organics History
Beginning with 2 acres in 2012, Javier began from the very beginning: planting seeds.
Javier says it was a super simple choice deciding between growing organically or conventionally: he’d farm the way he grew up farming, without chemicals and with respect for the land and the people eating the food.
At the time of writing this article, JSM Organics has grown to 26 employees and 40 acres, all certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF).
JSM Organics is committed to sustainable farming practices, continuously rotating the land and the families of crops and doing cover crops. Every year, JSM Organics has at least 30 percent cover crops.
Today JSM Organics continues to work with Kitchen Table Advisors to fuel long-term economic viability for our sustainable food system.
What JSM Organics Grows
JSM Organics grows a diverse mix of 30 varieties of vegetables, berries, herbs and flowers.
A Day in the Life
I like to get up early, and work hard all day, say Javier Zamora.
I asked Javier to walk me through a day in his life. To better understand the reality of the good folks that grow our food.
*very* early morning: wake up between 3:30am-5am: cone into the office, do produce inventory for retail stores and restaurants, go over the books from the day before.
6am: foreman will come in and we’ll chat about what needs to be done for the day.
6:30am: most of the workers will come in and start doing their daily tasks.
Late morning until evening: deal with phone calls, visitors, errands.
Walk the fields, see what needs to be taken care of and check for any diseases going around.
On Sundays: Go to the Fort Mason Farmers Market in SF.
Javier focuses on revitalizing a sense of community that has largely diminished in the modern farming industry through charitable food donations, hands-on farm education and advising other small scale sustainable farmers on how to get started.
He is passionate about making good, clean food accessible to the local community.
Javier is committed to making people lives and business easier and serves on different boards and non-profits that provide help to other farmers in the community to make it easier for them to succeed.
Javier happily welcomes customers of all walks of life to come and spend time on the farm.
Javier’s Zamora’s favorite crop:
Where can you find JSM Organics?
JSM Organics sells direct-to-consumer through 6 farmers markets (at the time of writing this) and direct to retailers like Bi-Rite Market and Good Eggs.
The Future for JSM Organics
Javier shared that he has zero regrets. Even the failures, the headaches, and the tough times. That all of it has taught him something and gotten him where he is today.
Javier says that educating customers about what he does and where their food comes from has made a huge difference for his business.
Going forward, JSM Organics continues to strive to provide the local community with good, clean food, a higher quality farmer-to-customer experience and a more ethically driven sense of farm management.
Have ya enjoyed this post? I’d love to hear about it! Please leave a comment below and if you're on a farm in the Hamptons take a pic and tag it on Instagram with #wavesinthekitchen cause I'd love to see it! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to see more colorfully delicious food and all sorts of awesome adventures!
Get to know your farmer and hope to see ya on the farm sometime!