Sustainability: we hear about it almost everyday, but what is it and how can one really define it? Just spend an afternoon with the Mullers. Walk through the tomato fields with Frank and listen to him talk about caring for the soil, planting seedlings with care, the importance of native grasses, and you’ll get a grower’s eye view of true sustainability.
Louie, Frank and Tom Muller, work together to supply tomatoes to Pacific Coast Producers from their family farming partnership, Muller Ranch, LLC. The brothers’ agricultural adventure began on a dairy farm in San Jose, California. In the late 1960’s, in an attempt to escape the rapidly growing city, their father, Joe, sold the dairy. The family roots were replanted in Woodland, California where they began their quest to grow crops rather than raise cattle. Three generations currently work together to provide the finest quality tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, grains, feed products, nuts, and wine grapes to their customers.
The brothers have worked together to expand the farm from a very modest beginning to one that now encompasses several thousand acres. Working together has always been easy for the three of them. Louie and Frank can remember when they were too short to drive a farm truck so they solved the problem by having one operate the pedals while the other turned the steering wheel! In many ways this is indicative of how they operate the farm together today. Cooperation, ingenuity, with a dash of risk taking has always been a part of their collective character.
The partners take great pride in operating a farm that is socially responsible, environmentally friendly and economically viable. The family has always strived to use sound farming practices and to operate the farm with a long-term focus on sustainability. The farm is located near the University of California at Davis and has a long history of providing and supporting on farm research projects. The results of many of these research projects have allowed the farm to blend cutting edge production technology with classic farming techniques. The farm continues to increase productivity every year.
The Muller Farm is a showcase for innovative and progressive ideas. Hedgerows, cover crops, native pollinator habitat, wildlife corridors and roadside native grass re-vegetation areas are abundant. Drip irrigation, micro sprinklers, global positioning system guided tractors, and cruise control operated tractors are used extensively. Conservation tillage practices are utilized. Numerous fields are grown using organic farming guidelines. All of these help to reduce the use of resources needed to produce their crops.
California tomatoes are recognized worldwide for their outstanding taste, color and quality. The Muller Family is proud to produce such a wholesome and fresh product and they appreciate their relationship with Pacific Coast Producers. “It is comforting to know that, after putting my heart into growing these beautiful tomatoes, the same care is provided all the way to the customer by PCP. This group effort is the reason why Pacific Coast Producers continually packs such a superior quality product,” notes Louie.
If you or a group would like to know more about sustainability, Muller Ranch, LLC will provide farm tours at their Woodland, California operation by appointment. Tours can be arranged by calling (530) 662-0105