Lucila de Alejandro owns and operates Suzie’s Farm with her husband, Robin Taylor. Located three miles from the Pacific Ocean and three miles from the Mexican border, Suzie’s Farm got its start in 2004, and has provided fresh, organic produce to the San Diego area through a CSA, farmers markets, and sales to restaurants and grocers.
As a 70-acre urban farm, Suzie’s Farm provides a rare blend of tractor-scale farming just minutes from the urban core, and Lucila and Robin leveraged their geography and scale to grow rapidly as the local food scene in San Diego took off – but when that local food scene leveled off, they were faced with making hard decisions to save the farm and their relationship.
Lucila shares the process they used for making those hard decisions, including a technique with the acronym POEM. We also dig into how she and Robin have created a loyal workforce that carries Lucila’s energy and enthusiasm out into the community, how they use farm tours to engage the community and build their customer base, and how vegetable farming works in the Mediterranean climate of San Diego.
The Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously supported by Vermont Compost Company.