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On September 11th, The Organic Trade Association honored Israel Morales Sr. from JV Farms Organic with the Organic Farmer of the Year Award.
Israel Morales Sr. is JV Farms Organic’s lead grower with over 40 years of farming experience.
Israel has extensive experience not just in knowing what produce matches the type of soil but is also a master of soil health. He has a direct influence on the growing practices on all of the acres in his operation.
Some describe him as living and breathing organic farming. He has both an old-school mentality on how to grow organically with a flair for innovation.
Israel is a successful large-scale organic farmer, known as a steward of the land. He minimizes disturbance and maximizes soil cover, biodiversity, and the presence of living roots.
I begin with a confession. This summer is the second time I have tended a garden since I was a child alongside my grandfather. For most of my adult life, I was too busy trading organic faire, building businesses—doing what I could to heal the planet through food and agriculture.
I am enjoying this garden with its prolific beans, squash, tomatoes and red Peruvian corn. It’s aswarm with bees, pollinators and insects who work to seed the bounty.
California has always been at the forefront of change in the food movement. It’s the state that first passed organic regulations in 1990 and birthed the first certifier, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF).
The first Farm-to-School projects also sprang forth in the Golden State in 1997, at Santa Monica-Malibu United School District and The Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley.