Debby Takikawa of The Garden Of…

Rachel Hommel

Debby Takikawa of The Garden Of…

Debby Takikawa of The Garden Of…

Growing Certified Organic Produce in Los Olivos

Name: Debby Takikawa

Farm: The Garden Of…

Location: Los Olivos, off Roblar Avenue

What They Grow: Certified organic produce including a variety of cruciferous greens, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, squash, leeks, and carrots.

Where to Buy: Farmers markets including Tuesday in downtown Santa Barbara, Wednesday in Solvang, and Saturday in downtown Santa Barbara.

In Season Now: Swiss chard, kale, leeks, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, Japanese kabocha squash, and celeriac (celery root).

Their Story: For more than 20 years, the Takikawa family has been farming in Los Olivos. This third-generation, 15-acre farm focuses on sustainable farming practices, with an emphasis on mindfulness.

“We take food people normally eat and grow it with a sense of awareness and kindness,” said Debby Takikawa. “My husband has a very strong sense of value in his work. I think it has a big effect on how the food tastes.”

Using quality control and proper handling, the Takikawa family has been certified organic since 2005. Keeping the normal insect balance, the farm uses no organic pesticides or sprays.

“We like to focus on the health of the soil first — this ensures the insects and pests are healthy, too,” said Takikawa. “Farming is all cyclic. It’s about creating a harmonious balance with nature.”

Selling solely at farmers markets, the Takikawa family is passionate about small-scale farming and building a strong and healthy community. With Takikawa’s daughter also selling at the market (Noey Turk of Yes Yes Nursery), the farm cannot think of a better life.

“We are a market farm. We love having a personal relationship with the people that buy our food,” said Takikawa. “Farmers markets are changing the face of food in California. It’s incredibly exciting.”

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