Name: Randy Wade
Farm: Red Horizon Farm
Location: Mission Canyon, Santa Barbara, Calif.
What They Grow: A unique assortment of produce grown using compost tea, including their popular tomatoes, eggplant, avocado, melons, and juicy tangerines.
Where to Buy: Farmers markets, including Saturday in downtown Santa Barbara.
In Season Now: A seasonal anomaly, juicy outdoor grown tomatoes are on offer from Red Horizon. The farm utilizes compost tea, enhancing key nutrients, taste, and soil health.
Their Story: One of the founding members of the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market Association, Randy Wade has been a farmer for more than 40 years. Farming on his small three-acre farm in Mission Canyon, Wade is a passionate supporter of local farming.
“I became involved in farmers markets in the early ’80s,” said Wade. “It’s a very exciting process to farm. I have to live a natural life … . It’s the only way to be.”
Utilizing organic methods of fertilizing, the compost tea method has proved a disease-fighting hero, preventing blight in the farm’s crops. Acting like vitamins for the plants, the compost tea helps produce healthy, nutritious crops.
“We have been very encouraged by our outdoor growing methods,” said Wade. “This is our second successful year growing tomatoes in the winter. It’s exciting and a treat.”
Growing up in a farming family along the Sespe Creek in Ojai, Wade currently works alongside his son, Sespe Miller. Emphasizing the importance of buying locally, Wade hopes locals will continue to support the markets and its farmers.
“Buying from the farmers market is key to supporting the community,” said Wade. “Farming is tiring but worth it. And the market interaction is great.”