San Juan Bautista, CA
Coke Farm is a family-run operation started by Dale and his sister Madelene. Christine Coke joined the farm after she married Dale. Dale began the farm in 1981, with 1/4 acre of strawberries. Initially, he did all the work himself, delivering locally to restaurants and local markets, and growing more vegetables as the market expanded. In fact, Dale's foray into organic gardening was at a fortuitous time, coinciding with the explosion of California cuisine and its demand for esoteric, high-quality and organic vegetables.
Over the years, Coke Farm has grown to its current size of 400 acres on various ranches spread around the San Juan Bautista area. Each site has its own microclimate, soil conditions, and water type, creating different challenges in each area. As it has grown, the farm has changed its focus, moving more to mainstream varieties, but the farm still keeps a few more 'interesting' crops, like pomegranate, cassis, and red currants. Coke Farm's main crops now are strawberries, lettuces (10 varieties), broccoli, celery, and cauliflower, plus what's in season now: beets, celeriac, parsnips, leeks, spring mix, and braising mix.
Coke Farm is proud to be continuing its tradition by growing three main varieties of strawberries. Christine's favorite is Chandler, a dark, round, medium-sized berry with an intense fragrance and a very sweet flavor. Coke Farm also grows Seascape and Aroma strawberries and trials other varieties.