PARADISE VALLEY PRODUCE | BOLINAS – Sandy and Dennis Dierks have been farming organically at Paradise Valley Produce since 1972. Located on 15 acres in Bolinas, Paradise Valley Produce is closely connected to the surrounding environment. Pine Gulch Creek runs through the Dierks’ property, providing an important tributary for wild Coho salmon. Because the Dierks recognize the importance of supporting the local salmon population they have made concerted water conservation efforts and used sustainable soil management techniques to protect the salmon. Their efforts have yielded an increase in the annual numbers of returning salmon. Paradise Valley Produce was also the first California farm to become certified as “Salmon Safe.”
As a long-standing organic farm in Marin County, Paradise Valley Produce is a perfect location to provide sustainable agriculture and nutrition education to students. Educator-farmer Sandy Dierks leads students through lessons on her farm. She teaches the benefits of building healthy soil in order to grow nutritious plants to eat. Her husband, Dennis, makes compost with materials from within a 5-mile radius of the farm, growing all the beneficial microbes needed to keep the soil healthy. As a diversified vegetable farm, creating healthy soil is the most important way to ensure the success of Paradise Valley Produce.
Students have the opportunity to learn about the salmon lifecycle, soil nutrient cycle, plant lifecycles, California history, and sustainable agriculture practices that support a healthy environment.
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