Today was an excellent day spent planting onions and picking strawberries with ALBA Farms. Located deep within Salinas Valley, ALBA stands for the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association. Offering education and business opportunities, ALBA works to empower aspiring famers by leasing to them land, tools, and teaching them how to grow food sustainably.
As great as picking our own strawberries was, my favorite part of the trip was interacting with Nathan and Sophia, our hosts and guides. Nathan gave us a lot to think about and much to appreciate in our short time together. He showed us around, shared with us the history of ALBA, and even granted us unlimited access to the farm’s experimental strawberry pasture which they were testing a new method of organic pest management.
We also spent a great deal of our time working with Sophia on her own personal strawberry pasture. We helped her plant a few onion companion crops to compliment the strawberries. Spending time with her was great, she reminded me of my parents and their collective passion for agriculture and cultivation. I don’t know where I’ll end up after graduating from Stanford but I hope to cultivate land of my own at some point in my life.