In 1983, Tom Driscoll wondered if his paradigm for growing strawberries was sustainable, so he invited Bill Wolf to his ranch in Watsonville, CA. Bill, organic farmer and consultant, picked up a shovel and started digging—examining the soil profile and structure, looking for earthworms, and observing the behavior of plant roots. Just as Tom had thought, long-term viability of his strawberry operation meant rethinking his agricultural practices and relationship to the land. With Bill’s guidance, Driscoll’s launched an initiative to restore soil fertility, the cornerstone of plant health: apply six tons of compost to one acre of land, bring in earthworms, create windbreaks, intercrop to attract beneficial insects, spray with liquid seaweed, and apply predatory mites.
The results were impressive and formed not just the genesis for Driscoll’s organic program, but also a more sustainable way of farming across the entire strawberry growing operation.
WDA has had a more than three-decade relationship with Driscoll’s, which includes strategic planning, regulatory advice, and consultations in soil and pest management.