Farm: Kendall Farms
In 1987 David Kendall purchased the first 50 acres of what is now Kendall Farms. As he worked the land and learned more about the flowers that grow in this special southern California climate, his love for farming blossomed once more. David had been raised in Texas farm country and had farming in his blood. He moved his family to Fallbrook, CA and with their dedication and passion they developed and grew the farm into the 500 acres it is today.
Sadly, David passed away in 2004. The second generation has not only kept his tradition alive but has made great strides in the progress of the farm. Jason Kendall, David Kendall’s son and Troy Conner, David's nephew, have built on the traditions that David had started. Along with a staff of family and friends, they have built a standard of growing California flowers that is second to none. With sustainability, environment and efficiency in mind, Jason and Troy have made huge strides in setting new standards for California flower farming. The farm is self-sustaining with its own well water and reservoir system, water recycling and treatment facilities and composting and shredding systems.
The location and terrain of Kendall Farms makes it very unique. Visitors from around the world all say the same thing, “I've never seen a farm like this.” We tell our customers all the time about the farm and how unique it is, but until they get here and see it for themselves they can’t imagine it. Our farm is perfect for growing our major crops: Waxflower, sunflower, Protea, pincushion, lucadendron, eucalyptus, myrtle, Limonium and Kangaroo Paws.
Kendall Farms strongly believes in developing a sustainable business not only in our farming practices but also in the way we do business and participate in the community. To that end we have partnered to create the Outreach Farm Project dedicating areas of the farm to food production which is donated to local feeding ministries to help those in need. (See more info at https://www.facebook.com/outreachfarm)
The challenges of being a farmer in southern California are tremendous. To stay in business and compete with imports from other countries helps us to keep our focus. Farmers have to innovate and be on the cutting edge of efficiency, trends and technology to stay in business.
Sustaining the family farm is the vision at Kendall Farms. “This is a family operation and although it is a good size operation we are still a small family farm at heart and we want to preserve this way of life for future generations. It is extremely important to us that we provide a future for our family and friends that work to make this farm successful.”
At Kendall Farms we are very aware of the toll farming takes on natural resources. So to balance what we do we have several programs that help us reduce our use of resources used to grow our flowers. Recently we installed a massive, 2 million gallon reservoir and water treatment system that we use to capture and recycle almost all of the water we use on the farm. We have installed the most efficient drip irrigation system available to make sure no water is wasted. We have our own wells throughout the farm and when combined with our water recycling programs we no longer have to use any imported water for our flower and greens production.
We have been producing our own compost for years which stems back to a time when we were growing certified organic flowers. We have retained this practice and divert green waste from here on the farm as well as from outside sources that would normally go into the landfill and combine it with other amendments to produce some incredible compost that is greatly reducing the amount of commercial fertilizers that we need to purchase.
Because we pump our own water from deep wells we use a lot of electricity throughout the year. To offset this demand we are currently developing plans to install a very large solar panel system to offset nearly all of the farm’s electricity consumption.
There are always new things happening in the flower industry in California and around the world and we have to stay in touch. We look to adopt new varieties that perform better for our customers and meet their needs. Also, we are seeing new technologies that we can adapt to our operations that make us more efficient and increase the quality of or products. As members of the California Cut Flower Commission, we see a lot of involvement and cooperation for promoting fresh flowers grown in California. It is exciting to see this surge of support for local farms and our products.
We love having customers come to the farm and have always said that the farm is the best sales tool. Once customers come here and see the farm and what we do, chances are very good that they will be a long-time customer. We take every chance to chat and connect with consumers. We are active in social media where we like to tell them about our farm; its unique terrain and the great people who bring these flowers to them. “We like to tell the story of the work and passion that went into growing each stem. I have often said it is like cooking a big holiday meal for those you care about; you want them enjoy it, be a part of the process and share it.”
Thanks to Troy Conner, President of Kendall Farms for sharing the story of the farm. Check out more about Kendall Farms at www.kendall-Farms.com and on their facebook page. Or better yet, take him up on his offer and go visit the farm for yourself. It is truly a unique and wonderful place to see.