Santa Cruz, Calif. : University of California, Santa Cruz, University Library
Date of Publication
106 pages. Andy Griffin runs Mariquita ("Ladybug") Farm on twenty-five acres in Watsonville and Hollister. In collaboration with Steven Pedersen and Jeanne Byrne’s High Ground Organics in Watsonville, Griffin and his wife, Julia Wiley, sell much of their produce through a community supported agriculture venture called Two Small Farms.
Possessed of a quick mind and a powerful command of language, a wry and robust sense of humor, and strong opinions gleaned through extensive experience in the farming and marketing of organic produce, Griffin is also a prolific writer, blogger, and radio commentator. With farming roots reaching into California’s 1970s organic-farming renaissance, he has plenty of stories to tell.
The great-grandson of California farmers and son of a plant ecologist, Griffin took agriculture classes through the Future Farmers of America program at Carmel High School, then went on to UC Davis to study range management. Disillusioned by the pesticide-heavy focus of that program, he eventually completed a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.
Griffin’s practical education took place in a series of jobs on farms--including Cargill-owned sunflower fields in Davis, an organic garden that supplied produce to Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse, the Straus family dairy and Warren Weber’s Star Route Farms in Marin County, and a ranch in Santa Barbara County. After stints as a produce distributor, he eventually established Riverside Farm with partner Greg Beccio. The proceeds from that successful salad-greens business funded the creation of Happy Boy Farms, now run by Beccio--and eventually helped Griffin establish Mariquita Farm.
Sarah Rabkin interviewed Andy Griffin at her Soquel home on November 6th and December 16th, 2008. In addition to rollicking anecdotes, Griffin’s extensive transcript provides trenchant insights into the evolving economics of organic production, distribution, and marketing on both small and large scales.
All uses of these manuscripts are covered by copyright agreement between the interviewees and the Regents of the University of California. Under “fair use” standards, excerpts of up to six hundred words (per interview) may be used without the Regional History Project’s permission as long as the materials are properly cited. The citation should include the title of the oral history, the name of the narrator, the date of publication, the pages of the oral history from which the excerpts come, and the fact that the oral history was produced by the Regional History Project at the University Library, UC Santa Cruz. Any excerpting beyond six hundred words requires the written permission of the University Librarian, appropriate citation, and may require a fee, especially if this is a commercial publication or production. Under certain circumstances, not-for-profit users may be granted a waiver of the fee. In all instances, the Regional History Project requests a copy of the publication for the UCSC Library’s collection. Please contact email@example.com for copyright questions.