History of the Land
The land, which was originally inhabited seasonally by the Ohlone Native Americans, was cleared and settled by the Steele Family in the early 1900's. I.C. Steele built the farm house (that now houses us) in 1906 (yes, during the big earth quake) and started an extensive apple orchard. Over the decades, the Steele family also raised flax for the war, dry beans, beef cattle and hay, among other crops. The farm house, a small barn, and two sheds are the original buildings that stand today. It is with respect and gratitude that we pay homage to all of the hard work and commitment of our predecessors.
The Farm Today
We are blessed to own a 63-acre parcel of the original Steele Ranch. This parcel is nestled against the Santa Cruz mountains, borders Green Oaks Creek, and is replete with riparian areas, rolling meadows, coastal live oaks, redwoods, hiking trails and ocean views. We are a half hour drive south of Half Moon Bay, CA and overlook Ano Nuevo State Reserve.
We cultivate three acres of organic vegetables, strawberries, herbs, flowers and eggs. Our farm is certified organic by Global Culture. We also rotationally graze goats and chickens.
Income on the farm is generated from the sale of produce to the Palo Alto farmer’s market, Alameda Farmer's Market, a few local restaurants,and groups that stay at our retreat center.
Goal for the Farm
The multifaceted goal of the farm is to create beauty in sustainable, low-impact, ecologically friendly, simple living; to teach awareness and responsibility through example; and to create and interact with an ever expanding community of people through food production and education The farm is doing this by generating most of the electricity with an array of solar panels. We also raise chickens on pasture which enables us to produce more of our own soil fertility, thereby using less fossil fuels (by eliminating the trucking in and spreading of compost).
Paul Pfluke and Stephanie Jennings are the owners and resident farmers at Green Oaks. Before starting their farm, they worked on farms in the Santa Cruz area and in Costa Rica. They also taught environmental education for several years. One day they decided to combine their love of farming and environmental teaching and to start an organic, educational farm. To achieve this goal, they earned Masters of Science degrees in Plant and Soil Science. They have since completed course work in Holistic Resource Management and Permaculture Design. In 1999 they started Green Oaks Creek Farm & Retreat. Now they divide their time between the farm and raising their two daughters, Sienna and Anna.
We offer school group visits, tours, and farm stays at Green
Oaks. Please see Retreat Center for
details. We also offer an 8 month educational apprenticeship
program every year. See Apprenticeships for details.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org