Elston Family Farm | CUESA

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Elston Family Farm





Father-daughter team Dennis, Sam, and Mary Elston, along with 1 seasonal helper.


100 acres and 2 greenhouses (100’ by 30’ and 120’ by 30’) in San Miguel, approximately 235 miles to San Francisco.


Dennis and his wife, Gaylo, built their first greenhouse in 1997. Growing in greenhouses works well with Dennis’s off-the-farm job in construction, because the majority of their season takes place during the winter months.

The Elstons’ greenhouses are heated with propane when it is cold, and cooled with electric fans and cooling pads when it is warm. Soil fertility is maintained using crop rotation, cover crops, and commercial fertilizers. Beneficial insects help manage pests. The Elstons never use pesticides on their farm, and the soil is changed out every other year. Tomatoes and cucumbers are grown in plastic bags filled with soil.

Fun Fact

Neither Mary nor Dennis eats tomatoes!


San Miguel, California


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »