Fifth Crow Farm | CUESA

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Fifth Crow Farm


John Vars, Mike Irving, and Teresa Kurtak, along with about 25 full- and part-time employees.


60 acres in Pescadero, California, about 50 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Farm History

Graduates of the UC Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) farm and garden program, John Vars, Mike Irving, and Teresa Kurtak founded Fifth Crow Farm on a shoestring budget in Pescadero in 2008. They pride themselves in values-driven farming based on economic viability, social justice, and ecologically sound practices. The young farmers offer a diverse array of certified organic leafy greens, root vegetables, dried beans, flowers, apples, and more. 


California Certified Organic Farmer (CCOF) since 2009.


Clay loam built with cover crops, aged manure, compost, organic fertilizers, and soil amendments.

Water Use

Drip and sprinkler irrigation, using water from a creek.

Weed Control

Hand cultivation, machine cultivation, mulching.

Pest Management

Crop rotation, resistant crops, release of beneficial insects, habitat for beneficials, organic pesticides.

Fun Fact

Fifth Crow was one of the original alumni of Kitchen Table Advisors, a nonprofit that helped them develop a business strategy to lay the foundations for growth.


P.O. Box 527
Pescadero, California 94060


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