Apricot Lane Farms

Apricot Lane Farms

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The amazing story of John and Molly Chester's journey from dilapidated abandoned farm to thriving ecosystem.

“This all started with a promise that we would leave the big city and build a life in perfect harmony with nature.


John Chester


The Biggest Little Farm

Apricot Lane Farms is home to the award-winning, critically acclaimed feature documentary The Biggest Little Farm, which was shortlisted for an Academy Award in 2020. Directed by filmmaker and farmer John Chester, the film is a testament to the complexity of nature and an epic odyssey to attempt to farm within a reawakening ecosystem.

Apricot Lane Farms is located in Southern California and is renowned for its sustainable farming practices and delicious, healthy produce. Founded by John and Molly Chester in 2011, the farm's journey from a barren wasteland to a thriving ecosystem is nothing short of remarkable.


John and Molly Chester's journey began when they left their jobs in Los Angeles to pursue their dream of owning a farm. They purchased 200 acres of land in Moorpark, California, that was nothing more than a barren wasteland, devoid of any vegetation or wildlife. They faced numerous challenges in their early days on the farm, including soil erosion, lack of biodiversity, and pests.


To tackle these issues, John and Molly turned to regenerative farming practices, which prioritize the health of the soil and ecosystem. Regenerative farming practices focus on restoring soil health, reducing water usage, and increasing biodiversity by using techniques like cover cropping, crop rotation, and natural pest control methods.

One of the key components of regenerative farming practices is soil health. Healthy soil is critical for producing nutrient-dense crops and supporting a thriving ecosystem. When John and Molly arrived at the farm, the soil was severely degraded due to years of conventional farming practices. They implemented techniques like cover cropping, where they planted a variety of cover crops like oats, rye, and vetch, which helped to restore the soil's health and prevent erosion.


Another crucial aspect of regenerative farming is biodiversity. Biodiversity is essential for creating a healthy ecosystem, as it promotes natural pest control and soil fertility. 

To increase biodiversity, John and Molly planted a variety of crops, including vegetables, fruits, and grains, and added animals like chickens, pigs, and cows to the farm. This helped to create a natural balance where pests and diseases were kept in check without the need for harmful chemicals.


However, the journey to a thriving farm was not easy for John and Molly. They faced numerous challenges along the way, including a devastating drought that left them without water for their crops and animals. Despite these challenges, they remained committed to their vision of creating a sustainable, regenerative farm that produced healthy food for their community.

Today, Apricot Lane Farms is a thriving ecosystem that produces a diverse range of crops and animal products. The farm is home to over 75 different types of fruits and vegetables, including heirloom tomatoes, berries, and citrus fruits. They also produce a range of animal products like eggs, chicken, and pork, all of which are raised using regenerative farming practices.


The success of Apricot Lane Farms shows that regenerative farming practices can help create a functioning ecosystem that produces healthy food while protecting the environment. By prioritizing soil health, biodiversity, and natural pest control methods, John and Molly were able to transform a barren wasteland into a thriving ecosystem that produces some of the best food in Southern California. Their story is an inspiration to anyone who wants to pursue sustainable farming practices and make a positive impact on the environment.

The success of Apricot Lane Farms shows that regenerative farming practices can help create a functioning ecosystem that produces healthy food while protecting the environment. By prioritizing soil health, biodiversity, and natural pest control methods, John and Molly were able to transform a barren wasteland into a thriving ecosystem that produces some of the best food in Southern California. Their story is an inspiration to anyone who wants to pursue sustainable farming practices and make a positive impact on the environment.


Visit Apricot Lane Farms' Website


ECOLOGY & REGNERATIVE FARMING



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