W.D. Dickinson Farm is a veteran-owned small plot urban farm on the historic W.D. Dickinson homestead, located in National City. Stepheni Norton and her husband Mike own and operate the farm, growing certified organic heirloom varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and even coffee beans.

Last month, members of our Urban Food Equity team, Elle Mari and Nghi Dang, visited W.D. Dickinson Farm to offer our continued support through the pandemic as farmers continue to adapt to pressing challenges. We recently awarded the farm a new energy efficient CoolBot walk-in cooler made possible by our refrigeration equipment grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The grant aims to support stocking and sales of California grown specialty crops in underserved neighborhoods. This equipment builds critical infrastructure for urban farms by providing cold storage to increase harvest capacity. It also helps bridge a resource gap in aggregation by allowing increased opportunities to partner with other urban farmers in the region to collectively distribute more locally grown good food to San Diego County residents.

For Farmer Stepheni Norton, the walk-in cooler has dramatically improved her farm’s operational capacity. Cold storage has reduced harvest time from two full workdays down to a half day’s work for her farm crew. This means they now have increased capacity to plant and harvest more crops, and dedicate more time to other essential farm business tasks.

Did you know you can buy fresh produce direct from W.D. Dickinson Farm? CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscriptions are available now with a variety of convenient pick-up locations to choose from, including at the farm in National City. Good food is always a great gift idea and you can also donate a bag to a family in need. Check the farm’s mercantile for more info.


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