About Knoll Organics.
Until 1979, Rick and Kristie Knoll had been "alternative suburbanites" in Santa Ana, where their small back yard was a garden, replete with chickens, compost trenches and hay mulch. Eager to escape to a more rural life, they came across a weedy 10-acre alfalfa field for sale about 60 miles east of San Francisco and saw it as a chance to do some serious organic gardening. Today they have a teeming10 acre agro-ecosystem that thrives on the microbial power of "biodynamics".
Biodynamics is a complex process of propagating microbial compost which is applied to an acre of soil in a ratio of a handful of compost to 3 gallons of water. These treatments stimulate a soil ecosystem that enhances the ability of plants to absorb nutrients and to retard the spread of plant diseases. Rick stresses that healthy soil results in healthy plants, which naturally produce high quality fruits and vegetables. He recommends Secrets of the Soil by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird for those who want to learn about biodynamics.
Combining Chemistry and Music with Biodynamics
It's not surprising that Rick has a strong interest in biodynamic farming.He holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from UC Irvine. Much of what he studied in the early 1970's laid the foundation for his interest in growing food without chemicals. After working for 6 years as an aerospace-industry chemist, Rick began to turn full time to organic farming, first by studying agroecology at UC Santa Cruz for 3 years, then becoming a full-time farmer.
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Brentwood, CA 94513