A loan of $4,700 helped complete the purchase of a biodiesel processor to make biodiesel from crops we grow.

Greg And Raquel's story

We are Raquel Krach and Greg Massa, owners of Massa Organics, a family farm and small business in the Sacramento Valley of Northern California.

Greg’s Great-Grandfather was one of the first to grow rice in California, a surprisingly appropriate crop for the wetland-like nature of the Valley soils. Greg’s parents grew conventional rice, and while Greg spent his childhood in the fields, he had no interest in farming as a career. I grew up in the LA suburbs, where my only exposure to agriculture was my social studies textbook and visits to the livestock at the LA county fair.

Greg and I met at the University of California Santa Barbara. We were both “Biological Science” majors, and had both been on exchange programs in England. With a mutual fondness for nature and travel, we became fast friends and our courtship included large chunks of time outside identifying insects and native plants.

We wanted to do what we could to preserve our beloved nature and to mitigate the impact that human enterprise has on the environment. We learned about the detrimental effects of agriculture, but also that it could, if seen through an ecological lens, be a low-impact industry and even augment the health of the environment and natural spaces.

We decided to take advantage of the unique opportunity to farm with Greg’s family and in 1997 we settled in to growing rice. Over the past 16 years we converted the conventional rice to organic rice, added additional crops including an almond orchard, cover crops, hay, and oilseed. We raise hogs and sheep that provide ecosystem services as well as income from their meat. We pulled out of the commodity marketplace, successfully landing in farmers markets for much of our sales. We live in our straw-bale house that we built, and we’ve adopted a passel (5 actually) of kids.

We are passionate and daring, and always excited about the next project on the horizon.

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About Massa Organics

Industry: Agriculture
Years in operation: More than 5 years
Website: massaorganics.com


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