Reedley, CA

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Amber Balakian’s great-grandfather, an immigrant from Armenia, first planted a vineyard in Reedley more than 80 years ago. Her grandfather, John Balakian, was born and raised on the property. In 1999, they began planting heirloom tomatoes and other crops in an effort to expand their produce selection. The farm now also produces sauces with their excess tomatoes. About 10 years ago, the Balakians began switching to organic practices in response to health concerns and market demand. At Balakian Farms, employees are considered the most important asset in their business. The Balakians are committed to the farm not just as an occupation but also as a way of life.