Chaffin Family Orchards is one of the most diversified permaculture based family farm’s in northern California. Located in Oroville, California, which is in Butte County, the property lies on the northeast side of the fertile Sacramento Valley. For 5 generations the Chaffin’s have farmed this land and have had a deep respect for the environment, preservation of open space, promoting wildlife, and producing food for the local community.
The farm is known nationally for it’s award winning amazing Extra Virgin Olive Oils. We have 200 acres of old growth Mission Olive Trees originally planted by UC Berkeley and their farm manager Del Chaffin a century ago. These are some of the oldest trees in North America still in production and this grove produces some of the mildest well balanced oils anywhere. The majority of the olive trees are Mission Olives an heirloom variety known for it’s rich but smooth flavor profile. The olive trees flourish in our mineral-rich volcanic soils.
In addition to olive oil our rich fertile soils and our micro-climate allow us to produce fresh picked orchard fruits 365 days a year. Everything is picked at the peak of ripeness and we never utilize cold-storage to lengthen shelf life. The farm produces multiple varieties of Apricots, Cherries, Peaches, Nectarines, Figs, Pomegranates, Avocadoes, Pears, Persimmons, Mandarins, Oranges, Grapefruits, Lemons, and Raw Olives with a total of over 40 different varieties produced.
Humanely raised Grassfed Meats are another important part of our ranch ecosystem. Grassfed Beef, Grassfed Lamb and Grassfed Goat or Chevon are produced utilizing the wild rangeland forages on our ranch. By grazing the animals in concert with nature, we are able to improve the health of the land and the health of our animals. We also grow poultry, both Pastured Broilers for meat and Pasture Raised Layers for eggs. All of our poultry are moved to fresh grass frequently and fed certified organic feed to supplement their diet. This frequent moving to fresh clean grass produces the best farm fresh local eggs and chicken you can imagine. Our ranch is Certified Predator Friendly and is Animal Welfare Approved.
In the Spring, Summer, and Fall we can move the livestock off of our rangeland and into our orchards to accomplish various land management goals. The cattle and sheep act as mowers and keep the orchard floor clear of overgrowth. The goats handle invasive weeds, prune the olive trees, clear overgrown riparian areas, and cut preventative firebreaks. The meat and layer chickens debug and fertilize. This system allows us to drastically cut inputs of all kind. We’ve been farming this way for about a decade and use approximately 85% less fuel than we used to in our farming efforts. And we produce more crops per acre while building fertility back into the land. It’s an incredibly powerful way to farm and with a little effort and learning could really be accomplished anywhere.
It requires a seasonal approach to food production and an understanding that in addition to being orchardists we are ultimately grass farmers. Quality can be found in all of our products as honesty and integrity guide us in our production practices. We harvest all of our products when it makes sense from a taste and quality standpoint not just to fill consumer demand. We make sacrifices of profit in order to produce the highest quality products we can.
All of the foods produced on our ranch are those we feel good about feeding our own family. Five generations of us have enjoyed these foods and enjoyed sharing them with our local population of eaters. Chaffin Family Orchards uses the most sustainable farming and ranching methods available to us. From our gravity fed water system to our solar powered fence systems and minimal and no-till orchard practices we strive to keep the land healthy for generations to come. These environmentally friendly farming practices allow the farm to be a pleasant place for farm animals, wildlife, and people.
Our farm family and staff enjoys getting to know and help our customers. Whether you visit the ranch personally, stop by the farmer’s markets, pick up at one of our delivery locations, shop at local natural food stores, or order from us online, we would love to have you be part of the farm experience and appreciate your support as we continue to accomplish our goals for honing sustainable farming skills and teaching other farmers how to do the same.