Save This 100 Year Old Farm restore Vista’s local gem

Below is a story that begins and continues with hope. But this hope hinges on the support of our local community

Together, we can have a happy beginning again.

A legacy

The farmhouse on Mar Vista Dr.

Couple Berry Farms is a family-owned farm in Vista, California. The Johnson family has owned the land since the 1920’s, and they have always used it for groves and farming.

Over the last ten years, Couple Berry Farms has expanded and built a locally sourced, sustainable farm.


Farmer Santa 2017

The community has grown and flourished due to the Johnson family legacy.


It has become a great asset to the community as a place for families to gather, taste the good ol' days, pet a pig, and meet the hands that produce their food.

With the cost of living rising and their future in mind, the Johnson’s and Taylor’s are relocating to Colorado.

They are passing the torch to new hands with this really important message…

“We do not want this legacy to be divided into parcels and be developed on.”

A farmer’s greatest fear is that their family’s legacy will not continue, on the land they have tended and grown for many generations or for developers to snatch it up for profit.

Rich and April Viles, founders of Sand n Straw Community Farm, have entered into a sales contract with Butch Johnson for the opportunity to purchase Couple Berry Farms.

However, they need the community’s help to match the price offered by developers.

New farmers don’t have the funds to match the developer's cash offers, make the improvements needed, and keep their head above water.

A family farm is a labor of love for the community and will fall short of the income necessary if they don’t get help.

Woodwork by Sand n Straw

The Viles have until the close of escrow to make up the difference. Once escrow has closed, they plan to restore the farm to its hay day.

Their plans include

• Opening it up again for the community to enjoy and benefit. • Using regenerative agriculture practices to restore the farm fields. • Installing fields of u-pick berries, in addition to other crops. • Planting numerous fruit and nut trees. • Farm classes and workshops for the young and old, utilizing Wild Willow Farm’s successful class model. • Preserving the 1920’s farmhouse and installing a commercial kitchen for creations from the farm. • Farm to Table dinners to share with the community.

Since 2014 the Viles have actively been working towards this vision as they have been searching for the right property.

Rich Viles has gone to Farm School at Wild Willow Farm and Archie’s Acres thru Cal Poly Pomona, and he transformed their one-acre parcel from a blank canvas to a gardener’s dream.

They desire to share with the community what their current land can’t produce, due to its size.


To grow healthy, fresh, delicious food using regenerative agriculture practices as it helps to build healthy living soil that stores and utilizes less water.

To provide a positive environment bringing people together to engage in the community.

To come alongside others, teaching and equiping them to grow healthy and nutritious food for their friends and family.

To give back and serve the community.

To keep Couple Berry Farms intact and not allow it to become another statistic lost to development.

Did you know that America is losing farms at a rate of one million acres of farmland a year?

We, the community, have a chance to step up, save this family farm from being another statistic, and help bring back the good ol’ community farm!

Together we can keep a San Diego treasure intact.

We ask, if your life has been touched by the Johnson, Taylor, or Viles family to stand with us & please support and share.


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