Vendor: Irma Mora
Location: Denair, CA

Antonio Lemus helping out on a September morning.
Photo:Gary Mandelstam

Mora Farm, well-known to PAFM regulars for its stone fruit in the summer and grapes in the fall, was started 30 years ago by Mr. Mora and his son. At the time, Irma Mora was a school teacher and a farmer’s wife, but not a farmer herself. But then, fifteen years ago, Irma’s husband died and her son decided to go back into engineering and left for Alabama. Irma knew what she had to do: “when my husband died I knew I had to quit teaching and run the farm.” It was at this time that Mora Farms joined the PAFM.

Irma is still farming today and, with her nephew, grows grapes, nectarines, peaches, plums, and pluots on her 47 acre farm in Denair, California, which is 100 miles almost due East from Palo Alto.

What keeps Irma farming? “I continue farming because I like it,” she says, and she sticks to farming, letting others bring her fruit to the 35 markets to which Mora Farms sells. At PAFM, Felipe and Manny are the men you see at Mora’s stand, behind the luscious nectarines and piles of flame red grapes. They leave Denair every Saturday at 4:30am in order to make the 8am Market opening.

What brings people back to Mora’s stand again and again? “We choose the best fruit for the best markets,” says Irma. Anyone’s who’s sampled a flame red grape from their stand on a hot morning in August knows she’s telling the truth.