Welcome to Our Garden!

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...where you can see the food growing in the ground, see us harvest it, and you know that it's fresh and truly local.  A farmer's market right at the farm!
 
 Wednesdays
and
 Saturdays,
9am til noon 
 

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Wanted: Seasonal Eaters!

We are growers of "our~ganic" (not officially certified organic - see below) fruits and vegetables in Catalina, AZ, slightly north of Tucson.  Our aim is to be a source of freshly harvested local produce for the Catalina area, including Oro Valley and NW Tucson. 

Puh-leeze ! (note the emphasis (-:  )
drive slowly.
  You may be sharing the long driveway with bicycles, pedestrians, chickens, cats and dogs, not to mention on-coming traffic. Serious thank yous to all you respectfully slow drivers.


Try to remember to BYOB (bring your own bag), but we have a few for those who forget.  I forget sometimes too! 

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sneak preview of things to come

We have a new email address!
Now you can reach Jesse and Rebecca directly at
ourgarden@live.com
Directions to Our Garden are on the "Location" page (see links above). 
 
 Hours:
Wednesdays and Saturdays
9am til noon

 
 
 
 
Harvest:
 
 
 
 
Zucchini and
Scallop Squash
Grapes
 
Eggplant,
Tomatoes,
 Sweet Onions,
 Garlic, 
kale,
lots of squash.... 
 
and whatever else I don't know about that he hasn't added to the list (: 
 

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July 12: Further conversations with Jesse- "Mom, I saw you bought tomatoes at the store.  You should come out to the garden more often.  We have tomatoes!"  I stand justly accused. There were even some tomatoes out for sale on Saturday.....  but we'll wait 'til overflowing abundance before we add them to the list.  Eggplant is also just beginning. 
 
June 28~So I say to him, "I assume you've been keeping up the web site?"  And he says "yeah, I just put grapes on the list, but all the pictures are of lettuce!"  And now I see the writing is about asparagus.  Well, my writing lately has been in the journal of a retired woman summering in New Mexico but I'll say briefly here that there are lots of grapes for a while, starting with our favorite, Beauty Seedless.  The vines are all bird protected this year with shade cloth, so we shouldn't lose them to birds as happened last year. 

 By the time I check in with the web site again (no internet in NM... Ahhhhhh~~) there might even be tomatoes, so now you know to pay attention to the Harvest List more than anything else you see here.

 

 

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As I've said in the past, we are similar to a CSA in that what is being harvested right here right now is what you get to choose from.  The difference is that you do have a choice within the current harvest. You don't receive a huge bag of turnips for this week's allotment (which I'm sure doesn't really happen all that often in CSA's!), and you don't pay ahead so if the current harvest does not appeal to your tastes you are not out any money.

But for many of us eating seasonally is an adventure we enjoy.  Often people who join CSA's or shop at Our Garden go on to start their own garden.  And often people who have had their own garden end up joining a CSA or come here to shop since gardening is so time-consuming, exhausting, frustrating, and expensive.  Oh, but did I mention rewarding, fulfilling, and spiritually enriching?

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sunflowers as seen from the peppers viewpoint

not always out but almost always available:
 
bay leaves, basil, rosemary, parsley, sage, 
and Flowers!

and anything else I forgot!

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Jesse on the tractor, getting ready for planting.

Slow down. Be green. Shop local. Smile.


Every time someone thanks us for doing this work, I am thanking them back for allowing us to do it.  People who are appreciating the value of having a variety of local, freshly grown organic produce... food right out of the ground.. actually still alive when you buy it!...  these people are contributing to the life of the community and the planet, as well as their own little bodies.  Thinking globally and acting locally isn't just for Earth First now, is it.

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Wayne with the old Troy Built, long before we had a tractor!

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You can click on this water color prickly pear to see some of Rebecca's art work.  If you are interested in purchasing any of her work, or contacting her for mural or other art-related work, just let us know.




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We have plants too!

We also have a few native and climate-adapted plants available, both ornamental and food producing, under the shade cloth in the garden.  This is an area we would like to expand once we get the food production under "control".  Jesse is the one to seek out for info on the nursery plants. 



HUSKING PISTACHIOS THE OLD FASHIONED WAY
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pistachio flowers
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"What are those trees?"  When we first started doing this we thought people would enjoy driving through the orchard.  I took this picture of the flowers in early April one year, so look for them in the spring.    To learn about the orchard's history and odds and ends about us, click on this picture. 

We had a pretty good harvest a few years ago, with much volunteer help.  Above is  a picture John de Coville had taken of many hands doing the husking.  The machinery to do it all ourselves was cost prohibitive unless we won the lottery, but then we found out about using a commercial potato peeler.  I've always said, farmers are a resourceful bunch.  This year (2010) Jesse purchased a used potato peeler and with a little advice from another resourceful pistachio farmer and the help of a few garden friends, he was able to harvest enough to sell.  The crops are generally heavy every other or every 3 years, with light ones in between.

If we are harvesting while you are here, please go over and check out the operation.  If you volunteer some time you can even leave with some fresh pistachios, not to mention an idea of the time involved in harvesting from just one tree.  Often this answers the question, "why don't you do anything with those nuts?" 



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We call it "Our-ganic"
Just a word or two (okay, I'm a wordy person) about the word "organic" here.  Finally we have a government definition for a term that's been tossed about loosely for years by gardeners.  Some gardeners probably still don't know the meaning of 'organic gardening', and some may dispute the definition adopted by our wise public servants.  My feeling on the subject is you are best informed by asking the grower how he gardens (which means buying it from the farmer).  This means you need to know what your own priorities are.  Our family has always considered organic to mean without the use of chemical pesticides (commonly known as 'spraying') and without the use of chemical fertilizers such as ammonium phosphate, sulphate, etc.  We feel that the main issue is the spraying of chemical pesticides, insecticides, which are very harmful to us and the environment.  However, chemical fertilizers are not exactly harmless and it is possible to do without them as well.  While we are not certified organic, we are honest about telling you that the food we sell is grown organically in the true sense of the word, thus "our-ganic".  However, there is a lot to be said for the nutrition in fresh truly local food however it's grown compared to that coming in by truck from who knows where.
I recently saw a sign on a contractor's truck that said "Unlicensed by Choice".  Right on ~~ me too.  A license or certification doesn't automatically mean a good job done, and a lack of one doesn't mean a lack of quality or honesty.
If you are really looking for organics, ask the grower not only if his crops are sprayed with pesticides, but also what he uses for fertilizers.  Don't count on our government to protect you.  Really it is up to each of us to take the responsibility to be as well-informed as we possibly can. 

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corny sunset


And, a tiny little word about pricing.  So many new callers ask about our prices, and I say it how it is- priced according to the local market (Whole Food and TJ's) for organics.  What we have over Whole Food and Trader Joe's (both of whom I really appreciate, don't get me wrong) is the freshness.  Where else can you get organic vegetables out of the garden the very same day unless you have your own garden?  And if you have had your own garden, you understand one of the major expenses.  It's the water bill, isn't it!  For us the water bill is electricity to run a big enough pump to irrigate, not to mention the occasional thousands of dollars on repairs.  Don't look for bargains here.  Look for quality.