...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!
We are about to take
our winter's nap...Saturday January 2nd will be the final day of the season. We hope you can make it in, but if
not please check back in April for the reopening date.
Thank you for a
Time for an almost end of the season update. We've gobbled up all the broccoli, but still have
cabbage and kale. The cauliflower has not yet headed up. It was planted pretty much on time but due to abnormal
weather will not make it in time for sale.
Everything that we harvest now tastes better thanks to the winter chill, even arugula. And now we've
started harvesting oranges. They're small this year but as tasty as ever.
The corny picture below is a hint that the next new crops will be in the
spring, but we'll address that with the next update!
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.
(note the emphasis (-: )
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!
Reopening in Spring
Wednesdays and Saturdays
9am til noon
|sneak preview of things to come, eventually
and any other surprises that turn up from time to time (:
|Fava beans and vetch make a great pair as cover crops.
At last success with cover crops in the orchard! After seeing the success
of the rye grass planted for the wedding we hosted in Oct. 2013 Wayne decided to try it as a cover crop for the entire
orchard, and voila! My picture of it isn't too good, but it grew in places where we were seeing even weeds having
problems. Rye grass is supposed to be a restorative kind of crop, so we are quite optimistic. And now it is setting
lots of seed, so the next year's crop will be planted with perfect timing. By the time we open it will have been
mowed, but you will see the new grass come next fall.
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?
|sunflowers as seen from the peppers viewpoint
not always out but almost always available:
bay leaves, basil, rosemary, parsley, sage,
and anything else I forgot!
|Jesse on the tractor, getting ready for planting.
Slow down. Be green. Shop local. Smile.
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.
|Wayne with the old Troy Built, long before we had a tractor!
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.
|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
|HUSKING PISTACHIOS THE OLD FASHIONED WAY
"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?"
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.
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.