I wanted to share some facts that I find intriguing about our little farm. Mostly to do with the way a small-scale, diversified family farm who only uses all-natural techniques operates. When I was little, I pictured farms with straight, never-ending rows, no weeds in site and multiple tractors and many people working the land. Our farm (or more accurately 'market garden') is a little different.
1. We plant and weed all by hand. We usually don't weed our walkways because of this, so our fields don't look like the classic, industrialized Ag field. It looks more like a garden that was taken back by nature.
2. We harvest, wash, pack, and deliver all by hand. Our process breaks down like this: harvest in the early morning before the heat of the day sets in. Then, we carry produce from the field to the wash station and allow to soak in our cold well water. Rinse, bunch, and remove excess water immediately placing the produce in the walk-in cooler in rubber bins. In the afternoon, we pack the brown paper bags for delivery and place in the coolers we use for transport. Dan starts his day at 3am on delivery day in order to get the produce to your door before 7am.
3. Our water comes from a well on our property which pumps 8 gallons per minute. The well feeds water to our water tanks on the hill, then uses gravity to turn on the irrigation. This way, we have the volume of water to create pressure for the irrigation to turn on, we don't have to turn on our well every time we water our crops, and it provides a reserve in case our electricity is out and we can't pump water.
4. We only sell our produce in San Diego County and limit it further to locales along the 8, as far south as the 94 and as north as the 52. This allows us to limit our petroleum use. We believe produce tastes best and is more nutritious when it is grown and consumed locally.
5. We have no desire to grow our farm beyond what is sustainable for our land. Because of our small scale, we don't have any employees. All work is done by family members: Dan & Leona (the owners), and Alanna & Russell (Leona's sister and her beau), and of course the babies, Lincoln and Lucille.