Agriculture is the 5th largest industry in San Diego County. San Diego is the #1 producer of nursery crops in California. The #1 producer of Avocados. #2 in farms with Women as principal operator. We are the 19th largest farm economy out of more than 3,000 counties. And we have more small farms (less than 10 acres) than any other county in the US.
5,732 farms within San Diego County are working to turn a profit. Full-time, part-time, large, small, conventional, organic, urban, rural, established or just starting out. San Diego boasts top crops in nursery, flowers, avocados, tomatoes, citrus, chickens & eggs, shrooms, succulents, strawberries, coffee & cannabis. Most of San Diego County farms are small 1-9 acre proprieties, and that awards San Diego County more certified organic growers than any other county in the nation. SD has more than 400 certified organic farms!
As growers, we are the first in a potentially long chain of hands that produce & handle the foods we love. But while being the first-in-line has advantages at the ground level, growers don’t get always get to reap the rewards at the retail level. Small farms especially need a direct-to-customer base to earn a fairer price on their produce. Buying direct from a small organic farm not only keeps them in business, it always tastes better too. San Diego County is home to 44 certified Farmers Markets throughout the county where food enthusiasts get to meet farmers & buy direct.
Besides growing, farmers have to comply with many ever-changing laws & fees relating to labor, water use, soil health, conservation, regeneration, and organic documentation. All of which can be a lot to manage when you have a farm to run. Big thanks to Farmer Justin & our talented, caring staff for making us one of the most pristine & compliant operations out there. And we thank You for supporting our small farm.
When District 2 City Councilman Chris Rodriguez was running for office, he personally emailed me this message:
I will be humbly running for District 2 City Council. Politics is not my forte but I’m all about fighting for Our City and area w so much potential impact if the wrong individual gets elected.
We did not vote for Chris Rodriguez. And last night he proved to everyone why he was always the wrong individual by opening the motion to Vote Yes on re-zoning agricultural land for new housing developments. This motion is NOT fighting for our city or our area. It’s the opposite. His vote dramatically changes the environment while lining his pockets with greedy money.
Chris, the newest member of City Council, has openly pushed for Council Member pay-raises & has documented receipts receiving money from Integral, the developer in the case. Direct influence should have recused him from the vote. This is yet another example of money directly influencing policy; another case of an Elected Official voting for his own personal interests at a huge cost to his constituents & in opposition to their wishes. When a governing body is bought & paid for by money giants, poor communities don’t stand a chance. Being an elected official is a public service. Chris does not serve his public. It’s also worth mentioning that he is a real estate CEO. I can’t speak for Jack Feller or Mayor Weiss who also voted in-favor of the project, but I can say this is a sad day for Oceanside residents to learn that our City Council is still corrupted.
When the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten, and the last stream poisoned, you will realize that you cannot eat money.
To the residents, neighbors & concerned citizens who voiced their opposition, thank you for taking the time to address the city. The opposition definitely outnumbered those in-favor, but it wasn’t enough to influence the vote. North River Farms was entitled at 11:15pm last night after a lengthy hearing which included Councilman Chris Rodriguez yelling at his constituents, ending in a 3-2 vote in favor of the new development, a project that was unanimously denied by the City Planning Commission in June.
This is a sad day for Oceanside.
If I could look for the good in all of this, it’s that corruption has shown its face & reminded us that voter engagement does matter.
To all it may concern in Oceanside, CA:
I didn’t grow up here. But I’ve resided here for 15 years, long enough to see city improvements & imperfections. I’ve lived here long enough to fall in love with its agriculture, its ideal climate & growing conditions, & believe in its value enough to start my own business here.
Green Oceanside’s Green Waste Recycling & Composting Program is awesome. Oceanside now even has a food waste kitchen, giving food one more chance to thrive before it’s composted. And Oceanside is undergoing a major effort to pipe reclaimed/recycled water out to its farmers by 2024. These are generous efforts for a much-needed food-secure, water-secure, job-secure, renewable future! Thank you, Oceanside.
The politics of progress. For years, developers have pushed the city to build unwanted, unsustainable shopping plazas & housing developments. Take the Mission San Luis Rey Historic District for example. If you’ve ever been welcomed by the sign at the corner of Mission Avenue & El Camino, you won’t be welcomed by the historic Mission itself, but instead by a messy four-way intersection of strip malls blocking any possible view of the 200-year-old site. Oceanside seems to have sold its fertile & beautiful land, along with its history, long ago.
We work closely with the City & our neighbors to encourage City Council, City Staff, & the Planning Commission to slow down and carefully think about the paradise Oceanside is continually paving over. We hope the City & its citizens can continue to work together as a community to preserve our precious remaining agricultural region.
Food production is a privilege & should be seen as a great long-term asset to Oceanside. Retiring Farmers may want to sell their lands to developers for a higher return, but young farmers know that new farming innovation promotes jobs, soil regeneration & climate mitigation, natural diversity & wildlife, plus amazing tourism potential.
On Nov 6, City Council will be voting on a new North River Farms development, which is NOT A FARM, but another premature housing development threatening Oceanside’s agricultural land. The project conflicts with laws & logic & will have negative effects on traffic & environment.
Will the City have an awakening before it’s too late? Will tomorrow’s Oceansiders have a life in, on, or near a farm, or will tomorrow’s Oceansiders be forced to do their growing & shopping in other cities? That decision is up to the city.
Please write & call City Council urging them to vote NO on the North River Farms Project because “more time is needed to update the general city plan.” (Mayor’s Office: 760-435-3066; or send your concerns to: Council@oceansideca.org)
Or vote louder & attend the November 6, 2019 council meeting!
Mraz Family Farms
Our ranch in San Diego, California is home to a family of nearly 1,000 avocado trees, lovingly stewarded by our family farm team. Sunshine, rainbows, fresh ocean breezes and birdsong bless the land as each tree gets individually cared for, fed, and pruned.
Beyond organic, our trees are not treated with any chemical fertilizers or pesticides, and are instead hand-tended with natural compost and food, beneficial insects, and nurtured within a natural rhythmic cycle of life. Our avocado trees bloom in the spring, bursting with flowers that are pollinated by happy resident honeybees, native bees, butterflies, and ocean breezes, producing luscious fruit that ripens the following spring.
Picked at the perfect time for immediate delivery, you will be amrazed at the vibrance, flavor, color, and size of these avocados! Satisfaction guaranteed.
On behalf of our hard working trees, thank you for supporting small family farms and sustainable agriculture by buying your avocados directly from California trees.
Thank you for choosing our farm for your table.
We're back online and ready to serve. The truth is we never went anywhere. We're trees after all. And some of us have been in the ground since the late 1960's.
Since I purchased the orchard in 2004, it's been a slow process learning the seasonal needs and nurturing of the avocado trees. This has taught me a lot about Earth pace. Everything has it's time under the sun. Some trees have many months of visible life springing to action, making leaves, flowers or fruit. Others only get a couple of weeks to shine. But each season, whether sleeping or in service, is important to the overall process. I apply this Earth Pace to my busy-ness as well. We humans measure progress by how much we do in a day, but at what cost? The Earth isn't going anywhere. Or is there irony in that thought? The Earth is very much changing due to humans' over-doing it. But I digress, this is a post about the slow pace of sharing avocados for now.
Avocados are not native to California, but they do well here in partnership with human stewards. And that's what we are. We love our old trees and want to keep them vibrant and healthy. So to best serve the environment at large, we aim to keep shipping to a minimum as most of the fruit is sold locally here in San Diego at Cream of the Crop Grocery Store in South Oceanside, and at various locations of Living Tea Kombucha.
But follow us on the socials and we'll do our best to let you know when we let some of the fruits fly to far away places. Our gift boxes are as good as sending flowers to someone you love. We only ship the best looking, best tasting fruit. I know you'll love them and care about them as much as I do.
More to come,
Our logo symbolizes who we are with respect to how and what we grow.
We are a fruit farm hence we are trees. The tree in our logo is our home. All modern comforts, such as food, medicine, and building materials originate from plant life. Without the generous spirit of plants, there would be no modern comforts or commerce. We revere our trees and ask for their help on how best to grow them.
The seven leaves on the tree represents the spirits of the seven directions that converge in all things. East, South, West, North, Earth, Heavens, and Within. We know we can't manage a farm alone, and so we are guided by the spirits of each direction.
The fruit symbols on our tree are coffee & avocado, which we grow with a lot of heart.
The curved lines extending to and from the base of the tree are our roots connecting to the 4 great elements of which we are made: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. This serves as a constant reminder that we ARE nature.
Although we've been tinkering in the grove since 2004, the year 2015 is the year we got married and decided to make farming our family business.
The semi-circle shape of our logo symbolizes sunrise, sunset, and the arc the sun travels in the sky above. Just as our farm is solar powered, we too can only work half the day. Let progress not just be measured on how much we accomplish in a day but also on how well we sleep at night.
Even though we are known primarily as avocado growers, we have been working hard the past few years to create a diverse landscape and bounty for our horn-of-plenty. And the Fall season is a treat. In the grove we welcome all things orange, like popcorn, pumpkin, squash, persimmon, prickly pear, and the creature-like flowers of dragonfruit. Many of the citrus trees begin their orange & yellowing as winter grows near. Even though Fall reminds us of death, hibernation, going to seed, and year's end, Fall also plays midwife to rebirth and regeneration. Nature knows best and invites us too to slow down, bundle up, and brace for winter. Our winter in San Diego is very mild, but daylight hours decrease and temperatures do dip below freezing at night, which puts more stress on the farmer than it does the plant. Leaf tips, fruits and flowers will freeze, reminding us to never be attached to anything. So the farmer knows best to just go inside and rest. All things must pass. No sun, season or song ever lasts. Like Fall, we all fade away into a new day.
Currently in abundance are the delicious Reed avocados; a late-summer / Fall variety known for it's chubby size and delicious buttery yellow insides. This avo isn't popular in stores due to it's short season - too short for packing houses to accommodate, with not enough time to sell them to an uneducated market. Farmers markets and a small selection of natural grocers will attempt to carry these, but most will be eaten by family, friends, and forest creatures who find them in the fallen leaves below.
We know where our avocados come from? But where do they go?
1. To you. We hand pick them when you order them. They go into the harvest bag, then onto a sorting table and scale, and then into a USPS priority box with recycled material and a recipe card. This entire process is usually handled by only one person, making you the second person to ever touch your avocado.
2. To local stores like Living Tea Kombucha in Oceanside, CA. This usually involves two pickers to pick and pack the fruit. Then, we deliver the box (or two) of green avocados for locals to pick up while refilling their growlers with the tastiest booch in town.
3. At the end of the season, whatever fruit is still hanging must go! Fruit is hand picked from the tree and placed into a large bin carrying up to 800 pounds of avocados. This might require 2-5 pickers depending on how many thousands of pounds of avocados remain. A few years ago we followed our bins up the freeway to Riverside CA to the packinghouse of Index Fresh. There our avocados are sorted and boxed, and tagged for special pick-up by Chipotle, the largest purchaser of avocados in the country.
Though our little farm business was only founded in 2015, I have lived on this beautiful land since 2004. Inspired by my neighboring farmers, I saw how fortunate I was to be able to steward the Earth and care for the avocado trees that have been in this region since the late 1960's. In 2017 we received our USDA & CA Organic Certification and began practicing Regenerative Agriculture - a farming practice of building healthy soil. Healthy soil creates sustainable farming, clean water, and restored habitats; but most importantly it grows healthy food while sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, contributing the reversal of climate change.
In the years to come we look forward to sharing more fruits of our labor, such as coffee, herbs, flowers, and bananas, all of which are currently growing in our dense, layered system. Growing healthy soil for new plantings is easy. Just lay down a cover crop and let nature do the rest. Soil is meant to have a green hair-do; it is meant to have a solar powered plant partner taking in sunlight and carbon to provide sugars (carbohydrates) for the micro-organisms underground to build with. We don't currently have working-animals to donate their poops but we do fertilize with all natural compost, which becomes fuel for the hard working, life-building micro-organisms. In our forested areas, we leave tree prunings where they fall and allow them to compost themselves. This is the way nature intended. Leaves fall and go back to the earth.
The above picture shows a neighboring test plot undergoing regeneration in just one-month! The small backyard had no ground cover and water would just run off. Now it is thriving with plant life, capturing water, and building nutrients to one day become a backyard garden for the owners' kitchen.
Summer has arrived and so has the delicious Reed Variety avocado. Ask around. This is the farmer's favorite! These big, rare, beautiful summer varieties will surprise you with their giant buttery yellow interior. Just like a typical avocado, only bigger and better! Perfect for spreading on sandwiches or using in recipes in place of butter. Organically grown to perfection. 5lb box typically ships 4 large Reeds. We pick em when you order em, so they ripen in your home. (Eat when they start to get soft on all sides. Don't wait too late! Skin may not darken.)
We are now accepting orders for a limited run of gift boxes. Boxes ship each Tuesday via USPS Priority Mail for arrival within 2-4 days. 32.00 Price includes shipping and sales tax. (Offer exclusive to continental US* only; *Not available in Florida. Sorry y'all. Eat local. Everyone else can rock out with their Guac out.
Fruits of wisdom from our family tree.