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.
Did you know?
“Avocado” derives from a word meaning “testicle."
The word Avocado comes from a Nahuatl Indian (Aztec) word “ahuácatl” meaning testicle. It is thought that the reference is either due to the avocado’s shape or the fact that it was considered to possess aphrodisiac qualities by the Aztecs. Modern studies show the avocado is indeed good for men's health.
In Spanish, “ahuácatl” became “aguacate” and eventually “avogato” and then “avocado”. In English, the fruit was first described as an “Avagato pear” because of its pear-like shape. Later it also became known as an “alligator pear” given the alligator-like appearance to the skin. Over time, the term Avocado became the common word used to describe the fruit in English.
The word “guacamole” also derives from a Nahautl Indian word, namely “ahuacamolli”, which is compounded from “ahuácatl” and “molli”, the latter word meaning “sauce."
Guacamole literally means, "testicle sauce."
Hungry yet? Order some for Dad.
Warm sun, cool breeze and the song of the birds enliven the deepening into mama earths guidance. What you see of these trees is two years of growth on 40 year old stumps. In traditional avocado management the practice is to let the trees grow tall and after ten years they are cut all the way back to generate new healthy growth. Alternatively we're implementing a practice of keeping the avos trimmed every year to stimulate a longer lasting sustainable vitality and larger fruit production. Getting up and in every one of these trees is an art. Unique in every way, each tree is shaped with an intuitive guidance from the whole matrix of my environment. The bees and grasshoppers show me where to allow for growth, while interplanted coffee show me where to trim the trees as they ask for more light. It's quite a conversation to have, 'hey there tree, I honor your divine patterns of seemingly erratic growth, and see beauty and reflection in your ways, but may I bring some of my human organization to you?' It's normally followed by 'trust the love in my heart to know I want the best for your long and healthy life, I love you'... When I approach "hacking away at trees" all day long in this way, I notice a HUGE difference in how my vibrational field is accepted in the intimacy of the ecosystem. I'll go all day without falling out of a tree or having big branches hit me in the face. It teaches me how important it is to drop into the environments we enter to feel the field before we make our way through them 🌿
By Mellen - Resident Arborist, Wise Woman
By Hermann Hesse
For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfill themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farm boy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.
Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.
A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.
A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.
When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.
So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.
Its taken us longer than anticipated to get the store up and running, BUT - In the meantime, between music, meditation and lots of weeding, our groves became certified USDA organic by California Certified Organic Farmers. Congratulations and thank you to the whole team for the amazing care and kindness to the land. The frogs, lizards, birds and bees - all indicators of healthy land - will tell you we've been practicing organic since 2010. Achieving certification status was no small feat due to our rolling hills and lack of personnel. Big thanks to Scott Murray and Justin Jonte for overseeing the applications and documentation as well as the necessary adjustments and modifications to our groves. It takes a village!
Fruits of wisdom from our family tree.