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!
It has been raining in near perfect intervals for MONTHS in Southern California, helping growers save on water costs while filling aquifers and reservoirs. Historically, our combined farms have seen water usage as high as 5 million gallons per year, but we're doing everything we can to reduce that by introducing water catchment bio-swails, new watering schedules, and a water treatment system to purify the water of the salts and chemicals which play a huge role in why growers have to water so much. We've invested lost of time and money into these new water wise applications in effort to maintain and sustain and more harmonious and biodynamic growing environment.
Another amazing gift from the rain: Stinging Nettle. This green blessing is known to have every vitamin & mineral necessary for human health & growth & it loves growing in our neighborhood! We found it growing abundantly along a path which led to a nearby palm tree nursery. We asked the grower there if he was planning to use the nettle to which he replied it would soon be sprayed and killed. Yikes! Lucky we discovered it when we did. Common backyard weeds are a part of the living earth system and they have plenty of nutrients for health and vitality. Why do you think they keep sprouting back after they're whacked? Let thy food by thy medicine, and thy backyard be thy farm-acy.
Since we are a farm whose production relies on trees, I thought I'd share this special holiday tree story.
One day in December 1995, my parents put up their fake Christmas tree. It was a beautiful tree, trimmed with heirlooms and tack, topped with an angel wearing tinsel for a comet’s tail. Fake trees provide a familiarity year after year – especially ours.
The front of our house faces a highway in Mechanicsville, and it’s traditional to place electric candles in the window to accent the home with the triangle tip of our twinkle-lit tree as the centerpiece in the bay window of the living room.
After Christmas, my parents got into some kind of stand-off about who will take down the tree. I’m not sure what the deal was, but I think it was something like, If my dad fixes (blank), then my step-mom will take down the tree. Or if my step-mom does (blank) then my dad will put away the tree.
Comically, this stand-off lasted for months. I was away at college so I couldn’t get after them. And the living room was the kind of room you didn’t go in unless we had company. So the tree was perfectly content in its own quarters, albeit lonely.
Summer came and the tree was still up. Window lights too. If I came home and my parents were out of town, my brother and I would plug-in the tree so everyone in Mechanicsville would see that we still had our tree up in July.
Come fall they decided Christmas would soon come around again so why not just leave it up. In December of 1996 we enjoyed the exact same Christmas tree as the previous year.
Come January the stand-off resumed. Then came February, March, and April. They sure loved that tree.
These days, to ensure I don’t inherit my parents’ ways, I use adopt-a-tree San Diego. Delivered by singing elves, adopt-a-tree San Diego provides a living tree for the holidays and then comes and picks up the tree after the festivities where it then gets planted on an animal sanctuary out in east county. My wife and I like that no trees are harmed and the planet is better off, and that neither she nor I have to engage in any kind of stand-off about who’s going to clean up the living room. Thank you adopt-a-tree. And thanks to my parents for the fun and memorable Christmases of yesteryear.
My parents' tree eventually came down in the summer in 1997. Who won the stand-off I have no idea. I just know it was the prettiest tree there ever was, and I kinda miss it.
Welcome to Mraz Family Farms, currently a 17-acre operation cultivating Organic California Avocados, California Grown Coffee, and World Peace. We are essentially a mom and pop shop growing exotic & specialty crops.
Owner-Operators Jason & Christina Mraz, with the help of an extended family, take pleasure in growing delicious, healthy fruit with the utmost respect for those devouring it - and the Earth providing it. We take care of our people, plants, and precious soil.
Purchased in 2004, our Mranch was formerly an old-growth avocado grove, with tall canopied trees planted in the early 1970's. By aggressively pruning the trees in a process called stumping, the trees are given a few generations of growth in their lifetime. Unfortunately, the old trees are just beginning their final generation. So, in our most recent stumping (2015) we began converting the ranch to make space for new trees, new fruit varieties, and a new family operation.
A very exciting addition to Mraz Family Farms is our joining the curious crew of California Coffee Growers, offering 11 specialty varietals of Arabica Coffee. By following this blog you'll be able to participate in the journey of growing, processing, roasting, and sipping our selections of single-origin, estate grown coffee. It's a patient game the farmer plays. So you too will have to be patient. Our beans won't be for sip or sale until at least 2020. If we're lucky!
But our amazing Hass Avocados will soon to be in stock from January-June 2017. From the tree to your taco, guacamole, chocomole, or toast - we guarantee our avocados are delicious.
Avos have a hang-time of 6 months. Which means we don't pick them until you order them. Then we ship them right away, allowing them to ripen naturally in your care. They are not gassed like they are in stores. It is a luxury to eat and taste food the natural way, and we are happy to get to share this with you.
In hard-working farm-life there should be no wasted effort or material. Through the ranch-conversion process, much wood was mulched and turned into nutritious compost, but many beautiful trunks and branches were set aside for us to make shelves and supplies for our main operations barn. The reuse value of this byproduct was so inspiring we started making other fun items such as serving boards, spice dishes, spatulas, keepsake jars, and earrings. Who knew permaculture could be so stylish?
Explore this site to learn more about the people, products, and plans of our family farm. It's a magical place with a big heart. And it's our home. All are welcome here.
Peace & Love,
Fruits of wisdom from our family tree.