Earlier this month, Catherine, our CEO, our Seattle Produce Managers Clea and Chris, and folks from 10 other PNW co-ops enjoyed a tour of Fresno, CA-area organic citrus and nut growers sponsored by Organically Grown Company! They say they it was inspiring and informative to meet the farmers and learn about their growing techniques!
Below are Catherine’s photos and comments about what she learned.
This tree is an organic walnut tree, which will produce walnuts for 100 years. The splice is a European walnut tree base with an American walnut tree on top. They do this because the European root stock is heartier.
You can tell an organically grown tree immediately because at its base is green grass. Non-organic is just bare dirt from the chemical weed killers they spray.
On organic farms it’s typical for trees to have some dead wood. This is because they don’t have artificially high levels of nitrogen from chemical fertilizers forcing them into full tilt production.
A local beekeeper drops his bees off to live on this organic citrus farm for a few months, so his honey gets a citrus flavor. It helps the farm, too, as they’re picking now and will soon have flowers to pollinate again. The beekeeper, of course, only does this with organic farms. They leave in hives on pallets for easy transportation. So cool!
This farmer told us he’s had the best crop he’s had in years. This means that next year he can expect a very low yield, so he needs to plan on this income supporting him for two years. Being an organic farmer means figuring out how to be around from one year to the next!
Date: Tuesday February 25, 2020
Category: Producer Stories
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