...where you can see the food growing in the ground, see us harvest it, and you know
that it's fresh and truly local. A farmer's market right at the farm!
HOURS: Saturdays, 9am til Noon
scroll down for current harvest
quicker than emailing or calling.)
Wanted: Seasonal Eaters!
We are growers of "our~ganic" (not officially certified organic - see below) fruits and vegetables
in Catalina, AZ, slightly north of Tucson. Our aim is to be a source of freshly harvested local produce for the Catalina
area, including Oro Valley and NW Tucson.
Puh-leeze ! (note the emphasis (-: )
may be sharing the long driveway with bicycles, pedestrians, chickens, cats and dogs, not to mention on-coming
traffic. Serious thank yous to all you respectfully slow drivers.
Try to remember to BYOB (bring your own bag), but we
have a few for those who forget. I forget sometimes too!
We have a new email address!
Now you can reach Jesse and Rebecca directly at email@example.com
Directions to Our Garden are on the "Location"
page (see links above).
9am til noon
purple, and yellow bells)
both red and green Anaheim, serrano,
Thai and jalapeno
Also, Eggs from the chickens next door.
Wednesday People take notice:
We sure hope you can make it in on Saturdays now, but if not then we hope you will come back in the spring.
If you would like an email notice for when we do go back to Wednesdays, just send us an email to let us know.
One of these days I'll clean this section up, but the
web site and my computer are at odds this morning. I do however want to remind you that there is a hard freeze coming
on Friday night, Dec.6th. This may likely do in the pepper plants at last. They have been so beautiful and
lasted so long this year. We'll be sad to see them go. Rebecca and the crew are out there harvesting today
so you will be able to stock up on Sat.
Fall is almost in the air. The nights are cooling down at last. The cole crops are in the ground, no
longer transplants in containers but young plants stretching out their roots. Lettuce has been seeded. Carrots?
Beets? Could be. I only heard about the lettuce, but it's getting to be that time of year. Jesse says
he'll be checking for which pistachio trees to harvest in a couple weeks. The crop is looking hopeful. Any
of you who have tried nuts fresh from the tree know what a treat that is.
Meanwhile, although the tomatoes have
slowed down a bit, we still have plenty of food. Today there was watermelon, kabocha, and much to
my surprise I saw some arugula too. Someone must know how to find it out there! The harvest list is what I know
you are likely to find, but you never know what else will appear, so it's always worth checking in.
We always love to
be in the desert for monsoons, but oh the humidity! -especially in the later part of summer when the tropical storms
start brewing and we have these overcast days. Give me 101 and sunshine any day!
So I am thinking about fall
of course, and the cole crops (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage) have been started, transplants now in the shade
structure awaiting fertile ground. Fall is also the time for the root crops to be planted, but right now is still way too
early to start them. Like me, they think 90 degrees is way too hot.
The lacinato kale, also a cole
crop, has decided that the desert is not so bad in the summer so long as there is shade. That along with swiss chard,
has become close to a year round crop. Finally we have year round greens! If not lettuce and tomato salad, then
salsa on our chard. We will have a pause in arugula I am sorry to say. Life got in the way of one of the plantings,
and the others are just too tired to go on.
Wow, it's August...
August 10th in fact~
And we still have zucchini, lots of it! I apologize for the appearance of running
out of it today (though there was still plenty of scallop squash). We had more back in the frige but none of us laggard
volunteers (oops, not you Eric!) noticed we needed more, and Jesse was so busy at the register that he didn't even have
a chance to do anything about it. We have been so busy lately! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
This year has been a good one for summer squashes. Jesse has made 3 plantings, the third now coming to fruit,
and the first is still going strong. He believes the winter frosts took a toll on the squash vine borers who usually
do in the plants and require us to make successive plantings.
Also a good year for tomatoes. Southern blight
has met its match! We still have cherry tomatoes a-plenty for picking as well.
And we still have Kale, unusual
for so late in the summer. It's just an all round good year.
I've just ordered a new book whose author
was interviewed on The Splendid Table. Jo Robinson has come up with all sorts of interesting and helpful information
about the food we eat or should eat, and how to keep the nutrient level up. Did you know you should defrost berries
in the microwave, ie quickly, or they lose about half the phytonutrients? I knew that cooking garlic causes it
to lose nutrient value, but lo and behold we can just chop or press it and let it sit for 10 minutes and then go
ahead and cook with it. And one of my favorite discoveries from this interview, food that is made perfect in appearance with
the help of pesticides has lower nutrient value because the plant has not found the need to produce the phytonutrients
to protect itself from the pests. When you see those holes in the collard greens it is your sign that nutrients
abound! The book is Eating on the Wild Side, the Missing Link to Optimum Health, by Jo Robinson. I
found it at Barnes and Noble for ~$17 for the hardback. Good reading and eating!
As I've said in the past, we are similar to a CSA in
that what is being harvested right here right now is what you get to choose from. The difference is that you do have
a choice within the current harvest. You don't receive a huge bag of turnips for this week's allotment
(which I'm sure doesn't really happen all that often in CSA's!), and you don't pay ahead so if the current
harvest does not appeal to your tastes you are not out any money.
But for many of us eating seasonally is an adventure
we enjoy. Often people who join CSA's or shop at Our Garden go on to start their own garden. And often people
who have had their own garden end up joining a CSA or come here to shop since gardening is so time-consuming, exhausting,
frustrating, and expensive. Oh, but did I mention rewarding, fulfilling, and spiritually enriching?
|sunflowers as seen from the peppers viewpoint
not always out but almost always available:
bay leaves, basil, rosemary, parsley, sage,
and anything else I forgot!
|Jesse on the tractor, getting ready for planting.
Slow down. Be green. Shop local. Smile.
time someone thanks us for doing this work, I am thanking them back for allowing us to do it. People who are appreciating
the value of having a variety of local, freshly grown organic produce... food right out of the ground.. actually still alive
when you buy it!... these people are contributing to the life of the community and the planet, as well as their own
little bodies. Thinking globally and acting locally isn't just for Earth First now, is it.
|Wayne with the old Troy Built, long before we had a tractor!
You can click on this water color prickly pear to see some of Rebecca's art work. If
you are interested in purchasing any of her work, or contacting her for mural or other art-related work, just let us know.
|We have plants too!
We also have a few native and climate-adapted
plants available, both ornamental and food producing, under the shade cloth in the garden. This is an area we would
like to expand once we get the food production under "control". Jesse is the one to seek out for info on the
This wise old resident is linking you to another Catalina web site, OurCatalina.com.
This site keeps up on local issues and interests, things to do, resources, etc., and is well worth checking
out. So put your pointer on the owl and he'll take you there.
|HUSKING PISTACHIOS THE OLD FASHIONED WAY
"What are those trees?" When we first started doing this we thought people would enjoy driving through
the orchard. I took this picture of the flowers in early April one year, so look for them in the spring.
To learn about the orchard's history and odds and ends about us, click on this picture.
We had a pretty good
harvest a few years ago, with much volunteer help. Above is a picture John de Coville had taken of many
hands doing the husking. The machinery to do it all ourselves was cost prohibitive unless we won the lottery, but
then we found out about using a commercial potato peeler. I've always said, farmers are a resourceful bunch.
This year (2010) Jesse purchased a used potato peeler and with a little advice from another resourceful pistachio
farmer and the help of a few garden friends, he was able to harvest enough to sell. The crops are generally heavy every
other or every 3 years, with light ones in between.
If we are harvesting while you are here, please go over and check
out the operation. If you volunteer some time you can even leave with some fresh pistachios, not to mention an idea
of the time involved in harvesting from just one tree. Often this answers the question, "why don't you do anything
with those nuts?"
We call it "Our-ganic"
Just a word or two (okay, I'm a wordy person) about the
word "organic" here. Finally we have a government definition for a term that's been tossed about loosely
for years by gardeners. Some gardeners probably still don't know the meaning of 'organic gardening', and
some may dispute the definition adopted by our wise public servants. My feeling on the subject is you are best informed
by asking the grower how he gardens (which means buying it from the farmer). This means you need to know what your own
priorities are. Our family has always considered organic to mean without the use of chemical pesticides (commonly
known as 'spraying') and without the use of chemical fertilizers such as ammonium phosphate, sulphate,
etc. We feel that the main issue is the spraying of chemical pesticides, insecticides, which
are very harmful to us and the environment. However, chemical fertilizers are not exactly harmless and it
is possible to do without them as well. While we are not certified organic, we are honest about telling you that the
food we sell is grown organically in the true sense of the word, thus "our-ganic". However, there is
a lot to be said for the nutrition in fresh truly local food however it's grown compared to that coming in by truck
from who knows where.
I recently saw a sign on a contractor's truck that said "Unlicensed by Choice".
Right on ~~ me too. A license or certification doesn't automatically mean a good job done, and a lack of one doesn't
mean a lack of quality or honesty.
If you are really looking for organics, ask the grower not only if his crops
are sprayed with pesticides, but also what he uses for fertilizers. Don't count on our government to protect you.
Really it is up to each of us to take the responsibility to be as well-informed as we possibly can.
And, a tiny little word about pricing. So many new callers ask about our
prices, and I say it how it is- priced according to the local market (Whole Food and TJ's) for organics. What
we have over Whole Food and Trader Joe's (both of whom I really appreciate, don't get me wrong) is the freshness.
Where else can you get organic vegetables out of the garden the very same day unless you have your own garden? And if
you have had your own garden, you understand one of the major expenses. It's the water bill, isn't it!
For us the water bill is electricity to run a big enough pump to irrigate, not to mention the occasional thousands of dollars
on repairs. Don't look for bargains here. Look for quality.