Why this is our motto. What makes it important - to us & to you.
How it came about.
In the beginning of our farming life it quickly became clear that we produced far more than we consumed so we started selling fresh fruit, produce and eggs at farmers’ markets. There it quickly became apparent that we couldn’t sell everything we grew nor could we sustain a business on what we did sell. We next built a commercial kitchen on the farm to be able to preserve and add value to what we couldn’t eat or sell. Our mantra has always been “NO WASTE”.
The fact that we grow everything we preserve sets us apart from most value added product producers and defines our business since most canners purchase their ingredients. It also gives us control of the quality of our canned goods. Although the farm is not certified organic we use only organic practices and as few outside “inputs” as possible, also organic, eg: incidental flavorings such as spices we cannot grow and necessary preservatives like sugar and vinegar and lemon juice (needed to ensure acidity). A new California law requires that farmers’ markets be divided into two sections - agricultural products and crafts - so the other advantage to growing what we preserve is that we remain in the agricultural section. The canners who do not grow the produce they put in their jars are in the craft section.
The art of canning has been honed by families for generations as a way to preserve the summer harvest for winter consumption. This is where we’ve kept it. Our family (we consider anyone working with us “family”) harvests, selects, hand cuts and cans the produce contained in our jars. There is no big machinery or assembly line. The work is done as you would do it in your kitchen…by hand…and the food is preserved as it comes in from the fields. Each run of each item is unique and only as large as the amount of fruit or vegetable harvested that season from our six acres of fields and our aquaponic system.
The art of farming, which has been practiced since time immemorial, demands diversity, resilience, self-reliance and creativity. Each year is different and each crop responds differently each year. One must be ready for some to fail and some to succeed beyond expectations, and be flexible enough to take advantage of the successes and ride out the failures. This is where the “art” of what we are doing comes into play…if you have 50lbs of mint, what to do? Make mint jelly and mint pesto. A box of pears starts to ferment - make pear wine. We use what is available as creatively as we can. And what can’t be preserved is used by the plants and animals and compost. Nothing is wasted.
The goal is to create an ever widening circle or spiral of connections and you, the consumer, are part of that circle. We welcome visitors to the farm and are happy to talk and answer questions. You have the freedom to wander, question and certify for yourselves that we are who we say we are and that the food is what we say it is. The farm is also diverse, beautiful and full of life.