How We Farm
Farming has changed a great deal in the many years we’ve been growing fruit and vegetables. Methods have changed, but through the years we’ve done our best to be good stewards of the land we are fortunate to farm on.
We are not organic growers, however, we use organic methods of pest control whenever possible. For many years we have practiced Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM is an effective and environmentally friendly pest management program that uses a combination of common sense practices to control pests.
In practicing IMP, we regularly scout our fields and orchards looking for signs of pests. A single sighting doesn’t mean that control is needed, but indicates that we need to keep a watchful eye. The majority of the insects living on our farms pose no threat, and many are beneficial. When we observe damage that has gone from the nuisance stage to potentially cause the loss of a crop, action must be taken. Proper identification of the pest is crucial, so that we can accurately determine if a pesticide is really needed and if it is, to apply one that is specific to the pest involved, without harming the millions of other insects living with us. Broadcast spraying of non-specific pesticides is not used.
Since 2000 we have used pheromones to control the insects that pose the most risk to our tree fruits. Plastic tubes containing the pheromone (scent) of female coddling moths and peach twig borers, our two more serious pests, are hung in every tree in the orchard twice each season. These do not harm the pests, but disrupt their mating cycles, and are nearly 100% effective.
From the time we planted our first tree we have used drip irrigation to water our orchards. Our farm crops are beneficiaries of sub-surface drip irrigation, with the irrigation tubing giving water underground, directly to the plants root systems. These methods allow us to use much less water and to minimize the amount lost to evaporation.
Even though we use organic methods whenever possible, we will never be organic growers. We live in the desert and our fields are surrounded by desert. Snakes and wildlife are occasional visitors to our fields.
To insure the safety of our visitors, we spray Round-Up at the base of our fruit trees to control weeds and to keep a clean orchard floor so that you can see where you are stepping.
We do not plant any GMO fruits or vegetables on our farms.
Our family lives and works on our farms on a daily basis. The third generation is now roaming our fields. We take pride in being good stewards of the land we live on, the use of safe and sustainable farming practices and minimizing waste. Our families’ health, and our livelihood, depend on it.