I have to give a shout-out to a really great and local company. Every six weeks or so, Delaney’s school arranges a field trip to some really cool places. Yesterday’s trip was no exception. We went to visit Stehly Farms Organics out in Valley Center. A beautiful drive despite some cold and damp weather. So, this place is a 300 acre working farm that has been owned by the Stehly family for 45 years. From what I understand, they nationally provide citrus, avocados and berries, and then also grow many assorted veggies for sale in Farmer’s Markets and local grocery stores. I had just bought a big bag of organic oranges last week from Earthgrown Market, and was so surprised when I realized they were from Stehly Organics! It was really cool to be able to show Delaney that the bag of oranges that we bought in the store actually came from trees on a farm not too far from her house. I really want her to grow up knowing and, more importantly, CARING about the source of her food. Holy crap, I’ve officially turned into a hippie.
When we arrived, we got to hear all about the farm and it’s organic practices and even how to deal with an earwig problem (which I currently suspect are eating my basil plants). After that, we were treated to a “tractor tour” thru the fields and also a foot tour of the packaging plant. Super cool to see how a product goes from tree to market. One of the owners, Noel Stehly was our personal tour guide (that’s him on the right) and an all-around great guy. He seems to truly love what he does, and I will go out of my way to give these folks my money in the future.
When we returned from our tour, they had set up a fruit/veggie stand where we were able to purchase freshly picked produce for really reasonable prices. I bought stuff I’ve never even HEARD of, much less eaten. I mean, seriously, have you ever seen golden beets? Green garlic that looks like a regular old green onion if you didn’t know any better? Yum.
And then, Delaney got to ride a horse, which was the perfect end to her day.
So, next time you’re at Jimbo’s, or Earthgrown, or Whole Foods, do keep an eye out for the produce from Stehly Farms. They are good peeps, a good organization, and I’m sure they would appreciate your business.