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Jim Churchill writes:

a) We try to grow what people like, which tends to mean that we try to grow food that we like to eat ourselves. We like to go down to the Citrus Variety Collection at the University of California at Riverside and find out what Toots Biehr and Dr. Tracy Kahn and their small, embattled cadre of graduate students like: they have close to 900 varieties of citrus there, from all around the world, and have a lot of opportunity for taste-testing. That's how we found the Seedless Kishu.

b) We've been certified organic by CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) since 2007. We're fortunate in that the citrus and avocado varieties we grow don't come under heavy pest pressure (knock wood).

c) Cultural practices: We do lots of mulching to build soil and get some weed control; we do an absurd amount of mechanical weed control (mowing, weed eating, and hand-pulling: weed control is far and away our greatest cultural cost). We try to build the soil, create a healthy, living web of microbial life in the soil and let the soil feed the trees.

Our mulch comes either from local tree trimmers (the best stuff) or from the City of Los Angeles. The LA material is pretty good, but it does bring in a fair amount of plastic toys, old baseballs, broken cassettes, odd pieces of metal, and some pernicious weeds. I've learned that if I let it sit for a couple of months most of the weed seeds will get killed, but I learned that lesson too late, so beginning in 1999 I introduced into the orchard bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass and other weeds that spread by stolons underground. It's a bummer: the more effective we are in controlling the annual weeds, the more we make room for the perennial weeds.

d) We're learning all the time. Probably some of the statements of belief and practice which I've made on this page will be subject to change as farming and economic conditions change.

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