Local Farm Highlight: Tutti Frutti Farms!
Tutti Frutti Farms is a family owned, certified organic farm in Santa Rita hills. They have been providing communities in Southern California with the best produce grown in the most sustainable way. Their farming practices, such as constant cover cropping, ensures for healthy soil, diverse natural pest protection, and delicious food.
They also donate excess produce from their CSA to the Terrace Foundation, a local nonprofit that creates healthy meals for seniors living at the Pilgrim Terrace Community.
We were lucky enough to ask them some questions about sustainability, organic farming, and their collaboration with The Farm Box Collective. Check it out below and follow them on Instagram @tuttifruttifarms
- Sustainability with farming means working with as little negative impact on the environment as possible and working WITH and utilizing the benefits of nature around us. This means leaving the wilderness surrounding our fields intact and cover cropping as much as possible! Crop rotation is also very important. These methods are so vital for the insects, wildlife and soil.
2. What are you doing to improve your sustainability practices and decrease your environmental impact?
- Besides being certified organic, we recently leased more land just so we can let fields sit fallow for a while between plantings and give the soil a chance to regenerate, we are pretty excited to see the difference in quality! We mostly use drip irrigation with recyclable drip tape to water our plants, and use mulch - both practices reduce a lot of water usage. When we have extra produce we always try to donate as much as possible, and if it is beyond human consumption we have lots of friends with animals that the produce can go to. Food waste is a terrible problem for the world but it isn't easy to avoid at all times, so we try to at least find a good home for it when we do have extras. We also re-use paper as much as possible in the office and have been working with our employees on education of trash pickup and recycling, something that they can apply to their lifestyles at home too and hopefully pass on to the next generation. Everything you do counts!
3. Why is farming organically important to you?
- Chris and Cornelia raised their five children on tons of organic food! They are strong believers in keeping a natural and healthy lifestyle, avoiding potential toxins and preserving the wilderness around them. They never had a reason to use conventional methods when they got what they needed simply by respecting and working with, not against, nature. Also, you can't beat the awsome flavors!
4. As farmers, what do you see are the benefits of collaborating with The Farm Box Collective?
- Sales aside, collaborating with FBC lets more people see and taste our wonderful product and increases local awareness of our farm. It also gives us a wonderful feeling knowing that we are working with a business that supports many other small businesses, lots of them are our good friends too! Supporting local is always a win win for both sides, from the fresh quality of product to supporting a neighbor.
Follow the photographer, Deborah Chadsey, on Instagram @deborahchadsey.photo