Our last “Small Business Saturday” highlight this week is featuring our friend Jesse Trace from “Traceland Organics” in Cayucos, California, who have supplied NutriFit customers with not only their signature organic avocados, but a variety of beautiful, certified organic fruits and veggies.
Check them out on the web at http://tracelandorganics.com/ to learn more about them and their one-of-a-kind local operation.
1. When did you become a farmer? What influenced your decision to start growing food?
We planted our avocados in 2005, but were farmers back “east” in Illinois and lived on a farm there. Growing food has always been the first step of many towards personal sovereignty. We grow food because we love stewarding the land and cultivating the reciprocal relationship between ourselves and nature.
2. What variety of crops do you grow?
We mostly have Hass avocados, though we also have several varieties of pollinizer avocados sprinkled throughout the orchard to foster pollinator health and a thorough fruit set. We are ramping up production of other unique subtropicals like white sapote and passionfruit. We also grow a lot of our own food and in total have over 60 varieties of fruit trees.
3. What is your philosophy around growing food?
Being close to the land and living within her is crucial to growing food, and as it turns out, important for just about everything else as well.
4. How do you see your role in the community?
Energy generation. Food is our primary form of energy as humans. We are an organic power plant at Traceland Organics, producing nutrient dense calories to fuel human lives.
5. What has been your greatest challenge as a small farmer?
The long wait for profitability. Tree crops take a very long time to grow, but once they are big they are a resilient food source. Humanity is playing the long game here, it is worth the wait.
6. You grow some amazing varietals of produce; do you have a personal favorite?
The Vernon white sapote fruit tastes like what a banana and a pear tree would produce if you could somehow splice them.
7. Do you have any new or upcoming projects you’re particularly excited about?
We are very excited about our creek restoration project. We are partnering with a local watershed stewardship NGO to work on balancing our water footprint through careful design and reforestation.
8. If you could share any message with NutriFit clients, what would it be?
You are what you eat and you vote with your dollar. I know it isn’t always possible to pay extra for certified organic fruits and vegetables, but your investment will pay dividends towards healthy resilient communities.