Dirty girl Fresno

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Joe graduated from the UC Santa Cruz Farm and Garden apprenticeship program with a certificate in ecological horticulture. Inspired by the French intensive gardening method, he has adapted tractor farming to incorporate its principles. Joe maintains soil fertility by adding compost and aged animal manures. He also plants seasonal cover crops to add nitrogen, reduce erosion, and improve soil structure. Dirty Girl Produce is famous for their dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes.

This waterless method of growing sometimes yields only one-third as many tomatoes, but the resulting fruits are dense with flavor. This location is in its 2nd year of leasing; this is the 1st year it has been completely planted out. Farmer Joe Schirmer said that before he started farming this land, the soil was severely depleted, so he used a perennial rye as a cover crop to outcompete the weeds and supplement the soil.

They are planted deep into the soil and not given water all summer. The result is small, very sweet fruit and a plant that starts to look brown as the summer progresses. Joe showed us the first and second wave of Early Girl tomatoes — planted in April and June, respectively. The April plants are the ones that have been supplying the market with tomatoes all summer long. The ripper, also known as a subsoiler, is one of the keys to the success of dry-farmed tomatoes. Joe hitches it to the back of his tractor and drags the deep claw down the middle of the row, breaking up the soil so the roots can reach deeper into the earth for moisture and allowing compost to be incorporated into the subsoil.

In addition to the Early Girls, Joe grows basil and several types of beans at this location, crops that do better in the inland heat. Recently a hedgerow, a buffer of native flowering plants, was added to the front of the plot. Joe would like to continue to increase the biodiversity of the farm. Dirty Girl uses crop rotation to avoid pests and disease. Early Girl tomatoes are grown in any given plot every other year. This tractor is 50 years old and no longer produced by the manufacturer.

This Kubota features a "belly bar" -- which allows Joe to attach the implement beneath the tractor instead of behind it -- and an offset seat, so he can see straight down and precision cultivate. He had just finished using the cultivator to weed between rows of young bean plants when we got there.

Everyone seemed distressed at the multitude of fallen tomatoes on the ground, but Joe reassured us that the tomatoes were victims of blossom-end rot, a common disease due to calcium deficiency in the fruit. The plants have been supplemented with calcium to minimize this problem, but the fruit have difficulty pulling calcium from the water-stressed leaves.

When we arrived, we saw what we thought was a spread of decaying vegetables, but upon closer inspection they were actually drying shallots. To properly ready shallots for storage, they have to be fully dried. One moist shallot can rot and ruin the whole box. Unlike garlic, shallot bulbs grow above ground. These dried onions and shallots will last Dirty Girl until next July, when they typically sell out and the next harvest comes in.

Any wider and it would be difficult for the farmworkers to reach the crops or step across the rows as they place irrigation equipment. Pictured: Tokyo Turnips. Joe has been farming at this location for 4 years. The lessee was an organic berry farmer who he says left the soil somewhat depleted since there was no crop rotation.

Unlike the dry-farmed tomatoes, all of the crops at the La Selva farm rely on a moist topsoil. The strawberries are very susceptible to disease due to constantly wet conditions. The second Dirty Girl location we visited is in the much cooler, ocean-side location of La Selva Beach. On the day we visited, the fog was quickly encroaching, but on a good day, it has a nice view of the ocean and Monterey.

Pictured here is asparagus. Strawberries are a popular crop in Santa Cruz County. They're grown atop a black plastic mulch, which suppresses weeds and keeps delicate strawberries off the moist ground. Right before we boarded the bus again to return to San Francisco, Joe demonstrated how to properly pick strawberries, and generously let everyone pick their own basket to take home.

The 10 acres at La Selva sit on slightly rolling land; due to wind patterns and slope, soil conditions can differ widely in areas only a few hundred feet away. Learn More ». Search form Search. Dirty Girl Produce. People Joe Schirmer, along with 5 full-time and 20 seasonal workers. Certification California Certified Organic Farmer since Soil Joe maintains soil fertility by adding compost and aged animal manures. Water Use Overhead and drip irrigation. Weed Control Hoe and tractor cultivation, hand weeding, propane flame weeder. Location Santa Cruz, California. The Great Tomato Debate.

Jammin' with the Girls. Belgian Endives at Dirty Girl Produce. Why Chefs Matter to Farmers. Not Your Dorm Room Ramen. Beans are hand-picked; the Haricot Vert beans are delicate and have to be picked every 4 days. Here Joel is standing on the "belly bar". Joe demonstrates how irrigation pipes must be moved between rows. Excited for strawberries!

Albion strawberries are the primary variety that Dirty Girl grows. Farm Map. Featured Seller. Delightful Foods. Explore Your Foodshed Virtual farm tours, video, and more. Search Sellers Type Farm. Certified Organic. Ferry Plaza Farmers Market: Tuesday. Ferry Plaza Farmers Market: Thursday. Jack London Square Farmers Market. Davis peaches Dr. Stripey tomatoes Mt. Seller Name.

Dirty girl Fresno

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