Food sustains and delights us. SunnysideLOCAL is committed to growing plants and produce with the highest nutritional value possible. To back up that commitment the farm underwent inspection and became “Certified Naturally Grown”. Certified Naturally Grown is a Grassroots Alternative to the USDA’s National Organic Program meant primarily for small farmers distributing through local channels – farmer’s markets, roadside stands, local restaurants, community supported agriculture (CSA) programs and small local grocery stores – the farmers that make up our local landscape! For more information regarding our organic growing standards, including use of organic seeds and farming pesticide-free visit… http://www.naturallygrown.org/
Local, healthy, delicious and grown in an earth friendly manner are the standards we have set for all we produce. How we grow is important to us and should be to you. Our farm is small by any standard, one acre of combined growing and grove space. Due to a very unwelcome invasion of ground squirrels in 2012, we are no longer able to grow at the La Colina Avenue property. We found that space restrictions have lead to growing innovations. We will be blogging about those later in the year.
Although heirloom tomatoes are grown primarily in ground, raised beds, containers and vertical trellising dot the landscape at SunnysideLOCAL. We have expanded our farm blueberry stock to 80+ bushes all growing in 15 and 20 gallon buckets. This allows better control of their acid soil needs.
Fruit trees are some of the oldest residents on Sunnyside Avenue and many of our Valencia orange trees are 80 to 100 years old. They are irrigated with a series of switchback trenches where Big Bear mountain water flows spring through fall. The old concrete water delivery system dates to 1882. People claim our citrus has a unique kind of “sweet” which we call Sunnyside Sweet and happily credit their flavor to the water.
SunnysideLOCAL grows using organic practices. Now Certified Naturally Grown, we continue our same high standards of growing. Our soil is a work of art. Rich organic potting soil and compost are the backbone of our growing program. This year we purchased certified organic soil components in 1.5 ton palleted shipping bags. We are also dedicated to our own managed compost pile. Our native soil is amended with our own created compost and vegetable crops are rotated on a yearly basis. Almost all produce that we grow from seed comes from organic sources.
We are a pesticide-free farm. Pest control is made by keeping garden plots, potting area and flats clean and companion planting with things like flowers, basils and borage. And……BIRD NETTING. Lots of it! I love the birds, but when they start gnoshing on my big heirloom tomatoes they become classified as pests. At peak season there is so much netting in my growing space that I start to imagine I will be the first “Death by Birdnetting”. I swear my feet have been pulled right out from under me many times by this stuff.
Fertilizers and soil amendments are organic and OMRI listed. Heirloom tomatoes grow tall and strong using saved eggshells and fish heads. Blueberries grow in the afternoon shade of a huge pine on my property and benefit from its pine needles mixed with coffee grounds to lower soil pH. Citrus leaves are raked into piles, dried and used as mulch also.
Weed Control. BURN-OUT II is a concentrated herbicide made from orange oil, clove and cinnamon oil. Mix with water and spray. Our alternative to goats. Hand picking still works. OMRI listed and approved.
Sustainable packaging. We care about how our marketing and packaging impacts the environment. All small nursery plants will be sold in biodegradable peat pots. All larger plants are grown in recycled plastic nursery pots. We will be happy to take back any black nursery pots that we have sold you with nursery stock.