The ninth farm I visited was the Beck Farm [La Vigne] in Fallbrook, CA. This breathtaking [yeah, breathtaking] farm is owned by Helene & Robert Beck. In 1994 they converted a neglected avocado farm into an abundant grove, producing 15 different fruit crops, all of which are 100% organic and biodynamic.
Bio·dy·nam·ic adj [bahy-oh-dahy-nam-ik] Definition: of or relating to a system of farming that uses only organic materials for fertilizing and soil conditioning.
The grove is devoted to less-mainstream fruits, including kumquats, persimmons, cherimoyas, minneolas, and blood oranges.
It’s almost hard to explain how beautiful this farm is. Visually, it’s a throw back to a rolling hill central american farming estate, but that’s only part of it. The rest of the beauty lies in the way they respect and farm the land. Everything about the farm is organic, natural, happy & beautiful.
My tour guide, Mark, has been working as the farm manager with the Becks for more than a decade. He’s a jack-of-all-trades and has helped build the farm with organic tea fertilizing systems [there’s the biodynamic part at work], expansions to the buildings, composting & irrigation systems, natural fencing, wells….I could go on and on.
One of the first things you notice is the way they incorporate the natural weed systems into their farming technique. When I was there the weeds were about 2 feet tall. The weeds work with the crops and natural animal & insect systems to keep everything in harmony. Water retention, blight, and harvests are all managed by nature. One of Mark’s favorite lines is “The less I interfere the better.” Simply put, allowing nature to take over reduced their workload and gave them healthy, great tasting, bountiful produce. I loved this farm.