What food is grown on the homestead?
The orchard produces cherries, plums, pluots, pomegranates, apples, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, nectarines, apricots, olives, avocados, and peaches and keeps us busy with canning, dehydrating, and preserving the fruits.
The berry area produces blueberries, black berries, raspberries, and strawberries (when the birds and goats don’t get to them!).
The aquaponics system grows a variety of vegetables without the use of dirt. Expanded clay pellets (hydroton) is the media used in the grow beds, and a simple plumbing system pumps water from the sump (which has received water from the koi pond after passing through mechanical and biologic filters) to the beds which fill and drain several times an hour. The vegetable roots are in contact with the water and nutrients. We have found that our growing season is now year-round and that the vegetables from the aquaponics system taste “cleaner” and fresher than even those from the “dirt” garden. Lettuce, broccoli, and tomatoes do especially well, and we are always experimenting with other vegetables.
In our vineyards we have planted the following varietals: Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Mourvedre, Syrah, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Chardonnay and three varieties of table grapes: Crimson Seedless, Autumn Royal, and Princess Seedless. We will explore wine-making and anticipate having crush parties in the future.