Friday, December 30, 2011

Your Purchases Help Small Farmers

Your purchases through the Avocado Diva helps in more ways then one:

  1. You help the small farmers and ranchers that we source from - who often cannot sell their rare and unique avocados (the big packing houses only buy Hass - in general).
  2. Many of these small farms rely on their own family members to pick, weed, water, and do the daily labor - the Diva buys direct from many small farms - and has personal relationships with these families, their kids, the dogs, chickens, cats, etc. ;-)  
  3. Some of the smaller farms cannot afford to top-off and convert their old trees to Hass - (thankfully!) - but there is not many ways for them to sell the old-types of avocados - they are delighted when they find out the Diva buys the fruit and ships to you. 
  4. You help save old and rare avocado trees.
  5. Your purchases help keep the biodiversity of the trees going.
  6. You bring Christmas hope -- read on...
This Christmas the Diva bought avocados from 12 small farms and ranches all around the area of Moorpark. Two of the families she purchased from are facing severe financial hardships. One farm is run by a lady rancher who went through a divorce - I honestly don't know how she will hang on to her ranch all by herself -- but she is trying. 

How can you tell a ranch is in distress? You can tell - by the cars and trucks parked on the road with "for sale" signs. By the weeds between the trees. By the fading color on the house/barns and out-buildings. By the fact that they are out hand watering trees (meaning they can't afford to repair the hoses that they coyotes chew through). 

You can tell because the kids are out picking fruit, and raking leaves, and swinging hoes to knock the weeds down. Usually you would see field workers (often Hispanic men) doing these jobs - but if there is no money -- its mom, dad and the kids (who often look like they are having a lot of fun - actually!).  

Twice I went back to one specific farm to buy delicious, huge, beautiful Bacon avocados. The father and (adult) son were very happy to get the phone call from the Diva that she needed MORE avocados (the orders just kept pouring in!).  They were SO proud of their fruit -- and took the Diva and her 2 helpers way back into the orchard to see more weird and unusual trees -- with some AMAZING fruits that I hope we can buy in January or February when they are ready! 

They are so excited (the farmer and his son) that we appreciate and want their old style fruit. They have been told they need to top these old trees and graft them with Hass -- but they don't have the money to do that.  I am glad to get this unique fruit -- and appreciative that the money might help them.  

It is pretty humbling to buy the avocados - and hand the men an envelope of cash -- which they quietly pocket. I hope it helped them have a little bit more peace on their Christmas day and sparked hope for the coming new year.

Best wishes to YOU and to YOUR family during this holiday season. Thanks for helping. 

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