Tale of a Scientist Farmer

Ed Magee spends his days thinking about sunlight. When he isn’t working on his  38-acre orchard of white peaches and nectarines in Vernalis, California, he’s in a  lab studying the energy of electrons. This scientist-farmer’s day job aids NASA  researchers in determining the elemental mix of stars. Ed is a scientist through and through, and he takes a very measured and managed approach to his farming as well. Not only do they prune their trees to reach a shorter height of between 6 and 8 feet for easier picking but they also believe that by not treating their soil with nitrogen during the growing season their trees work harder to produce more sugar for their fruit.

Ed has always been a small family farmer who is concerned about sustainably doing things. Ed uses low-flow micro sprinklers on his orchard. Instead of irrigating his trees through flood irrigation, which can be wasteful, Ed’s micro-sprinklers water a six to eight food circle just around the base of the tree  – enough to cover only the root area and nothing more. He manages the water application process based upon the health of the trees, time of year, and weather.

Ed is also a recipient of our “Farm  Steward program.” In 2010, during the spring, we funded and installed an owl box on his property to help him with pest control. It’s a great, natural way to address rodents which may be looking for water by gnawing through his irrigation system or that might go after the roots of trees.

Please check out our mixes which describe the local and regional product selections by area at  www.fruitguys.com/mix. Enjoy and be fruitful!

– Chris Mittelstaedt chiefbanana@fruitguys.com

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