For our next profile in the "From the Ground Up" series, we talk with Pedro Torres of Laganza Farm in Aguanga, California. Check out our Q&A on the blog today!
As part of the 2020 Climate Change Consortium for Specialty Crops, hosted in partnership by the Climate Science Alliance and the California Department of Food and Agriculture, we are excited to share a series of producer stories, called "From the Ground Up: Farmer Profiles," highlighting our region's producers and the important work they do for our communities.
Today's farmer profile is with Pedro Torres, owner and grower at Laganza Farm, a small family farm in Aguanga, California.
Climate Science Alliance (Alliance): Describe your farm.
Pedro Torres (Torres): LAGANZA Farm is a small family farm with 3 acres of olives, and 1/4 acre of apples. My parents and I began farming here in 2001 growing mostly vegetables and fruits for farmer’s market and a small CSA. The CSA ran for 4 years with drop off points as far away as Laguna Beach and Clairemont.
In around 2009 we started looking at ways to reduce regular inputs to the operation and yet continue to farm. I had by then taken a full-time job (to support my farming habit) and didn’t want to leave the farm as often as I had to for farmer’s market and CSA. Olives were the ideal solution.
Alliance: Why do you farm?
Torres: I became a farmer instead of a poet because you can’t eat words. Now It’s become a bit of a religion to me. I feel a strong connection to working with the land and helping it bear fruit.
Alliance: What do you love about your farm?
Torres: There are many things I love about my farm: my history with the place, seeing my fingerprint across its landscape. How remote and sometimes inhospitable it can be, and how comfortable it can be.
Alliance: Are you concerned about climate change? If so, what do you think climate change could mean for what you do?
Torres: I planted olives even though I am kind of on the high side (elevation wise) of the range for olives, with the suspicion that that range is moving uphill with climate change. I suspect my management practices will have to change to manage soil as weather patterns get more extreme. More cover cropping.
Alliance: Do you use any practices on your farm to address the impacts of climate change?
Torres: I have done some cover cropping in the past and expect to do more as mentioned above.
Alliance: What advice do you have for other/new farmers about farming in this region?
Torres: Pick crops that are well acclimated to where you are growing and try to mature a local distribution system, start small and grow into it.
Learn more about the 2020 Climate Change Consortium here:
To read more profiles from the "From the Ground Up" series, visit here: