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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How can I arrange a visit to Peppertree Canyon?Peppertree Canyon is a working farm and a private residence. We are not open to the public. However, club members receive an invitation to join us at our annual open house in the fall.
What do you farm at Peppertree Canyon?When we acquired the property in 2013 we planted a grove of over a hundred olive trees - mostly Italian varietals like Frantoio, Pendolino and Leccino. We also planted over 1400 grape vines - mostly Sangiovese with a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah that we use in our proprietary estate blend. We also planted over 50 fruit trees including several varietals of our favorites - fig, pomegrante, persimmon, plum, pluot, apricot, nectarine, cherry, apple, mango, kiwi, avocado; and over 20 citrus - orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, calamansi, etc. We also have a seasonal herb and vegetable garden as well as an assorted selection of berries - blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, gooseberry, boysenberry, etc. Everything grows well here. I'm sure all the birds in a five mile radius would agree.
What is EVOO?Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It is the natural juice cold pressed from olives. No heat or chemicals are used in extracting Extra Virgin Olive Oil. “Extra” is the highest grade for the best, unrefined and unprocessed oil of the fruit. To be graded as Extra Virgin, the oil must exhibit superior taste, aroma and color. And to meet the most exacting labeling standards, it must also have less than 1% free oleic acid. Three things make olive oil superior to other oils: taste, nutrition and integrity. Taste is the most obvious difference between olive oil and the commercially popular vegetable oils such as corn, soybean and canola oils. These oils are tasteless fats. Extra virgin olive oil, adds a flavor and textural dimension lacking in other oils, making it a suitable substitute for butter in almost any recipe. Nutritionally, olive oil contains more monounsaturated fat than any of the popular vegetable oils. Monounsaturated Fats increase the HDL (good) cholesterol and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Olive Oil naturally contains beta-carotene, Vitamin A and E and other antioxidants. Consumption of olive oil is linked to lower incidences of certain forms of cancer. Olive oil is very well tolerated by the stomach. It can help protect against ulcers and gastritis and lowers the incidence of gallstone formation. Olive Oil can lower the risk of coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis by reducing blood cholesterol levels. Olive oil can reduce the risk of diabetes and, possibly, a delayed onset of complications in established diabetes. Most vegetable oils are industrial, processed foods. Vegetable oils are generally extracted by means of petroleum-based chemical solvents, and then must be highly refined to remove impurities. Along with the impurities, refining removes taste, color and nutrients. Extra Virgin Olive Oils are not processed or refined. It is said that you do not make Extra Virgin Olive Oil, you find it. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is essentially “fresh squeezed” from the fruit of the olive tree, without alteration of the color, taste, and nutrients or vitamins. Because of the integrity of the product, and its antioxidant components, olive oil will keep longer than most other vegetable oils.
What is your approach to farming?As we've stated in the 'Our Values' page. We believe in: Sustainability At Peppertree Canyon we believe that there is a better way to farm than the chemical and mechanical status quo that has dominated the American landscape and food system during the last half century. We believe that by working with the natural rhythms of the soil, plants, people and microorganisms we can grow excellent tasting food and make quality wine without the environmental and health risks that can accompany chemical-intensive farming practices. Local We believe that food is fundamental to everyone’s life, and because of this our society should choose carefully how and where we produce our food. Even though short term economics might make it cheaper to ship perishable produce across the country or import them from abroad, we think that in the long term our planet and our communities will be healthier if they sourced most of their food needs from local suppliers. Not only is locally grown food fresher and better tasting, buying it also directly supports the local economy. In addition to the produce that we grow in our fields, we also source other locally produced products. We hire local labor and strive to buy our farm's supplies and services from local vendors whenever possible. This helps stimulate the local food economy in Orange County. Preservation Agriculture in Orange County, once the epicenter of the best farmland in Southern California, has been overtaken by densely developed suburban housing. As one developer put it, we now grow buildings. Farm land and open space contribute to the overall well-being of any community. They are critical to preserving the balance of our natural resources, they support wildlife and they provide places for outdoor enjoyment. We are blessed to live in this unique and special place. Hence we are committed to preserving the land and the beauty of Peppertree Canyon. Next Generation Farming We recognize that our country is desperately low on farmers and scarce on resources. Water, land and labor are highly prized, particularly in Orange County. We confront these challenges by adopting ecologically oriented technologies and practices that maximize the use of the land while minimizing its toll on precious resources. If we are going to rebuild our food system we are going to need a lot more farmers and a lot more farmland. At Peppertree Canyon Farm we attempt to provide learning opportunities through alliances with local community colleges and universities. We are also involved in efforts to make urban farming an economically sustainable endeavor for new generations of farmers in Orange County. Commitment We could not be successful farmers if we did not have commitment. The demands of farming tend to be constant and multi-faceted. Plants keep growing (even during the weekend) and must be taken care of on their schedules. Our dedication and hard work are driven by our passion for the importance of what we do. We are blessed with the privilege to be stewards of this beautiful, special, spiritual place that is Peppertree Canyon.
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