Falling Up

A volunteer squash snuggles up to a dragonfruit flower under an elder avocado.

Even though we are known primarily as avocado growers, we have been working hard the past few years to create a diverse landscape and bounty for our horn-of-plenty. And the Fall season is a treat. In the grove we welcome all things orange, like popcorn, pumpkin, squash, persimmon, prickly pear, and the creature-like flowers of dragonfruit. Many of the citrus trees begin their orange & yellowing as winter grows near. Even though Fall reminds us of death, hibernation, going to seed, and year’s end, Fall also plays midwife to rebirth and regeneration. Nature knows best and invites us too to slow down, bundle up, and brace for winter. Our winter in San Diego is very mild, but daylight hours decrease and temperatures do dip below freezing at night, which puts more stress on the farmer than it does the plant. Leaf tips, fruits and flowers will freeze, reminding us to never be attached to anything. So the farmer knows best to just go inside and rest. All things must pass. No sun, season or song ever lasts. Like Fall, we all fade away into a new day.

Currently in abundance are the delicious Reed avocados; a late-summer / Fall variety known for it’s chubby size and delicious buttery yellow insides. This avo isn’t popular in stores due to it’s short season – too short for packing houses to accommodate, with not enough time to sell them to an uneducated market. Farmers markets and a small selection of natural grocers will attempt to carry these, but most will be eaten by family, friends, and forest creatures who find them in the fallen leaves below.

One of our pumpkins.