What does it mean to practice “sustainable” agriculture? That’s not an easy question to answer. But as I look at our operation, three numbers suggest to me that we’re on the right path.
130: Number of years that we’ve farmed the same piece of ground in Saticoy, California (Ventura County)
5.5: Percentage of organic material in our soil. (2 – 3% is the natural level for our soils type.)
1.65: The acre feet of water we used to farm an acre last year. (Our groundwater allocation is 2.23 AF, and the generally accepted number for citrus and avocado production is 2 to 2.5 AF.)
Ask me in a couple of years if we were doing everything right in 2015. I’ll probably laugh. We’ll get even better. There’s always more to learn, and hindsight has a way of making us see what we miss in the moment.