“Little by little.”
Discuss with Invoice Peixoto of Billy Bob Orchards and also you’ll hear that phrase many times.
Little by little, he and his brother Bob rebuilt their father’s Watsonville, CA apple orchard after it fell into disrepair within the 80s, after their father died. Little by little, Invoice used the cash he earned from promoting his crops to purchase new timber and gear. And, little by little, he expanded his choices from Newtown Pippin and Crimson Scrumptious to 22 of the preferred varieties obtainable.
We found Billy Bob Orchards scrumptious apples on the Berkeley Farmer’s Market, which we additionally attend as a vendor. We’re completely happy to welcome them as one in every of our associate farms offering apple varieties like Cameo, Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Mutsu. We caught up with Invoice on a busy October afternoon – proper in the midst of the harvest – to speak about apples and farming.
What’s the historical past behind Billy Bob Orchards?
My dad purchased the land in 1957. After which he purchased the neighboring orchard round 1960. My dad labored in agriculture, he did tractor work, and he labored his method up in a fertilizer firm. He farmed apples as a interest so to talk, to make more money. I’ve six brothers and sisters, and my mother stayed house with us youngsters. So my dad was the only real breadwinner. When he handed away in 1983, my brother and I took over the orchard. It was fairly run down, so little by little we nursed it again. I labored at a grocery retailer at night time for a very long time after which labored with my brother at Lakeside Organics for some time. I farmed apples on the aspect. I finally retired, and now farming is what I do.
So that is retirement?
If you like what you do, it doesn’t really feel like work. I wish to be out within the orchard, out within the solar, working with the timber. My son has actually constructed the enterprise aspect – he and my spouse promote on the farmers markets. I simply develop the apples.
When did you turn to natural farming?
I made the change in 1996, and that was a studying curve. I went from working with business fertilizers to working with compost and canopy crops. We grew to become licensed natural in 1999.
Inform us about your farming practices.
We don’t make our personal compost, we purchase it. We construct up the soil with compost, and we additionally use rooster pellets. We spray the timber with calcium to assist the cell integrity of the fruit. That additionally helps the fruit retailer longer, and be crunchier and more healthy.
What are you harvesting right this moment?
Proper now we’re harvesting Pink Girls and Fuji. Hauer is the final selection, and that might be obtainable round Thanksgiving and into December.