Our core values guide us in how we conduct ourselves—personally and professionally. In this ever-changing world of agriculture, our core values are constant. They underlie our work, how we interact with each other and which strategies we employ to fulfill our mission.
History of Arnett Farms
Arnett Farms was established in 1903 by great granddad, Louis Arnett. Three generations have passed, with the farm family-run for the last century. In the early years many different crops were cultivated, including vegetables and vine fruit. By the 1950’s Louise’s grandson had developed a passion for all things citrus and began mastering these California staples. The Home Ranch groves have provided naturally great soil and climate conditions for about thirty varieties of oranges, tangerines, mandarins, lemons, grapefruit and kumquats since the very beginning.
The Arnett Family, along with a small group of other Central Valley growers, started the first Fresno Farmers’ Market in the early 1900s. The farmers’ market side of the Arnett business stayed concentrated in the Central Valley for several decades. As well, a flourishing fruit stand helped the farm to grow, and additional plots were soon bought, expanding the Home Ranch’s capabilities to a larger part of this neck of the woods.
The new acreage prompted the addition of stone fruits to planting and harvest schedule. The combination of existing trees and these succulent new varieties of peaches, apricots, plums & pluots, gave Arnett Farms a more varied and year-round harvest. As great-grandson Scott took charge in the mid 90s, Arnett Farms now had a full spectrum of tree fruit and a new craftsman grafting, pruning and fine-tuning harvest cycles.
This half century process — of refining a year round harvest of the best suited tree fruits — created the basic foundation of crops and farming methods that are still in place today. From this handing down of land and skill, father to son, the Arnett Farms’ core philosophy also came to be: Treat the land with respect, use simple natural methods of production — while providing delicious and healthy family grown fruit to farmers’ market patrons.
Sustainability: a Step-by-Step Process
What we do to be sustainable at the farm – If it’s taken out of the environment, it’s put back in, so land and resources such as water, soil and air can be replenished, and are available for future generations. At the farm we use canal water for irrigation during the summer months. In the winter months we follow dry-farming practices. The canal water is collected in reservoirs during the months of rain and snow, and then provides a reserve for the hotter arid months to come.
The fertilizer we purchase is seaweed and kelp based. For weed control our first method is to mow down the weeds growing in the center row. Some fruit varieties (Persimmons, pomegranates, jujubes and figs) that we grow have never seen a single application of pesticide. They are not prone to bugs and pests and we more than are glad to take advantage of Mother Nature’s gift.
We follow a no/ zero waste policy both at farm and at market. Most leftover fruit that we won’t sell is donated to food banks, and schools. Some inedible fruit is used for deer and horse feed, and some used for compost, a nutrient-rich mixture of decaying organic matter that makes a good natural fertilizer. All pruning is shredded and left in the orchards as an indigenous top mulch. The waste from our production stays within the farm’s ecosystem and doesn’t cause buildup or pollution elsewhere.
We no longer use plastic bags at the markets; instead we offer biodegradable or recycled paper bags. Packaging other then bags is minimal and reusable and biodegredable. As well, we transport our produce in reusable boxes. Our main truck is large and efficient, which allows us to have fewer vehicles on the road, reducing our carbon footprint.
Scott is always on the hunt for new varieties new to plant the orchards. As often as possible we introduce new tree types knowing diversity is a key element in sustainable, healthy farming. In the spring of 2010 we planted close to 2500 new trees all of which were new to the growing Arnett growing areas. A wide variety of plants and animals (from chickens and peacocks to goats and horses) are at home on the farm, but these guys aren’t for sale.
Our New Varieties are sometimes a type of fruit that has been selectively and carefully propagated to produce a more flavorful, resistant, longer lasting fruit. And often varieties new to our orchards are heirloom or traditional types of fruit, not so common to the market place.
We are proud to say that Arnett Farms is starting its transitional period to certified organic growing in the beginning of the year 2011.
Commitment to our employees: This begins with competitive and fair wages. We value loyalty as much from our employees as we do from our customers, and understand how hard they work in all stages of farming, transportation and sales. We have employees that help just with the markets, and we have a diehard group that works and live at the farm. Some employees are second and third generation members of our team. The safe and close-knit work place we create is a part of our quality approach and extends to everyone involved.
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921 Van Ness Ave. Ste C 90501 Torrance, CA
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