GBR uses natural farming techniques to grow and harvest our heirloom tomatoes. Our farm does not use any synthetic sprays, rather we use beneficial predators such as ladybugs, praying mantis, earthworms and green lacewing bugs. These beneficial predatory insects will destroy harmful insects including aphids, tomato hornworms, whitefly and wireworms.
The use of nutrient-rich organic compost is a big part of how we feed our plants decomposed matter. This is beneficial for rapid plant growth, uses less water and replenishing the dirt with vital elements that are being consumed by the plant during the growing season.
We also use plant cover crops every year in our cherry orchards and tomato fields to help replenish the depleted soil with essential components. We employ a cover crop which is a mixture of vetch, garbanzo beans and various types of tall grasses.
A permanent cover crop also helps with keeping built-up carbon in the dirt as opposed to and not releasing it into the atmosphere during constant tilling. GBR installed its own weather station in 2010 this apparatus, with its and numerous probes buried in our soil in strategic locations, will record soil temperature, soil moisture and soil salinity.
Also our stations measure the tension between the dirt and the roots of the plant which will help us determine the exact amount of water to nurture our plants. It is very important to determine when to water your plants, especially when dealing with the ultra-sensitive heirloom tomatoes. If you over or under water your heirloom tomatoes, they will either suffer from disease or become bloated and lack that delicious “heirloom taste.” Our weather station also reduces our water waste by giving us an updated look (every 15 minutes) of our ranches’ water needs.