Saturday, February 8, 2014

How the Drought is Impacting Our Farms - Gonzaga Farms

Ronnie Gonzaga had a long and successful career in construction as a general contractor and Tess Gonzaga began her career in the medical field as an RN. They founded Gonzaga Farms in July 2001 with the idea of bringing a high quality of fresh and unique produce to the Southern California community at competitive prices. Their mission is to help create a stronger community by providing nutritional education to consumers while encouraging them to eat healthy organic food.

They have 4 sites and 3 different wells but in the city of LA, historically it has been cheaper to buy water than to use the electricity to pump from their wells.  Pumping costs twice as much with electricity rates being so high within the City of LA.  Now the city water is no longer available except in the case of emergency.  They have had to make deposits on emergency supplies. It used to be $158 an acre, now it is $1200.   It’s getting to the point where they can’t sell enough fruit to make the money needed to afford the water. They can buy outside water but it is 180% more expensive.

They use micro sprinklers next to the trees to irrigate.  These shoot water efficiently just to the crucial point that feeds the root.  When it rains they can wait two weeks to water.  

They have new trees to plant but aren't doing it yet because they fear not having enough water.  If things don't improve, they may have to let those trees just decompose and die.

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