All three of our farms are located hundreds of miles from any source of major industry or pollution. Our soil has always been used in accordance with organic practices, though we do not believe in paying those who “own” this word. Our water comes from artesian wells held deep within protected mountain ranges.
We use only organic sources of fertilizer from animals fed only on natural pasture or forage, or plant based materials (seaweed and kelp). The air is pure and clear. Both of our farms are almost entirely worked by hand, far from any paved roads, are set in beautiful rural areas with great soil. Our Baja farm has seasonal flooding which brings annually new deposits of mineral rich soil. All of this translates into super food/seed/medicinal garlic!
I am dedicated to teaching all of my customers the how to’s of garlic in all its facets. I can be reached for discussions on growing, cooking, or administering garlic anytime. I have also been very inspired to teach the next generation of young farmers how to be good stewards of the land. For 9 years now, we have annually taken on at least 2 interns per year through the WWOOF
This is an opportunity for us to teach young adults about all aspects of organic, sustainable farm life, give them room, board, and entertainment while they provide us with labor. I take their education very seriously and many leave satisfied and with a sense of accomplishment.
We want also to inspire the next generation that they can make a great life by becoming a small farmer, the most nobel profession on earth. That you can enrich the world around you, live sustainably, while still making a very good living.
We aim to provide our customers with THE best possible experience they can have with purchasing garlic. From answering questions, to quick response time, to special care and instructions when shipping. If our customers are not happy, we are not happy. It is ten times harder to get a new customer than to keep an old one and we vow to try to keep you all happy with excellent service!!
Our responsibility as a business is to not only provide our customers with the best possible product, it is to also be accountable to society for all of our actions. This is why we strive to leave as small an environmental footprint as possible while treating those we depend on with the utmost respect.
Our spring garlic is grown in a tiny rural mountain village which has thrived since the first year we began working with them. The farm employs many of the villagers. Annually, I bring gifts of modern comforts to the village and give out bonuses to all the workers whom help with this gorgeous product. We help produce, harvest, clean, and braid the garlic, asking nothing for our labor, then my friends and I purchase the entire crop at a very reasonable fair-trade price that enriches the lives of all the villagers. It is a business which feels great to be a part of because from farmer to consumer, everyone involved is like a link in the chain. Each link is invaluable and equally important.
Are We Organic?
I was taught organic farming by one of the movements pioneers, David Ronniger. You might say that it is the "roots" which support us here at Allicin's Ranch. It is the only way we have ever farmed, and the only way we ever will.
At one time we certified our farm, however we are not organic certified now. In the past, the organic distinction held more weight, but as corporate agribusiness has lobbied politicians to change the restrictions of what it is to be considered organic, we bowed out of the process. We have had great support from our customers, and have not looked back, nor had to pay for it since. We always encourage farm visits from our customers to verify our practices and in fact we are still very good friends with our former certifying agent.
On both farms our practices include, but are not limited to; bio-dynamic lunar plantings, crop rotation, soil testing, manure sourced from our neighbors or our own sheep (Idaho), and goats (Baja), rotational farming, extensive use of cover crops, trace mineral additions, michorrizae, helpful soil bacteria, microbes, organically sourced worm castings, hand weeding, hand planting, and hand harvesting. Everything is done by hand besides preparing the beds because we believe it makes for a cleaner crop. Mulch is used from our own pasture or locally organic sourced. Our water is from clean artesian wells, held deep in the mountains which contains trace minerals and elements rarely found in municipal water systems.
We take our growing seriously and our life represents one that you might have defined organic with before the word was bought. We are disappointed that the word organic is for sale, and we believe we are "beyond" organic, we are what some call, truganic! Our farms are both in two of the most pristine environments left in the US and Mexico and though the world is rapidly changing we will continue to hold on to our principles of delivering clean, healthy, and delicious food and seed garlic to our customers. Please, come have a look for yourself!
- Ben and Claire Ronniger