Alex Weiser of Weiser Family Farms has long been a favorite of Matt and I. He typically sells the most flavorful potatoes, melons, and mulberries at farmer’s markets throughout Los Angeles. I will never forget experiencing his tender and sweet banana fingerlings for the first time. It was transformative.
Alex has branched out from these staples and is developing additional land on Linda Vista Farms in Tehachapi with his friend, John, to grow heritage, organic grains which Alex says are naturally drought tolerant and low gluten. The generous people over at Ansom Mills are defining cooperative farming as they donated various seeds for the first trial crop here.
This chicken had an attitude! Most do! However factory farming does not provide them the opportunity to have a life where they are allowed to develop their natural inclination for pecking order or to roam around for exercise and to eat bugs. Alex has a variety of chicken breeds that are fed the grains and greens that he grows, and they produce a variety of colored eggs, even an azure blue!
Alex and John did some research on pigs and found that Gloucester Old Spots to be a docile breed, and I will affirm that they were. Their floppy ears bounced up and down as they came to greet John who had a hose ready to give them a little mud bath on this hot day. Afterwards, sweet as any dog I have known, they rolled over to the ground for some belly rubs from us. Unlike factory farmed pigs, they have a lot of room to walk around their pens that have indoor and outdoor space. Naturally affectionate, when pigs are raised this way, it is safe to keep their teeth and tails intact whereas these are viewed as hazards when mass producing pork.
These pigs also act as a natural compost for the farm, eating harvests like melons, berries, and chard that don’t go to market.
Mulberries! These trees were bursting with berries. All of our mouths were stained as if we had drank gallons of red wine. Note the nets over the trees that act as a natural repellant to many bugs and birds. Oh and these shallots. The best. Another signature of Weiser Farms.
To finish the day, our gracious host insisted that we sit and share some of his prized, juicy, sweet as candy melons with him. We had already taken up so much of his day so we gave him an out, letting him know we were good and could hit the road, but when he said, “It’s you or the pigs that will get these melons,” well that’s what did it for us! His pigs regularly get melons that are just about to ripe to sell. Imagine that! On this day, sorry piggy’s , we had to steal some of your meal…. and we enjoyed every last messy bite.