The Organic Cyclist

from seed to saddle


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The second part of our first day

The second part of our first day involved creating CSA baskets. CSA is Community Supported Agriculture, a partnership between a food grower and a food consumer. In this case a local organic farm, South Coast and a community of supporters that together wish to preserve the agriculture of their community and guarantee a healthy source of food. Support your local CSA!

Jim and me working with Rebecca, farm manager, Shannon, and Mario.


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Work Day on the Farm

Today was the first farm work day on my journey! Jim and I awoke from our camp area for a bite to eat, a cup of coffee and a lesson on apple picking. South Coast Farms is so unique in that it is literally right in the middle of a residential area in San Juan Capistrano!

Jim and me harvesting the orchards…..this is how you carry an apple basket!

Dr. Doug taught us a great deal about how to tell when the apples are ready to be plucked from the tree. Smell, color and taste are all factors! We enjoyed the last factor especially! 😉


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We made it to South Coast Farms

Well, we finally made it to South Coast Farms in San Juan Capistrano, after nine hours in and out and on and off of the saddle….

George Kibby, the Farmer/proprietor here, has shown Jim Dorris and me top rate hospitality. We were greeted by his two hunting dogs a Lab and a Britney. Then George took us for a walk through the orchards showing us all of his amazing apple and peach trees. After the short tour we sat down to a quick dinner before setting up camp. Now it is time to hit the hay for some shut-eye before our first work day on the farm!


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Movies, Moons and Pitchforks

This week’s highlights; Movies, Moons and Pitchforks.

Movies………..On Thursday night, as a prelude to my adventure, I held a showing of the movie Food Inc. at Wholefoods in La Jolla. There were 19 Triathlon Club of San Diego members in attendance. A rather interesting discussion ensued as to the future of agriculture and the importance of organic farming techniques. A follow-up discussion is set to take place.

Moons…….Yay!!!! My sponsor, Luna, sent me a huge shipment of Luna Moons and Bars! Luna you ROCK!

Pitchforks……….Our workday at Roots on Suzie’s Farm consisted of cleaning out some of the veggie beds. FUN. FUN. FUN! ……Andrew, Me & Alex


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Work day on the Farm

Last week at Roots on Suzie’s Farm, Misha, Andrew and I planted eggplants and onions in the permabeds.  The permabeds are untilled compost beds that include many different varieties of plants.  The purpose of this type of planting is to keep a natural flow of the intake and release of nutrients.  Each plant maintaining and hopefully enhancing the fertility of the soil.  This is really a cool way of farming and I can’t wait to see what is in store for this week’s planting.

Andrew hard at work…….

Planted Eggplant in the permabeds.

Permabed Video….


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Meet Our Local Farmers

On Saturday I rode through Old Town to Hillcrest where I stopped by Whole Foods Market. Two of our local farms-Sage Mt. Farm and Suzie’s Farm were displaying their HEIRLOOM veggies that day!

I enjoyed a sample or two of the roasted Pedron, Anaheim and Sweet peppers grown by Robin and Lucila on Suzie’s farm and beets from Phil and Juana’s Sage farm.


Thank you Carolyn for your excellent roasting abilities.

While refueling I talked to Robin and Phil about the type of produce grown on their farms and about my cycling trip.  I picked out a few of the gorgeous squash varieties and headed home to cook them up. What a meal!


Thank you Sage Mt. Farms and Suzie’s Farm for providing San Diego with such amazing produce and to Whole Foods for hosting the roasting!


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Volunteering with Roots @ Suzie’s Farm

On Friday I worked the Roots farm @ Suzie’s in Imperial Beach.  I rode my bike from La Jolla to the farm in just under two hours and worked the farm for 3 hrs. The ride back home took a bit longer due to some wind and fatigue.  😉

Misha, the farm manager, and I finished clearing a field of high chrysanthemum.  Yay, we did it!

For the first time I got to use a sickle to cut the weeds, amongst which we found dill and fava bean seed.  I also found a tomato vine, which I accidentally chopped due to my excellent abilities at the use of the sickle.  Misha said it would grow back though, so no worries.

We also pulled the plastic off of the vegetable beds that we had planted during the “Grow the Farm Event”.  We had to be very careful while removing the covering because amongst the corn, bean and squash sprouts, were tons of little critters including a black widow spider or two.  The squash, especially looked very hearty. 

I learned that when seeds are first planted  it is best to protect them with the plastic from nibblers like rabbits and from the elements.  During germination the seeds do not need a lot of sun so keeping the soil cool and somewhat moist is most advantageous.

It was quite an experience and I can not wait to work the farm again.  I plan to volunteer here on a weekly basis until my trip and then again after my return.