Pick your own at Clovis Oasis farm

April 17, 2008 8:11:57 PM PDT
Clovis is home to natural farm which draws people from around the state to pick their own produce.The whole idea is to get people to slow down and appreciate nature. The Oasis Farm in Clovis is a place where agriculture is regarded as art. Natural farmer Bruno Luconi said "You're gonna see around this farm flowers and poems and reflecting exactly the art."

The pretty flowers are there to relax visitors and attract bees and ladybugs. Luconi said "This is paradise for me. Working with nature, learn from nature. So for me these trees are the main actors of this beautiful environment."

Luconi moved from Argentina nine years ago to help run the Oasis Farm - a ten-acre natural farm. He said "We do our own compost. We have grapes. We have asparagus." The asparagus will eventually be harvested for its seed as well. "At the end of the season we let the whole thing grow."

Everything from strawberries and oranges to three types of carrots grow here, including purple ones. Luconi said "A lot of people are surprised. How come this is a purple carrot? Well that's how it used to be. Actually it's more sweeter than the others."

The farming philosophy is based on the teachings of Mokichi Okada, who developed his system in Japan in 1931. Mounds of organic compost are produced from seven tons of greens and clippings each year. No pesticides or manure are used.

Luconi also raises earthworms. Rye is grown to serve as a mulch. The garlic grown is sometimes diluted in water and used to repel bugs. At the base of some stone-fruit trees you'll find chive growing. Luconi said "They exude a system that avoids certain viruses."

The crops don't grow in straight lines. The paths encourage movement. Retired mathematician Wesley Johnston moved to Clovis from San Ramon six years ago to work with the farm. He said "Just learn how healing this place is just to be here and walk through these gardens and just experience the beautiful flowers." You can't miss their sight or smell. They're blooming in between the crops. Luconi says the farm wasn't established to turn big profits. Its mission is to educate. Families often stop by to pick produce to show kids where their food comes from.


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