Flying Disc Ranch

Type:Farmer
Owner:Robert Lower
Phone:760-399-5313
Website:http://flyingdiscranch.com
People:

Robert Lower along with his sons Eric and Ian, Christina Kelso, Pedro, Carolina and Maria Medina and World-Wide Workers on Organic Farms.

Bio:

Flying Disc Ranch is tropical desert filled with a forest of date palms with a lush undergrowth of citrus of all flavors.

Land:

11 acres in Thermal, CA

History:

Robert bought his property--desert land that he cleared, irrigated, and planted with over 1,200 palms--in 1979. Flying Disc Ranch has become a tropical rainforest-type ecosystem, host to a wealth of wildlife. Different varieties of date palm are interplanted with citrus and all the date trees are hand-pollinated. Since the Coachella Valley is part of the great Mojave Desert and dates require a lot of moisture, Robert creates a "green oasis," with lots of water, compost, mulch and a year-round cover crop. Robert farms using a combination of techniques from many farming traditions; he has come to farm the way he does through "observation, adaptation and accident." He describes his ranch as "100% permaculture" and never uses any synthetic or organic pesticides. Despite the ecological methods he employs, Robert says he "will never be certified anything."

Soil:

The farms's soil is built with aged compost, cover crops, manure, and decomposed mulch. No tilling or discing techniques are used.

Water Use:

About 25% of the water used on Flying Disc Ranch is deep well water, and 75% is Colorado River water. Irrigation water is aerated so that the plants can absorb it better, and both flood and drip irrigation techniques are used.

Weed Control:

Mulch