Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort and the Gardens of Avila Restaurant is happy to introduce our Farmer Consultant Ralph Johnson. He works closely with Chef Pandee to provide her with the freshest local produce possible for our Gardens of Avila Restaurant. He also works with Chef Pandee to manage the planting in our resort garden here at Sycamore. Last year we started with an abundant planting of tomatoes, corn, squash and much more to kick off our Ode to Tomatoes series with our sister properties in the Boutique Hotel Collection.http://boutiquehotelcollection.com/
Ralph Johnson’s Biography: Ralph’s blog: http://jrjohnsonfarmsblog.blogspot.com
Who is Ralph Johnson? I’m a biodynamic farmer and yes there is a cow horn buried in my field. Half of the year the horn contains cow manure the other half it contains ground quartz crystals. I farm by the moon and let the moon dictate what needs to be done on the farm. It works and makes life so much easier. I grow heirloom varieties of vegetables and herbs. A lot of what I grow is rare and not found in a regular store.
How did I get to where I am today? I grew up always having an organic garden in the backyard or near. There was always Organic Gardening magazines and Farmers Almanac around the house. Then I went to Cal Poly and learned to farm commercially (regular fertilizers and sprays). I started to farm this in the late 70’s. I used to use chemical sprays and then went to organic sprays. Next I stopped spraying and bought insects to eat other insects (Insect Wars). That was expensive and stopped. I allowed the natural beneficial insects to do the work. I also had to create an environment for the beneficial insects to live in. Next I got rid of commercial fertilizers and went with organic ones. Currently I am using compost and a small amount of composted manures. I grow most of my own seeds and believe in crop rotations.
There is a great contest on Visit Wine Coast Country Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/visitslocounty valued at over $2000! Sunset Savor tickets, Western Wine Awards Tickets and more plus $1000 toward your favorite lodging spot..Sycamore of course!