Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 4: Exotica, Barry Koral, & Ocean Beach Coop



After conferring with our friend who we were staying with, it was decided that we needed more fruit trees and shrubs for his edible garden, for which I had done the landscape design and installation four years ago. So, we drove in two separate cars down to Vista to visit our favorite organic fruit tree nursery called Exotica, owned by Steven Spangler. So we selected two Pomegranates, one Pineapple Guava, two Goji Berries, one Jujube, and one Surinam Cherry for our friend’s garden. I also bought two Goji Berries to take home to Maryland with me since I was having a hard time growing them from seed. We were sad to hear that Exotica Nursery was not doing so well financially and that Steve was behind on his payments and was in a protracted legal battle to hold on to the property. He said he needed an investor of some sort to assist him in continuing Exotica Nursery as an arboretum, botanic garden, or park. He showed us recent newspaper articles detailing his plight. We said we would try to help by contacting people we knew who might be willing to provide investment. We certainly hope he continues Exotica Nursery for a long time and it would be nice to see this land preserved in the public realm as a park since it is a botanical treasure trove that Steve has been tending for twenty years.
Do you have any ideas how to save Exotica Nursery? Do you want to help?

Barry Koral
Next, we drove a short distance up the hill to visit my friend, Barry Koral. Barry calls himself an “International Fruit Broker, Speaker, Author, Artist, and Motivator”. His card states “The Art of Healthy Living on the Planet”. He grows many kinds of fruit trees at his Korals’ Tropical Fruit Farm and other farms, and sells the fruits at a local farmers market. He was happy to see us and graciously showed us his newfound passion for creating art with india ink and colored pencil, showed us his dazzling custom built outdoor privy and shower bedecked with his creatively designed mosaic of tile, glass, stone, and shell walls, made us a fresh orange and peach juice, introduced us to his friends, let us sit on his deck, and gave us a tour of his orchard. His orchard of apple, avocado, fig, guava, passion fruit, and sapote was thriving. It was very neat and well organized in straight rows, with a row of stones around each tree trunk and wood chips covering the ground everywhere else. The circle of stones was to contain the worm castings and rock dust that he fertilized the trees with. Barry is steadfastly against using animal wastes and slaughterhouse products which are commonly used at organic farms as fertilizer, since they supplement the fruits with all the hormones, antibiotics, steroids, etc. the animals are injected, and it supports these nefarious industries. His farm is not officially organic because of the bureaucratic quagmire and expense one has to go through. Instead he calls his farm “better than organic”. After looking at how healthy his plants were and not detecting any noxious smells as is typical at farms, I believe him. He also, has a large compost heap and a vegetable garden for his own use.

What is your favorite fruit?

Ocean Beach People’s Coop

Afterward, we drove to San Diego to visit Ocean Beach People’s Coop. This is a very nice natural food store with a two story nicely designed contemporary building. Upstairs is a decent deli counter and seating areas with fresh foods prepared every day. Unfortunately, their rawfood selection is slim; there were only two raw dishes that day. We tried many different things since we were hungry after the long day. Unfortunately, I ate too much of the cooked stuff and later got a detox reaction. Anyways, we had a nice meal there and later bought some produce and rawfood snacks. There we met a friendly woman who loved talking to our baby and he loved the attention. On the drive home the highways can be tricky. We ended up at the wrong side at Sea World instead of reaching the 5 freeway.
Have you visited a coop? What did you like/not like about it?

Roland’s Websites:
Green Harmony Living – Planet friendly website
Green Harmony Living Store – Raw, Vegan, & Organic Foods & Products
Green Harmony Design – Beautiful, Edible, & Sustainable Gardens
Green Harmony Tours – Sustainable Ecotours to Germany


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