The Ladybug Letter is an open letter from Mariquita Farm to everyone with a curiosity about the people, practices, and politics of farming.
“Mariquita” means ladybug in Spanish, which is the language of daily work on our farm, and the ladybug is the mascot of the natural farming movement. As a farmer I’m a friend to the ladybug. As a “man of letters” I want to be a man of “ladybug letters.”
Today society takes it for granted that not many farmers are needed to grow the food that feeds the nation. The media has followed the crowds and largely forgotten about farming. When the press does turn its attention to the fields reporters often lack the experience or appreciation of context to know what questions to ask.
There is an agricultural media, but as far as I’m concerned the industry magazines I get in the mail are ventriloquist dummies that channel messages from their corporate sponsors that manufacture “crop protection products.” Farmers like me can complain about being misunderstood and ignored – or we can write the news ourselves. You have tuned in to my broadcast.
I don’t believe in the myth of journalistic objectivity. All that is at issue is whether or not a writer chooses to reveal their bias. There are no chemicals or artificial flavoring agents in the vegetables I grow, and I hope that where there’s sweetness or bitterness in the stories I write the perspective has grown “organically” too out of lived experience on the farm – no nostalgia, no regrets, no corporate bullshit. I hope you enjoy the Ladybug Letter, and I thank you for your time and attention. -Andy
Contact info for Andy and Mariquita Farm:
andy at mariquita dot com
po box 2065 Watsonville, CA 95077-2065

0 thoughts on “About”

  1. Marcus Rector

    What a privilege to make the first comment on your new blog. I have benefited, enjoyed and learned from your stories over the years. This is indeed a step forward and a treat to your readers and customers. Thanks for having the talent and the courage to speak out. When the e coli scare hit the papers, you were the first to educate the consumer with a reasoned response. I hope this gives you a proper platform to speak out at the appropriate times. But keep the humorous stories coming, as well.

  2. Jessie

    I’m a dedicated farmers market-goer in SoCal, and your Mariquita website has been my go-to page for vegetable recipes. I just want to say how psyched I am to have explored the rest of your website and to have stumbled onto your excellent blog. Thank you for sharing your wise and cheeky musings with us non-farm citizens and letting us gain a greater understanding of a farmer’s world. I look forward to reading your next entry — and all future entries!

  3. Vic Willis

    I recently stumbled upon your website through a link to “The Splendid Table” and I just wanted to thank you. I have made a concious effort the past two years to seek out the food that is available from my local farming community and I can’t imagine now not knowing where my food “comes from”. I deeply appreciate the value of the individual farms in my area (southwest NH) and am committed to the challenge of making healthy, sustainably produced food more available to everyone.
    Thanks again for a great blog.

  4. Gretchen Jones

    First day to read your blog and home page message. I live in an agri area that specialized in Frazier Fir christmas trees. Lots of chemicals. Possibly it is not a safe place to grow food. Others input will help me. Providing we are of the same spirt that the body is a temple and give it the best. Thank you.

  5. kathy eastman

    I am not sure what I have done wrong with fennel in the past. All I seem to get is the tops…no bulbs. I purposely planted bulbed fennel. Is it a 1 year crop? Please advise. Thank you so much for the pickled fennel recipe. I have been looking for one for about 4 years.

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