Ladybug Letters

Farmer Andrew Griffin shares his perspective through his journal

Never Turn Your Back On A Bull

Soda Lake, in the Carrizo Plain National Monument, is often dry for for long

One Step At A Time

One Sunday morning, years ago- 1987, to be exact- a beautiful balloon surprised us

Thank You

Here's Jai harvesting Prickly Pear fruits, called "tunas" in Spanish. Jai also harvested LOTS

Pop Up and Event Schedule

Celebrate Fall with Mariquita Farm! The Tomato season is really moving along now and

In Loving Memory

The sanctuary of the Watsonville Buddhist Temple was lined with huge displays of colorful

Pop Up and Event Schedule

Sunflowers are SO COOL. Edible, ornamental , celestial Fibonacci equations playing out in the

A Taste For Pachamama

The bedroom slash squash storage warehouse. If I leave the squash in the field

Pop Up and Event Schedule

The first of this season's marigolds. I planted several thousand plants.   Mariquita Farm

A “Slow” Recipe For Polenta

These corn plants have to be 10 feet tall- or more! I'm 6'1" Here's


Our first marigold of the season. The variety is called "Chedi." Let me start

Mariquita Farm Pop Up Schedule for Tomato Season 2023

Hi Everybody: Tomatoes are ripening as I write these words to you. As our

Glamping With The Ladybugs

Our farm isn't just a place for the wild creatures to take refuge from


My feet are tapping. In my head, I can hear a vigorous horn section

Just Ducky

Pinus Sabiniana along the road to Carrizo Plain. My father did his doctoral thesis

Good Clean Dirt

My daughter, Magdalena, as a child in the greenhouse. She's 26 now.   My theory

Looking for a Few Good Gnomes

Ziggy on guard under a Rosa gallica complicata. This old fashioned rose only blooms

Walk for Peace

My late dog, Red, helping me research labyrinths. This one is on the coastal

Finally some sun!

My grandmother once had a cat who had three kittens on the 15th of

Mariquita 2.0

Have you noticed that God didn’t create “The Farm of Eden?” It's one thing

Hope Springs Eternal

I've got a counterintuitive tale for you. Several years ago, during the driest, dustiest,

There’s More to the Story

"Every picture tells a story" they'll tell you. And it's probably "a thousand words"

Giving Thanks!

Turkeys roaming in the labyrinth. Every day is "Turkey Day" at Mariquita Farm....but Thanksgiving


  A few of you might find the fierce looking chayote that I've put

Something to Crow About

Starr with a few crows in Palo Alto. I'm booted up, caffeinated, mouse in

A Wise Recipe

Ripe fruit from the vine! Joel is my "cousin in law" from the Midwestern

Tomato Season

  As I sit down to write this note to you I can hear

Striking Gold

  "Give me two reasons why anybody would want to live in Texas," I

Step Right Up!

Our first Tomatopalooza of the season at Alladin Nursery in Watsonville. A "lollapalooza" is

The Tale of the Tomatillo

Tomatillo de Milpa The Islas Marias are an archipelago in the Pacific some 60 miles

Just Around the Corner

Green, unripe San Marzanos on the vine. Broadly speaking, there are two principal categories

Where Has All the Water Gone

Windmill at Mariquita Farm Water witching works like a charm. Or not. Some people

A Hollywood Drama

Young sage on left, nepitella (or Roman mint) by Samson, the "royal" cat. If

Saving Seeds

When I think about the desirability and feasibility of a farm saving its own seed,

Beware Beelzebub

Basil, the backyard gardener and amateur ethno botanist from Basel, took a step into

The Many Cats of Mariquita

Samson watching over the Mariquita labyrinth Oh, my God, the violence lay hidden in

Three Weeds’ Tales

  Wild arugula growing in a lemon balm patch Here's an irony: My father

I Beg Your Pardon

  Purslane, cultivated as a crop "April showers bring May flowers," goes the old

Simple Pleasures

  A beachside fruit vendor in Ventura, CA With the tomatoes going into the

A Field with a View

Mt. Shasta looms over Redding, CA   What's the stupidest thing you've ever done?

A Note from Andy

The pole bean patch has been laid out; gopher wire under the the ground,

Magic Beans

Controversy was swirling at a recent school board meeting- "A REAL FOOD FIGHT!" read

Big News

Hi Mariquita supporters, We've been busy planting, weeding, and chasing the birds away from

Get Ready…Get set…Go is coming soon!

The lemon arbor at Ganna Walska Lotusland in Montecito. Life gave me lemons...But this

Maybe I’m Amazed

The very warm, almost hot, afternoons that we've been having this past week could lead

Creative Evolutions

Borders are interesting places. Yes, borders divide people into one side and the other

Cultivating Luck

We've turned up three rusty, old horse shoes as we've gone about getting the "windmill


Mr Raccoon leaves big dirty foot prints on the stairway. It was the thump


Hi All: We got a soaking rain last week with our six inch deep

Fire On The Mountain

It was hot last Friday afternoon as I returned home from my produce deliveries

Consumer Alert

You're probably going to want a towel to protect your hand. We're doing our

The New Abnormal

A creeping mist hanging low to the ground kept me from seeing the great

Fun Facts for the Vegetable Literate

"FAQs" are "frequently asked questions," and the reason they are frequently asked is because

Glimpses of Late Summer

Late summer is an especially busy time on the farm, with harvesting summer crops,

Fall Comes Dancing In!

Our yard is full of "Naked Ladies." Or you may know them as "Pink

Gobble, Gobble!

The only turkey bird native to California, Meleagris californica, went extinct 10,000 years ago.

A Pinch of Fresh Seasonal Herb Salt

    I Didn't your mother ever tell you "You can catch more flies with sugar

Enjoy the August Harvest

    In his effort to liberate India from the British Empire Mohandas Gandhi

Wild Life

    "Back in the day," as in "back in my great-grandfather's day," Watsonville

A Sunday Adventure

  Corralitos, where I live and farm, isn't on the road to anywhere, and

Shedding Light on the Nightshade Family

I have never been to Jalapa. I don't even know any Jalapeños, but I

The Tomatoes are Coming

People have been asking when the dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes and San Marzano tomatoes

Cinderella’s Brunch

Once upon a time in a land far, far, away Little Red Riding Hood

We Are Stardust

A little country schoolhouse in the woods adjacent to the site of one of

For Plants, Everyday is “Sun” Day!

Fathers Day fell on June 20th this year and seemed to get more attention

Our Lady’s Birds

We call them "Ladybugs" but they're beetles, not "bugs." Scientists call the Ladybug family

The Many Scents of Lavender

Planting a garden is a blatant act of optimism; even the tiniest seed takes

The Milpa and the Holy Trinity

We planted the first stage of our little "milpa" this weekend. A milpa is

Brand New Potatoes!

New potatoes are just that-new! And they're probably my favorite crop of the year. We're

What Kind of Pea?

The girl  was SO insanely sensitive, and yet her morbid fragility was somehow proof

A Different Type of Sting!

As I cultivated my rows of young lime trees yesterday with my little tractor

From Oaxaca to Watsonville

Fidel is working out a grass roots level marketing program for his nascent farm.

A Tale of Avocados

I don't care what Marjorie Taylor Green or the other "researchers" from the Q-anon

Feed the Soil

The organic mantra is "feed the soil." Feed the soil, and the soil will

Living on the Central Coast

His supporters say it was a "heart condition" but opposition politicians claimed that the

The Colors of Cauliflower

When I was a kid here in California cauliflower was white. Nowadays consumers can

Your Dollars Can Count Supporting Farms in Your Backyard

Askelon is a port city along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Today

Did You Say Chayote?

We're still seeing rain and cold night temperatures, but spring planting is underway. The

The Mystery Behind the Lemon

"When life gives you lemons, make...." Yada, yada, yada, you know how the saying

It’s Time to Say Thank You

"Do you bathe," she asked me. "Are you interested in personal hygiene?" I took

Cabbage Family Reunion

The time has come,' the Walrus said, To talk of many things: Of shoes

Kohlrabi Rising

The humble kohlrabi and anoint it as the next "it" vegetable. Why not? Kale got the

Joyful Roaming Through the Countryside

I heard a mighty crash down in the forest below the packing shed but

We Will Miss Him

Amigo Bob Cantisano was a true politician and I mean that in the best


Not all gifts arrive wearing a bow. One of the best gifts my father


Hi Everybody: For years now we've called the mixed produce boxes that we have been


Thanksgiving marks the end of the season for the farm in a way that


The Latin word, "radix," meaning "root," is the "root word,"  so to speak, for our

You say ‘tomato.’ I say ‘tomato.’

Concerning the Piennolo tomato, there's a noted Bay Area restaurateur who shall go unnamed because, despite

At Home with Ambiguity

If you're not "at home" with ambiguity, surprises, and triage as a lifestyle, then

Yerbas Buenas

Starling is drying bales of Hoja Santa in the food dehydrator so our kitchen is

Smoke in the air. Fire in the belly.

Covid creeps closer;  a worker on our landlord's farm fell ill and is in

Gems, Jewels and Beans…

Last winter, right before Covid erupted into our midst, I had the opportunity to

Potatoes and the web

The potatoes in this week’s share box are “new” potatoes; that is, they have