A Trip to Avocado Heaven

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Gene Bianchi's Avocado Grove
Gene Bianchi's Avocado Grove

On Saturday, Evan and I visited Gene Bianchi’s avocado farm.  He has 10 acres and about 1,000 trees in Temecula.  Gene grows Hass and Lamb-Hass avocado organically – a fact that was emphasized by the lush weeds, the flies, the birds and the lizards we saw scampering around.  The farm was full of life!  Each avocado is hand picked – they are too delicate to be machine picked.  One of the highlights of our visit was seeing Evan try her hand and the picker.  Gene and his worker (he has only one) carefully snip each avocado off at the stem.

Gene had the most gorgeous Cane Corso Mastiff named Bruno.  He had a silky coat, no doubt due to the fallen avocados he munches on daily.

Bruno the Italian Mastiff
Bruno the Italian Mastiff

Gene is involved in a pilot water program with Rancho Water and the California Avocado Commission.  His grove has been separated into zones and they are monitoring different watering methods.

Gene and his weather monitor
Gene and his weather monitor
Zone's avocado grovesZoned avocado groves
Red tipped leaves are a sign of a healthy plant
Red tipped leaves are a sign of a healthy plant

When we got home, I couldn’t resist trying a Hass.  My method this time was mashed with lemon and pink Murray River salt.

Avocado, lemon and salt
Avocado, lemon and salt

Hear Evan’s conversation with Gene on this week’s Good Food.