Wednesday, July 4, 2012

#BuenaLomaGardens: A Hidden Treasure in #Temecula, Ca

This week is Support Small (& Local) Businesses Week (July 1-7) and I have a special place to share with you by way of my friend who visited Buena Loma Gardens for the first time just a couple weeks ago.  She has given me permission to share her story with you. 
About 2 weeks ago I packed up the kids for a hike to the Santa Margarita Trail in Fallbrook, Ca.  I had a general idea of where I was going but was relying on my cell phone for directions.  As luck would have it, I missed a turn and found myself in a rural part of town with no cell reception.  I was getting ready to turn back when I spotted a sign for Buena Loma Farms.  I was intrigued by what I might find so I followed the signs to a small stand on the side of the road.  Actually, it was the home of Charlie and Elvie Colabella.
Immediately, Charlie came out to greet us and had us sampling fruit.  We had the sweetest oranges and the most delicious grapefruit, apples and blood oranges.  We also tried sweet Gloria Gold limes which Elvie called 'magic' lemons.  I think she called them magic because they looked like lemons but actually had a mild taste without the tartness of a regular lemon.  
Charlie and his wife, Elvie eagerly gave us a tour of the gardens.   We saw the many varieties of fruits and vegetables that were growing on the farm.  The kids were also allowed to help Charlie pick blackberries, while I hand selected kale straight from the garden.  
Charlie and Elvie developed the land over 16 years ago and just one month ago started selling to the public.  All their fruits and vegetables are organically grown, using a homemade fertilizer and are hand cultivated.   Charlie has a special interest in educating the public on home gardening and composting.  
We eventually made it to the Santa Margarita Trail, but the best part of the day was discovering Buena Loma Gardens, meeting Charlie and Elvie and tasting some wonderful produce.
If you visit in the next few weeks you will be treated to eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, melons, Italian heirloom squash (known as Marianna Di Chioggia), kabocha squash, apples, persian mulberries and figs.  Personally, I’ll be back in about a week for the Persian mulberries.  
Since my last visit, Elvie has created a picnic seating area for visitors to sit and enjoy the serenity of the gardens.  Visitors are also welcome to bring their own picnic lunches.
Buena Loma Gardens is a 20 minute drive from Rancho California and the 15 Freeway in Temecula.   They are located at: 45485 Buena Loma Road, Temecula, CA 92590.  Their summer hours are 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Sunday or otherwise by special arrangement.  If you have any questions, you may contact Elvie at or at (951) 694-5328.   ~ Elisa DeCristo, Murrieta, CA

When you stop in be sure to tell Charlie and Elvie that you learned about them through Conveying Awareness. This helps them know that their efforts at networking are reaching many.  Thank you!

Update on 7/6/12: I, Jessica with Conveying Awareness, visited Buena Loma Gardens on the 4th of July and I will be blogging about my experience and some recipes that Elvie shared with me that I made the days following my visit.  

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

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