transcript to accompany the episode on Mortimer Farms providing an Arizona community full access, transcript created via AI using castmagic.io (affiliate link)
Janice Person [00:00:02]:
Food is more than just what’s on our plate. It’s the places where it’s grown, it’s the people who grow it, and so much more. Join me, Janice Person, your host, on Grounded by the Farm every other week as we talk about the foods we love. Last night I drove north from Phoenix and I know I’ve done this drive before Ashley but I’m gonna tell you it felt different because I was doing it at night and the Sun was behind the mountains to the west it was a beautiful glow. Most of my drive up to Prescott or in the Dewey area at Mortimer Farms today. And Ashley is going to talk to me, Ashley Mortimer, her family has been working with this farm. She handles their marketing, You’re going to see some great videos that she’s done and you’re going to see my less than great video of a tour, but it’ll be fine. But I’ll show you around what they’re doing here. And Mortimer Farms is 1. How many did you say you’re growing like 50 something crops here? Yes, we grow 54 different things here at the farm. This is really kind of an agritourism. Tell me a little bit about your family’s history in agriculture and how you came to be part of the farm, because I know it wasn’t an automatic.
Ashlee Mortimer [00:01:18]:
Yeah, absolutely. So my family, both my parents grew up in the farming and ranching community.
My dad is from Iowa and grew up on a corn and soybean farm there and they also had cattle and horses and my mom grew up on a cotton farm. And so when they were kids, they both moved away from the farm.
And when they met, they knew that they wanted to raise us kids before we were around, raise us on a farm as well. All of those things that are instilled in farm kids, hard work and love for the land and love for food, all of those they wanted us to have. And no better way to do that than be raised on a farm or a ranch. And so when we were growing up, we were raised at my dad’s nursery, Mortimer Nursery in Prescott.
And then from there we moved. A plant nursery. Yes, a plant nursery. Raising kids at a nursery is a whole interesting thing. Yes. So he started the nursery and landscape business before my parents met. And then they fostered that business after they were married.
And then from there, we moved to a cattle ranch that’s just 15 miles away from the farm and raised cattle and also had a few farm fields there and then we were Introduced to this farmland and took it over about 13 years ago And that’s a whole nother story that I’m sure we’ll get into in a little bit But that’s kind of how we made it here to where we’re at now.
Janice Person [00:02:49]:
Yeah. So as I came up last night, because it was dark, I did not notice Mortimer Farms. But today, I mean, like as I drove down the highway, it’s the main highway to get back to the interstate. There’s no way to miss this place almost. I mean Mortimer Farms is very clear on different pieces and there’s like fun tractors like you guys have a really neat this is more agritourism probably than deep agriculture in some ways, but there’s deep agriculture behind your agritourism, where some just have the activity pieces. Help me understand
Ashlee Mortimer [00:03:27]:
what’s here at Mortimer Farms. So our primary purpose is definitely caring for the land and the environment and growing food. That’s where our deep love is. We love to be able to do the farming and the ranching side of things. And then our secondary purpose is inviting the public to understand the love of that. Not only the love that our family has for what we do, but the love that Arizona agriculturalists have for what they do, and American farmers and ranchers. And so we take it as our responsibility to educate people about the whole farming and ranching community. And in order to do that they come and see us, but they’re really seeing not just what we’re doing, but what our
Janice Person [00:04:11]:
fellow farmers and ranchers are up to. I don’t do video of these interviews because so often farmers would be nervous to be on video, but I kind of wish you guys could see how passionate she is when she’s speaking. You’ll see it in the video of the tour around the farm, but you can tell Ashley really lives this.
Ashlee Mortimer [00:04:27]:
Yes, we definitely do. And really all farmers and ranchers live this. It’s breathing, eating, sleeping, farming, and ranching. And it’s funny, my in-laws, they are 9 to 5 job workers. And I go over to their house and I’m on my phone doing social media and answering calls from farm workers. They’re like, you’re always working. Like, yes. And I grew up being that way. Both my parents live, eat, breathe, sleep. Everything is around the farm. Our vacations are going to Farm Bureau meetings, learning more about how to do our jobs better. And so it’s definitely a passion for not just my family, but for everybody that I’ve met in the agriculture industry, people, farmers, ranchers, they love what they do. And if love wasn’t behind it, it would be a really crappy job because there’s so many challenges. But you wait until you have those silver lining moments or those, the beautiful outcomes, you’re like, this is what makes it all worth it. Yes, yes. And I want to just explain,
Janice Person [00:05:29]:
we’re in the market. And so we hear customers maybe in the background a little bit off and on. It shows that you guys are actively busy. It’s almost lunchtime so what a great place to be at the market because you guys serve fresh foods, the bakery items. Let’s talk about what all you’re growing at different times, maybe this summer. So right now I saw things in your greenhouses How long are you gonna have stuff in the greenhouse? What all can people look forward to coming out? So our greenhouses
Ashlee Mortimer [00:06:01]:
are a great addition that we added 3 years ago so that we can have produce all year round here in the market. We definitely want to have staples for our local community and for people that are coming a distance to come and visit us that they can come to Dewey’s grocery store and pick up those things that they would get at a regular grocery store.
It looked a little bit like a really cool backyard garden, but it’s 1 that’s shared with others in the community, right? Like that backyard gardener that you wish you were. Yeah, definitely. Yep. I have a lot of people that come into the market and say, oh, I wish that I had a garden or I used to have 1 when I was a kid. I’m like, no worries. You can borrow ours. You can share it with us.
We’ve got all these greenhouses growing it for you year round. Exactly. Yeah. And really that’s a lot of where we’re coming from in what we’re doing is we are a community farm and we look at it that way that a lot of people that come here look at the farm like it’s their own because they love it that much. And a lot of people come here when they’re having a really hard time in their personal life and they come here to get away or to have some resemblance of happiness. And it’s just so special to be able to see that our guests and the community enjoy and love the farm just as much as our family does. So the big things I noticed that would be you pick besides the vegetables in the greenhouse,
Janice Person [00:07:22]:
you’ve got blackberries that will be coming in, which are a personal favorite. And my mom always made us blackberry cobbler if we could save enough of the blackberries before we ate them. Right? You have strawberries that were just going in. So once they get productive, how do people know when you got stuff going? Is it Facebook? Is it an email list?
Ashlee Mortimer [00:07:43]:
Both. We try to hit people as many ways as we can because everybody looks at something different. Yep, exactly. And so we have a page called What’s Pickin’ on our website that tells everything that’s available in the market and everything that’s available to harvest. And then when you come to the farm and check in for your experience, we also have a QR code that sends you to that page.
So you can look at that and look at a map to know where to go to pick all of the things. Just about everything that we grow here at the farm is available for picking and just depending on the season and what time of year you come to the farm, then you’ll have different things that you can pick and take home with you. Yeah, and if you’re coming late in the day and you just need some things for dinner,
Janice Person [00:08:27]:
I noticed you got a decent number of things that are available in the market, fresh in baskets, ready to be picked up too. So you can pick your own or you can leave that to somebody else who’s already done it for you. Yep, absolutely. And then as the season progresses, we’ll have more and more vegetables available here in the market. So tell me about what kids, like what are the components that grab kids? I saw goats and I’m gonna assume any animals always grab lots of attention?
Ashlee Mortimer [00:08:58]:
Yes, farm animals are popular. We call it the animal encounter. We have lots of goats, lots of baby goats, donkey, miniature horses, chickens, geese, ducks, peacocks, cows, turtles, really any farm animal you can find here at the farm. And the reason for that is we want people to be able to interact with animals and be able to feed them and pet them and see their behaviors and
Janice Person [00:09:26]:
kind of feel like they’re living a day in the life of a farmer or a rancher. So that’s 1 of the ways that they can do that. I love it. And there’s also like fun activities, right? So I didn’t get through all of that because I am not a five-year-old or whatever it is, the right demographic. But I noticed some really cool slides.
Ashlee Mortimer [00:09:46]:
Yes, we call it our farm park. And so in the farm park you’ll find farm inspired rides, games and activities. And all things are created with items that are usually found on a farm. And we kind of think outside of the box to make it fun. And it’s for all ages. You can find your inner kid and have fun out there or bring the family and watch the kiddos have fun. And like I said, it’s all about connecting to where your food is coming from. So we’re able to do that sneakily by having fun. And then you’re also a byproduct of that is seeing things that are on a farm and seeing and reading and understanding
Janice Person [00:10:25]:
how things are used on a real farm. It’s an easy place to stop. It’s right on the highway and get some of that energy out for your kids while they’re learning something. Exactly. Grab a great sandwich.
Ashlee Mortimer [00:10:37]:
That burrito she was making this morning, it was like a ham. Ham and bacon probably, so good. Yeah, bell peppers and onions right out of The greenhouse is so delicious. So how many people
Janice Person [00:10:49]:
help make this work? It’s the family farm, but you told me 1 of your guys has been with you guys,
Ashlee Mortimer [00:10:55]:
seemingly forever, like forever. Most of your life. Yeah. So we have 30 full time employees, year round employees here at the farm to make it all happen. We have our crews out in the fields. We have the market and deli employees, the windmill kitchen employees. A lot of our farm crew have been a part of our family for over 30 years. And it’s just definitely part of the family. We invite all of them to weddings. My sister Just had a baby a few 7 months ago now and then my brother’s wife just had a baby a few months ago And Jesus came to the hospital to meet the babies a few hours after they were born. So they’re part of the family and we love them all so dearly and are so thankful for all of our employees.
Janice Person [00:11:39]:
Speaking of weddings, you guys also have a venue for that kind of thing, for different meetings, weddings, whatever. How did that get started?
Ashlee Mortimer [00:11:49]:
So our venues and private events and our weddings began because of an interest from the public. We had a lot of people saying, hey, we wanna use your beautiful farm to get married and so it kind of evolved from there and it’s really been a really special part of what we do to be a part of such an important day for so many people and
Janice Person [00:12:11]:
for those people to come back year after year and see the farm and spend their anniversaries here and celebrate with us. So it’s just so special. I saw 1 of those those pieces that’s like an annual touch point. So like if kids come out each year to pick strawberries with their mom, there’s a like, how tall are you? I took my picture at this sign to know how tall I was today while I’m out here. But I can imagine that people love getting their pictures with their kids on those things every year. It probably is a tradition for folks to come out. Yes, absolutely. We have
Ashlee Mortimer [00:12:47]:
lots of people that come here because it’s their tradition and this Farm is so special to so many people. I mean we talked about that earlier And so seeing those traditions continue and seeing people bring the next generation to the farm and being so excited to have that experience. And a lot of our weddings are people that bring their kids or that they were kids and came here. And so it’s just the farm is such a huge part of a lot of people’s lives. And so to be able to offer such a diverse
Janice Person [00:13:19]:
amount of things that you can do here at the farm so that tradition continues in so many different ways. Yeah, yeah. I can see how easily it would be. Arizona is so different than any of the other places I’ve talked to about agritourism because almost everybody else has to shut down at some point in the year because winter gets to be too much, right? Like, you can’t be in Virginia in the dead of winter or sometimes the heat just will kill you in some places, right? You guys really have a year round event kind of pace, right? So how do you figure all that stuff out? Because it seems like it would make a very complicated calendar. Yes. Especially with 54 crops. Yeah, very complicated calendar for sure and it’s all about being strategic.
Ashlee Mortimer [00:14:07]:
I use that word especially this time of year when we’re a little bit slower because we’re just getting out of winter. We definitely are slower certain times of year which is helpful because we can re-evaluate how we do things and look at how we can be more strategic and look at where our current employees are and see, okay, maybe if we put them somewhere else they’ll even be more productive and have a better time at work. And so looking at all of those things so that we can be proactive and we can plan and we can be strategic, that’s how we’re able to do it.
Yeah, but the market’s year round. Yes. How many days a week? We’re open every day of the year except Christmas and Thanksgiving, 7 days a week. The market and deli is open every day of the week. The farm park and the animal encounter open every day of the week. The windmill kitchen is open Most of the time, if not for walk-up restaurant service, we do a lot of the cooking and preparing of things that we sell in the market at the Windmill Kitchen. So they’re always over there working.
You can’t take a day off when you’re farming and ranching. So those days, Christmas and Thanksgiving, our team has the day off, but our family picks up and does the chores and waters and all of those things so that they can have the day off. But yeah, we’re open all the time. You sell things from other nearby farms, I think I saw in the store. There were some things like goats milk lotion where you specifically called out the farm involved or some sausages
Janice Person [00:15:42]:
that were specifically called out for a farm involved. So it’s not just things from your farm. You’re trying to support other farms in the area. I’m gonna assume with that Yes, absolutely Although we are very diverse and try to do a lot of things ourselves Just to make all of the balls be able to
Ashlee Mortimer [00:15:59]:
continue flying in the air We do there are things that we don’t do and we love to be able to support local farms when that’s the case. And so we have Hayden Flour Mills is 1 of our partnerships. We get flour. Oh yeah, there were cookie kits too. Yeah. That y’all made up with that. Yes, yeah. So any way that we can support local farms, Polka Goat is where we get the lotions, Troyer Meat is where we get the sausages. So any way that we can help and support each other, because that’s really what agriculture is all about, is supporting each other and sharing not only products like we do and partnerships like that, but also information, because we’ve all been down a different path. And so if we can say, hey, what did you do when you came across this challenge and take their firsthand experience so that we can be a little bit better off and do the same thing for them. That’s what farming and ranching is all about. Yeah, so This ought to go live around mid-June.
Janice Person [00:17:02]:
So let’s talk about what people might be able to come out for like as they hear this episode for the first time. What’s going to be happening in mid-June?
Ashlee Mortimer [00:17:12]:
Mid-June is 1 of the best times to come for the pick your own experience. Most all of our crops are ready to harvest at that point. Blackberries, which we’ve talked about a little bit, both of our favorite crop, they are ready to harvest at that, at this time, I guess we’ll say. Strawberries also usually are harvesting around mid-june and then lots and lots of vegetables tomatoes cucumbers bell peppers All of those delicious things that we grow the list of 54 items most all of them are ready
Janice Person [00:17:45]:
Mid-june is the perfect time And I’d encourage people to take a nice day of it. This would be a great day trip if you’re in the Phoenix area. Obviously, if you’re in Prescott, you’re like right next door. I mean, this is like a weekly trip, right? But a good day trip with the kids, with the family, or for adults. So in June, we can do the pick your own with strawberries. What’s the next season?
Ashlee Mortimer [00:18:11]:
June, July, and August is really our primary vegetable and berry season. And then we go into lots of different flowers. We have lots of flowers that we grow, including sunflowers. So we have fields and fields of flowers. Yeah, it’s absolutely beautiful. And then we go into fall and our pumpkin festing corn maize. But we have, I was just grabbing our calendar, we have over 20 events that happen here at the farm. So, I mean, we have- I’ll make sure I link to this, but I do want to get the audio to get some of the main things, because
Janice Person [00:18:45]:
It’s hard for people to process 54 different things. So knowing there are seasons that shift a little bit. Yep. And seasons
Ashlee Mortimer [00:18:52]:
is a great learning experience for people that come to the farm. So you go to a grocery store and you see everything that you would ever want all the time. And when people come to the farm, they’re able to realize and see firsthand that strawberries don’t grow year round and that there is a season for those and learning how to cook with the season And even learning how to cook with different products that are fresh is a lot of it is different than a lot of people do now because of the convenience of going to the store and being able to… Getting whatever’s there. Exactly. Yeah. So that part of even just shopping in the market in deli is really Connecting back to where your food comes from because you’re able to see seasons and be able to cook different meals based on what the season is and based on what is being harvested
Janice Person [00:19:46]:
And so that’s a really cool aspect of it as well. Yeah, and you’ve got the canning aspect and stuff. So all the things that you grew in seasons can also be jarred up like relishes
Ashlee Mortimer [00:19:57]:
and things like that. All the vinegars, all the honeys, my God, the honeys. Yes, very popular. Yeah, And really good for local allergies. We have 3 different kinds of honeys for different areas in Arizona. So the wildflower honey is really good for central Arizona allergies. I needed that desert honey yesterday as my allergies were calling me. Seriously, yeah. I’ll take some today just in case you go back.
Janice Person [00:20:22]:
But so then in the fall, I derailed you. You said through August really is berry season and vegetable season. Then in the fall, I’m going to guess traditional fall things, apples.
Ashlee Mortimer [00:20:35]:
Yes, apples and pumpkins and our corn maze. Here at the farm, fall is our most popular time of the year. Our pumpkin festing corn maze is the event that you have to come to and then come a few other times throughout the year. But we really have a great time at the Pumpkin Fest in Corn Maze. We have shows and entertainment, fire dancers. We have the corn maze, pumpkin field, hay rides, that traditional fall festival is what we hold every
Janice Person [00:21:07]:
pumpkin fest and corn maze time. And people can also learn about how they’re grown at the same time, which is really cool. I love it. First off, I can’t believe I’m not gonna get to say hi to Sharla while I’m here But now I can say hi to Sharla on the podcast. There you go So the rest of the family you have your dad your mom Your brother.
Ashlee Mortimer [00:21:30]:
Oh, How many of the family is in it? There is 6 of us including my parents, I have 3 siblings and 1 just got married. Yes. Well 2 we really have been making big changes in our family recently adding a lot of new people We were counting the other day. There’s 12 no 13 of us now. There’s I have 2 nieces and in-laws and yeah, there’s a lot of us.
Janice Person [00:21:58]:
And so how many of your siblings, your parents are both involved in the farm? Yes. And how many of your siblings?
Ashlee Mortimer [00:22:04]:
So to preface this answer, my parents have a rule that we need to be away from the farm for at least 5 years after we graduate. And the reason for that is that we can get life experience, we can make sure we actually want to be involved in the family farm and also that they actually want us involved. I mean, it’s not a given. We have to be able to bring something to the table and we also are encouraged to actually want to be here and not feel like it’s mandatory or it’s the only option. Or yeah, exactly. So I have made it much past my 5 years and have been back at the farm for 3 years. And then my brother Hayden, he was in the army for 5 years and has recently come back to the farm. So what are you doing with the farm?
Janice Person [00:22:54]:
Your specialty versus Hayden’s?
Ashlee Mortimer [00:22:56]:
So my specialty is all the marketing. Okay. But we, because it’s a family farm, we jump in wherever we’re needed. So this last week I’ve been working a lot in the market in Delhi and sometimes I’m out on a tractor, other times I’m taking care of baby goats. I mean, wherever we have to be, that’s where we jump in. And on top of the marketing, I do a lot of the strategic side of things and how can we do things better and how can we offer a better experience for our guests. Hayden, who was in the army and now is back at the farm and he also is married, He does, he’s not a very social people person. So he does a lot of the behind the scenes in the farming side of things. He’s always on a tractor or on a horse or. I always try and explain to people, you know, some farmers
Janice Person [00:23:45]:
love being at the farmer’s market and selling direct. And some farmers really like the time alone to think in the tractor and to be in their own head and not to be bothered by people. I mean, I have introverts and extroverts, both in my family, and doing different jobs is a really good fit for
Ashlee Mortimer [00:24:05]:
folks. Yes, absolutely. And because we’re so diverse, we’re able to do that. I mean, if I’m in a pinch on the register, I would not call Hayden because he just would not enjoy that. But your mom could probably show up and… Right, exactly. Yeah, and knowing those qualities in our family and in our employees as well, and knowing, okay, I can’t call Na’u to come and run a register because he is much better at taking care of the cows or whatever the case is and being able to utilize people in the best way that we can.
Janice Person [00:24:39]:
Yeah, so just the 2 siblings are currently in the farm?
Ashlee Mortimer [00:24:43]:
Yes-ish. However, who is my next sister, she owns a hair salon, Wildflower Hair Co. And she also helps every once in a while when we need her. She does most of our bartending here at the farm, but she is loves owning her salon and does a great job. And actually her salon is here at the farm. So it’s very convenient to say, hey Kayla, come over and help me real quick. This bride’s hairstylist didn’t show up. Can you fix it? Exactly. Yep. And she is very personable. So, and just, I mean, she lights up a room when she walks in so I could call her and say hey Kayla come over and help me And she’ll be right there
And then my youngest brother Colton. He is still in his 5 years and I think He is really the reason that my parents came up with the rule, because when he was probably about 10 years old, maybe a little younger, he said, Mom, don’t worry. I don’t need to go to school because I’m just going to move down to the bunkhouse and run the ranch for you. And she said, no, we have this rule. Did you not know about it? So with that rule, Colton is… That’s funny. Yes. Yeah. And he’s a welder and does… Works at a local company here in town. And every once in a while, I convince him to come help me with things. Yeah. So we’ve talked through the Mortimer Farms part that’s really more agritourism
Janice Person [00:26:07]:
and that kind of thing. But let’s talk about the other part of the farm, which is where your parents were before you decided to start this, right? They really are big on beef. You said nursery, but then beef cattle is kind of the big piece. Yes. Yeah. So
Ashlee Mortimer [00:26:25]:
the nursery, like I said earlier, was started in 1986, I believe. My dad started that business and does landscaping and a whole garden center. It’s absolutely beautiful at the nursery. Lots of inventory and beautiful products and plants. And then in 2003, we moved to the ranch and bought the ranch and that’s where our main meat production happens and where we’re able to raise and take care of cattle and pork and all of the different animals that we have. You have pigs too. Yes. We do everything it seems like. That diversity really plays a role in being able to make everything work because at times, beef’s cost is, or we can sell our beef for less and we’re not making money on that so we can pick up on tomatoes and grow more tomatoes because the Cost of tomatoes is higher. So we’re able to juggle a little bit more to make everything
Janice Person [00:27:31]:
The cost of production versus the sales coming in. Exactly. The price that the consumer pays. It is easy at times to lose your shirt on if you’re on 1 thing only. Exactly. Yep. And that’s the reason that we grow 54 things like okay
Ashlee Mortimer [00:27:48]:
our tomato crop this year may not be Profitable, but at least we have sweet corn and we can really put our efforts in that sweet corn And when we do have challenges or things out of our control that happen. Yeah, a weather event that happens to take out something at the 1 moment you can’t suffer that weather event. Exactly. Yep. And so because of that diversity, we’re able to combat those challenges a lot better than if we didn’t have that. And also, when we’re slower with the farming side of things, we’ve scheduled so that the ranch, the major things that need to happen at the ranch are happening at that time. And when we’re slower. So like calving. Yeah, exactly. So we’re able to kind of work our puzzle so that everything fits in at a certain time of the year so we can continue to have our key employees all of the time and all year round and utilize them in the different businesses based on what’s happening in all of the different businesses.
Janice Person [00:28:51]:
Yeah, I know you guys between the, I kind of see them as 2 separate operations. Y’all probably don’t necessarily think of them that way, but they do, they do kind of blend over a little bit because then you have your some of your cattle over here but you’re right on a riverbed so help me understand the kinds of things you guys do to make sure that you’re being the best stewards of the environment and I know we talked about some of them while we were driving around. But I’m afraid if I don’t ask that 1 question, it would get away from us, right? So you’ve got hay fields, you’ve got cows, let’s put the 2 together and stuff like that. What on the environmental side have you guys been able to do that really makes a difference, do you think? Great question. I love talking about the environment
Ashlee Mortimer [00:29:39]:
and water and natural resources because that’s really a huge part of what farmers and ranchers do. Not only are we growing food, but we have to make sure that we are taking care of Mother Nature so that we can grow food and we can feed the community. And so that’s a really big priority to us. On the waterfront of things, this farm used to be watered by flood irrigation, which for us was not efficient.
Janice Person [00:30:05]:
And flood irrigation for somebody that doesn’t know means you’re just putting lots of water and it rolls across the field as the amount of water can after it starts soaking in 1 place it slowly gets to the other places and it can be wasteful,
Ashlee Mortimer [00:30:20]:
let’s say. Yes, and especially how our farm is set up and with the the elevations of The unbalance of the fields, I guess, is a better way to say it. It just wasn’t efficient. Not for the water, not for labor, not for any aspect of it. And so when we took over the farm, we converted to pivot irrigation and also to drip irrigation. And with those 2 methods, which pivot irrigation is an above ground walking irrigation system, it kind of looks like it has tires and it drives across, drives around in the circle on the field
Janice Person [00:31:02]:
And it has sprinklers that come above the crops. They’re the ones that are really cool when you look out from the airplanes and you see circles when you’re out West. Yeah. They’re not crop circles like from aliens. They’re from irrigation pivots going around the field. Yep. And then drip irrigation is
Ashlee Mortimer [00:31:20]:
on the field or underneath of the surface just barely and so with both of those forms of irrigation we have resulted in saving 90% of the water that used to be used on this farm. And that’s just incredible. How much was that reduction? 90%. That’s crazy.
Janice Person [00:31:40]:
Crazy. And in this environment today, reducing your water use by 90%, but keeping your farm production up there.
Ashlee Mortimer [00:31:48]:
And with that being said, we’ve actually increased our farm production because we’re able to water better. And so with flood irrigation, you may miss an area or the water didn’t soak in enough in 1 area before it rolled to the next area. Or so we’re able to better water and water where it needs to be watered and be more efficient in doing so and save water, which is just incredible. Awesome. So that’s 1 of the ways that we work with Mother Nature and try to do our part as stewards Another way is by incorporating cattle into our farming plan And so we bring cattle in at the end of a season To eat the remainder of whatever crop that is, if there’s any left. Those cows are happy cows when that happens. Happy cows, yeah. The best way to describe it is pumpkin fest. Oh my God, pumpkins with cows. Love, they’re in heaven, they love it. And they come in at the end of the pumpkin fest and we put them on the pumpkin field and they eat all of the vines that are left over, any pumpkins that are left over, and as they do so they are spreading manure and fertilizing the land and also aerating the soil with their hooves. And so all of those things it just works
Janice Person [00:33:03]:
all together to make us be able to do our job even better. That’s incredible. I love it. It’s the most gorgeous environment. When people look at the photos, you guys have incredible trees along your property that have been here. You said some of them probably a century.
Ashlee Mortimer [00:33:21]:
Yeah, it’s awesome. I love the trees. Yeah, and really, I mean, I could talk about the environment and what we do for the land all day. We love being able to care for this land and looking at the trees is kind of paints a picture of We not only needed to care for the land for the last hundred years for it to be where we’re at and for those trees To be where they’re at but for the next hundred years Not only for those trees but for the community that’s gonna be around us and the future generations and anything we can do now, not only benefits
Janice Person [00:33:54]:
what we can do now in feeding people now, but also- Makes it easier to continue feeding people well into your grandkids or something crazy. Which is a long way out. Yeah and that’s
Ashlee Mortimer [00:34:06]:
something that I really like about the farming and ranching community is not only are we looking at today but we’re looking at when we’re going to be far gone and what we can do to continue to allow people to eat and allow and help the land and help the environment and so that consensus around all farmers and ranchers is just a really beautiful thing. That did not sound good out there. I’m not sure when that happened.
Janice Person [00:34:32]:
I think we’re gonna wrap it up. I’m gonna make sure I include the link. It’s MortimerFarmsAZ.com
Ashlee Mortimer [00:34:40]:
is the website. And you’re on? Facebook and Instagram are my 2 favorites. I show up on stories every day so you could see my face and I tell behind the scenes of what’s happening at the farm. I love to be able to connect with people on those and we’re also on YouTube and our website and all the places. In that case, I’m going to do like a quick photo of her so she can put that on her stories.
Janice Person [00:35:06]:
All right, everybody, make sure you check out the show notes. And if you’re in this area or you’re planning, I know a lot of my friends love to come to Arizona at some point in the winter to get away from the cold places where some of us live. You’re gonna love this place in the winter too. And I’m telling you that burrito in the morning was to die for. I may have to ask for a breakfast burrito for lunch.
Ashlee Mortimer [00:35:28]:
Absolutely. We also have a chorizo breakfast burrito made with our ground beef. Ooh. So good.
Janice Person [00:35:34]:
All right. Thanks so much, Ashley Mortimer for doing this. I appreciate it. Absolutely. Thanks for coming to hang out with me today. All right. Bye.
Janice Person [00:35:42]:
With that, we’re at the end of our conversation and we’re going to wrap up. Please go by and check groundedbythefarm.com. You’ll see not only some photos and videos to go with this story, but you’ll get our entire catalog. There’s a lot of videos and things, And there’s 1 page there, you can find it up at the top of the navigation bar on your favorite foods. Go ahead and peruse that, see what foods we may have talked about in the past that you haven’t had a chance to listen to yet. It’ll get you not only to the episode, but some of the videos or photos things like that we may have and as always thank you for coming we’ll see you again in 2 weeks