Meet the Village: Mario Vallejo – Farmer

Farmer Mario Vallejo
Mario is a legend in The Ecology Center village. He has been a caretaker of the land his entire life with 30 of those years tending the earth here in San Juan Capistrano.
What’s your role in the village?
I run the tractor operation on the farm which entails tillage, bed prep, irrigation (t-tape set-up) and cultivation. I also lead much of the planting and hand cultivation (weeding) of our vegetables. 

Tell us about a memory in your life that shaped you becoming a farmer?
Starting at 5 years old, I began working in the fields with my father. I loved it. We would work from sunrise to sunset, 5am-7pm. He taught me to cultivate and care for plants. We grew mixed vegetables that we would bring to market weekly. I arrived to the US when I was 19, in 1978. 

Mario driving the tractor on the farm.

How and where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration from the land – la tierra. I am 100% de la tierra, from the land. I come from the farm and forever (si dios quiere) will be on the farm. 

Tell us about a moment when you experienced the power of community?
Community to me are farmers coming together to care for the crops. I’ve been part of many farms. I have been part of this land, here in San Juan Capistrano for 30 years. 

What’s your favorite meal to make?
I love beans, chile, onion, and tomatoes. I can eat beans every day. 


Harvest Box

Thoughtfully curated by culinary and agricultural artisans. Fa rm Share is an opportunity to experience the seasons with all of its diversity of colors and flavors in your own home. Harvest Box is a weekly offering of organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs from our fa rm and farm partners. Sign up for a subscription or one-time box in either Individual or Family-sized box options.

Included in this Week’s Harvest

Starting at $25.00


Organic Seeded Loaf

Sarah from Rye Goods is the best baker that we know in our region. Every ingredient is sourced organically and then milled and made with love daily. The Seeded Loaf is a wild fermented sourdough loaf made with spelt and filled inside and out with toasted sesame seeds.