“That’s gold,” Devore said, then pointing to a massive compost pile made of horse manure and cow manure, along with scraps from the Ranch. “We’re very careful about what we put in there.”
“It’s a hobby that is out of control, but this is how I keep my sanity,” said Devore, who also runs his own commercial and residential real estate office. “It’s seven days a week for me for sure,” he said. “Real estate is really demanding. When you gotta work, you gotta work.”
Instead of using chemical pesticides, Devore uses a natural one that emits pheromones. “It screws up their mating cycle,” he said, about the pests, including the codling moth that specifically targets apples. His cherry orchard is also popular with local birds, but Devore found putting a netting system over the trees solved the problem.
After noticing, “There’s apples on this hill,” Devore named the property Apple Hill Ranch.
Devore met his wife, Lauralee, in Reno while serving in the military in Reno between the Korean and Vietnam wars. Lauralee grew up in Bishop and her father owned a commercial bakery that Jack and Erick Schat (of Schat’s bakery) both worked at, alongside Devore.
15 years ago, Devore was diagnosed with prostate cancer and the doctors told him he’d have to undergo chemotherapy. “But I told them, let’s try something else. Let’s try a different diet.”
Devore had recently been offered a management position with Standard Oil, but it would require him to move to LA, so he accepted the position in Mammoth instead. “The first winter, we didn’t get the paving done,” he said. “I had to pull cars through the mud since it was an early winter but then warmed up.” Devore’s Mobil station was located where the Shell Station now is on Center Street.
Devore runs Apple Hill Ranch with the help of one other man, Manuel, who has been with him for 15 years. “Between the two of us, we’re it,” Devore said. Apple Hill is open 7:30-4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday but is closed on Mondays so Devore can work in his real-estate office.
At the time, Devore and his wife owned Rainbow Tarns, just south of Crowley Lake, which they originally purchased for $35,000. After building additions to the original one room cabin, they had it permitted to become a bed and breakfast but decided against it. But Devore’s hopes for retirement were short-lived. After selling the gas stations, Devore’s good friend invited him to get his real-estate license and come work for him. Devore didn’t think he could even pass the test, but when he did, his next career began.
Rick Devore doesn't look a day over 50. But the 77 year-old great grandpa is working on yet another career. Devore owns and operates Apple Hill Ranch, the only
Our philosophy of growing is working within the seasons and choosing which vegetables to grow; practicing crop rotation and using a wide selection of plant varieties, paying close attention to and learning about our soils, and actually eating what we grow to be in touch with flavors, crop ripeness and for our own enjoyment. We are not USDA certified organic but take serious consideration of the guidelines in our practice. We believe in minimal disturbance of the soils and work to arrange our gardens in a bed and path system. Any digging after initial ground breaking is with the broad-fork. All our other cultivation and weeding is handled with hand tools.
Joel Ellis and Kristie Nelson
Casey and Marci Boyd
Marci is a third generation farmer from Fallon, Nevada where she was raised on her family’s hay farm and cattle ranch. I have not been in the game as long, but I was born and raised on a small farm in Bishop with only a brief hiatus to Reno to pursue a degree in Rangeland Livestock Production. We started gardening more seriously in 2009 to try and grow more of our own food. We have expanded a little bit every year to where we are today. Our goal is to provide local, sensibly raised products to the Eastern Sierra. To accomplish that, we raise a variety of garden products that are seasonably available in our cold-desert climate. We do not spray anything on our produce, and insecticides are not used. In 2010 we set out on a venture to provide a local grass fed meat. We started with pasture raised Dorper sheep and have now added pastured poultry.
They want this nation to be healthy again and hope they can do their small part to help. Get inspired and eat like you mean it! White Mountains Ranch (WMR) is a historic ranch nestled at the foot of the picturesque White Mountains. They’re 19 miles NE of Bishop, CA across the valley from the famed High Sierra Mountains. It’s their goal to provide the highest quality meat available through the care only a small family ranch can provide. They only feed their animals the hay they grow! They’ve never used pesticides or herbicides in their fields. Heading towards self sustained agriculture, utilizing the bison’s own manure and only organic fertilizers. NO anti-biodics or growth hormones for their herd! WMR produces Alfalfa and a Grass/Alfalfa mix. You can always recognize their bails from their signature red white and blue bail strings. They specialize in bison, however also run a small but pristine herd of Black Angus – Pigs – Nubian Goats – as well as operating a small Hydroelectric Generation facility.
Seismic Gardens reflects another aspect of Community Supported Agriculture not often considered. Martin and I are supported in our very local community of Big Pine by the generous offer of land to grow on. The land comes in many forms–from next door neighbors backyards to vacant lots otherwise collecting tumbleweeds. As our “farm” is spread all over town we do not have an accurate measure of how much area we grow but we are likely nearing ½ -¾ acre of cultivation. All intensively planted.
Due to the very dry climate in our region, we use thick layers of natural mulch materials on the beds along with buried drip irrigation. Not only does this keep the soil surface moist and cooler, it cuts out weed growth and creates a thriving worm and microbiotic community just under the mulch. We believe in healthy soil, producing tasty and healthy vegetables, so we work to bring our soils into mineral balance and encourage soil life to provide a healthy place for the plants to live.
We would not be able to do what we do without these amazing people. They work hard year round to make Sierra Bounty happen for the short 16 weeks of summer. It is an honor to work with them, enjoy their amazing produce, and call them friends.
A what sheep? Dorper and White Dorper sheep are a meat breed developed in Africa in the 1930’s to thrive, and come to market weight on the range. Many breeders in the United States have selected these two breeds for specialized grass finishing operations. Our goal is to offer the best pasture-raised meat product in the area.
We would not be able to do what we do without these amazing people. They work hard year round to make Sierra Bounty happen for the short 16 weeks of summer