Jewels of Tres Estrellas - Rancho La Puerta

Jewels of Tres Estrellas

The history of Tres Estrellas can be tasted with each healthy and flavorful vegetable that’s served. Visiting chefs admire the bounty they get to work with as they teach their recipes. Our guests praise the beauty of what has become a role model for regenerative farming and organic produce. We want to share with you a few of the jewels of Tres Estrellas whose hard work and patience make all this possible.

Salvador Tinajero: Production Manager

I’ve worked at Tres Estrellas for 31 years and Rosa, my wife also works here. We have one daughter who is 21 years old. When we lived here for 10 years, my daughter loved playing with the frogs and insects in the garden plot and around the property.

One of my favorite parts about working at Tres Estrellas is pruning trees and experiencing the seasonal changes at the farm. I enjoy thinking 6 months ahead and preparing for the next growing season. All seasons on the farm are great for different reasons. Summer is excellent because production is high. When it rains a lot, we get a much bigger harvest throughout the year. I love the ever-changing environment on the farm. Thinking about ways to adapt to different seasonal changes and climate conditions keeps me excited to work.

It’s important for me to work organically because I’m working with the living soil, the living environment, and I’m always thinking about the health and well-being of the earth and people. Really what I’m doing here at Tres Estrellas is growing soil, and then the soil produces the plants.

Joss Manuel Lara Martinez: Farm Hand

I am originally from Tecate, but I’ve only been working at Tres Estrellas for one year. My cousin, Eduardo works here too.

My favorite part about working on the farm is digging and preparing the vegetable beds. I do a bit of everything here. I drive the tractor, the pick-up truck, harvest vegetables; my daily job is always changing. This is the first farm I’ve worked on, and it’s cool, I like it, and it feels good in general to work in organic agriculture.

Eduardo Lara: Farm Hand

I am originally from Veracruz, Mexico, but I’ve been in Tecate for 29 years and worked at Tres Estrellas for 13. I am married with two kids, two daughters. One daughter is 12 years old, and the other is eight. Sometimes my family comes to the farm to visit, to go on walks and to look around.

My favorite activity at work is transplanting vegetables. I like this part because I’m working directly with the soil, with my hands in the land. Then after transplanting, I get to watch the plants that I planted continue to grow. I like to transplant everything… lettuces, carrots, everything.

I like to work here because everything feels natural. You can eat the food that comes from the farm and feel at peace because you know all the work put into creating that vegetable was natural.

Juan Gabriel Gonzalez Arellaño: Farm Hand

I was born in Durango, Mexico, but I’ve been in Tecate since I was eight years old. I’ve been working at Tres Estrellas for 18 years, and I’m married with four kids, the youngest one is 11 years old, and the oldest is 19 years old. At one point my oldest son worked with me on the farm for two years, but he doesn’t work here anymore.

I do a little bit of everything on the farm, and I like doing a little bit of everything. Sometimes I work until 5:00 or 5:30 at night because I’m so busy, but that’s okay because I enjoy my work here.  I am Salvador’s right hand. When Salvador isn’t here on the farm, I take care of things like scheduling the other Farm Hands and making sure we deliver the correct harvest. I like when I get the chance to have more responsibility on the farm because it gives me an opportunity to continue learning things and skills that I wouldn’t learn otherwise.

I like eating the produce from the farm because it has a lot more flavor than the food I can find in the markets in town. The vegetables from Tres Estrellas have more character and tend to be sweeter, especially the lettuce and carrots. The only thing I don’t eat from the farm is garlic and onions… I hate garlic! And I only eat onions if they are very well cooked!

Saulo Paulo Quiñones Chavez: Farm Hand

I was born in Durango, Mexico, and I’ve been in Tecate since I was 11 years old. I’ve worked at Tres Estrellas for five-and-a-half years. I am married with two kids, one son, and one daughter. My youngest is six, and my oldest is nine.

I love to harvest the fruits and vegetables at Tres Estrellas. It’s my favorite part. I also really enjoy preparing vegetable beds. I also really like setting up drip irrigation for the vegetable beds. My specialty is trapping gophers.  There are a lot of gophers, and if we don’t control them, they will eat all of the vegetables, and we won’t have anything left.

I worked in construction before working at Tres Estrellas. This is the first farm I’ve worked on, and I like working here because every day is different. I am always doing something different, and it’s different with every season. I really love eating the produce that comes from the farm. The flavor of our vegetables is excellent…juicy, sweet, and organic.

Rosa Ramirez: Farm Hand

I am originally from Guanajuato, Mexico, but I’ve lived in Tecate for 34 years. My husband, Salvador, is the Production Manager at Tres Estrellas. We used to live at Tres Estrellas with our daughter, Dalia, but now we have a house in Tecate.

My role on the farm is to harvest flowers and make flower arrangements for La Cocina Que Canta and also for Rancho La Puerta. I cut fresh flowers every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. My flower arrangements consist of edible flowers and herbs, like rosemary.  I also harvest, wash and deliver eggs from our chickens at Tres Estrellas every day. All of our eggs go into the meals at La Cocina Que Canta and at Rancho La Puerta.  I really love all parts of my job, but my favorite part is harvesting and arranging the bouquets. I like working with the chickens too, even though sometimes they peck at my hands when I collect the eggs.

Dalila Contreras: Administrative/ Accounting Assistant

I am married with two kids, one girl and one boy. I am originally from Tecate, and so are my parents. I have been working at Tres Estrellas for nine months. My main roles at Tres Estrellas include helping Salvador and the farm team source farm materials, keeping records of all of the farm produce that goes to La Cocina Que Canta and Rancho La Puerta, and performing accounting activities related to Tres Estrellas. When I’m not working at Tres Estrellas, I attend college in Tecate so I can become a licensed accountant.

I love the natural beauty of the property that I get to enjoy each day. The plants, the farm, and everything is so beautiful. I like that I’m not enclosed within four walls all day. I can do my work on the computer and then take a break and walk outside to get fresh air and clear my mind.

Lindsey Hethcote: Director of Education

I am originally from St. Louis, Missouri. I arrived to Tres Estrellas in February of 2019 with an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and a Master’s in Sustainable Agriculture. My role on the farm is to create educational opportunities for various groups of people. I am working to develop educational workshops on the farm for Rancho La Puerta guests and I’m designing an internship program for Mexican and American college students studying agriculture.

In the near future, Tres Estrellas will offer a residential internship program for students interested in learning about and experiencing organic farming on a small scale, as well as farm-to-table operations.

My favorite part about Tres Estrellas is the environment! I love walking the farm grounds and all around the property, smelling all the delicious scents and listening to the birds sing happily. All of my co-workers are happy and kind, and the environment we work in feels positive and motivational! I feel that here at Tres Estrellas, my work life and personal life can become more interconnected and holistic, and I really value feeling that the two are in sync with each other.

Learn more about Tres Estrellas or about The Ranch’s culinary philosophy.