In 1915, the name Boskovich began when Stephen Boskovich, a young Croatian immigrant, began farming on seven acres of land in California’s San Fernando Valley. Today, four generations later, Boskovich Farms is still family owned and operated. Growing on more than 10,000 acres in California and Mexico, producing about 30 different vegetable crops year-round, with shipping points also in Salinas, California, and Yuma, Arizona. They started out specializing in green onions but expanded their line to include Bok Choy, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Chard, Cilantro, Collards, Kale, Lettuce, Parsley, Radishes and Spinach.
Bok Choy, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Chard, Cilantro, Collards, Kale, Lettuce, Parsley, Radishes, Spinach & Onions
When Paul Bouchey returned in from the Korean War 1954, he started his own family and farm which his children Steve and Jody, took over running in 1998. Located in a rural agricultural based community, with Mt. Adams in the background on the Yakima Indian reservation, the Bouchey’s lease some of their acreage from the Yakima Nation Tribal members and work closely with the BIA Irrigation District and Soil Conservation Program. They now farm 120 acres of organic potatoes and 200 acres of organic wheat.
Michael and Carolyne Dolan have developed Burnt Ridge Nursery and Orchard over a 25 year period. Their 20 acre farm is located in the foothills of the Cascades, just 30 miles west of Mt. St. Helens.
At Burnt Ridge, the Dolans enjoy challenging the definition of “regional” crops. They grow hazelnuts, almonds, black walnuts and Italian pine nuts, to name but a few, and also carry several varieties of Japanese persimmons including the popular Fuyu. Their Italian grapes, olives, and figs flourish alongside Japanese satsumas, 15 varieties of kiwis, and even pink and green Apple Berries from Tasmania.
In 1976, Capay Organic farm started with 20 acres of star thistle and a dream. Inspired by the idea of farming sustainably, Kathy Barsotti and Martin Barnes started the farming traditions that their sons and their families carry on today. Capay Organic practices healthy crop rotation, encouraging a diverse ecosystem around the fields, efficiently using local water sources and carefully selecting produce varieties that grow well and taste great. The micro-climate and soil type creates an ideal farming environment for nearly 40 types of fruits and vegetables and over 60 varieties. Capay Organic’s diverse crop list allows the farm to offer fresh, organic, seasonal produce to wholesale, retail, food service and restaurant partners year-round.
Fruit: Apricots, Figs, Mandarins, Melons, Meyer Lemons & Tomatoes (Heirloom and Cherries)
Veg: Asparagus, Beets, Bok Choy, Carrots, Chards, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Fennel, Fingerling Potato, Kales, Onions, Peppers, Melon, Radishes, Spring Onions & Squash (Summer & Winter varieties).
The Chiechi family has been growing organic since 1982. Richard began farming at the age of 7 in San Jose, CA, growing cherries, plums, apricots, and peaches. He later established a commercial farm with his wife, Cindy, in Butte County, California. A neighbor turned them on to the benefits of organic farming, and they have never looked back.
“We noticed almost immediately that the sugar in the kiwi and persimmons was better without chemical fertilizers. We are completely organic, even our family garden. It’s a good feeling to be encouraging healthy eating habits for our entire family.” – Cindy Chiechi
The Chiechis use the geographic and weather patterns of their location to their advantage. Butte County experiences a very cold frost system in winter that combats insects. The plants go dormant in winter and wake up in springtime, refreshed and ready to produce. The Chiechis have a watering system in place that helps the plants in case of a spring frost when blossoms maybe pushing. Ample sunshine and heat during summer helps crops to mature.
Live Oak, California
Jim Churchill writes:
My dad planted bacon variety avocados in 1974; by 1979 the market for bacons had begun to disappear as the avocado industry decided hass were altogether a superior product, and also our orchard had a root rot infection that was killing the trees. So I went looking for a citrus crop that I could grow and sell myself.
One day over at Friends’ Ranches packing house, gossiping with Tony Thacher and idly picking pieces of fruit out of bins and eating them, I picked up an amazing tangerine.
“Tony”, I said, “what is this?”
“It’s a pixie tangerine.”
“Do you sell them?”
“I only have two trees, and every year by the time I’m done selling my dancies my kids have always eaten all of the pixies.”
If you had been there you would have seen the lightbulb appear in a thought-balloon above my head. Sweet. Seedless. Easy to peel. Kids like ’em. I bet I can sell ’em.
I went out looking for budwood, had 80 trees grown, took out some sick and sorry bacon avocados, and planted the pixies. I got so excited that I went and had the nursery grow another 250 trees, but my father said, “Son, you don’t know how you’re going to sell that fruit. I think you ought to wait til you know you can sell the fruit before you plant any more trees.” So Tony Thacher took the trees off my hands, and that’s how Tony and I embarked on growing pixies commercially.
In 1988 we sold our first crop, to Monterey Market in Berkeley, California. Thanks to the support of Bill Fujimoto of Monterey Market, we developed a following for pixies in the Bay Area, which we’ve been able to leverage into nationwide sales as more Ojai growers have planted pixies and more retailers and consumers have noticed how good they are.
Somewhere in there Lisa Brenneis and I got married. Because we got married on March 30, our anniversary often gets short shrift, as the pixie season is always in full chaotic motion right about then. We spent our third anniversary, after the serious freeze of winter 1990, dropping partly frozen pixies into a big vat of water outside the shed to see which ones were frozen and needed to be thrown away and which ones we could sell. (Frozen citrus gets air pockets, and tends to float; unfrozen citrus lacks the air pockets and tends to sink. So all you have to do is reach into the freezing water and pull the unfrozen ones out…)
In addition to tolerance of me, a lifelong enthusiasm for really good food, and immense horticultural experience, Lisa brings to the operation wisdom, skepticism, a long-term planning sensibility, and really cool art direction.
Now we have about 1000 pixie trees; we also grow Pages, Satsumas, Encores, Seedless Kishus, TDEs, Gold Nuggets, as well as Chandler pummelos, oro blancos and cocktail grapefruit. We also still grow some avocados, but the big bet is on Pixies.
Tangerines, Grapefruit & Specialty Citrus
In 1981, a conventional farmer bet Dale Coke that he couldn’t grow organic strawberries. He has now been growing organic fruits and vegetables in Northern California for more than two decades. With a strong commitment to sustainability and good agricultural practices, Coke Farm prides itself in the quality produce, customer satisfaction, and the year-round employment that it provides to the local community. The planting and harvesting of dozens of crop varieties, seed crops, and the growing of specialty produce are a few of the examples of what Coke Farm does.
Originally started as a small planting of strawberries and snow peas, Coke Farm has evolved to a full-scale vegetable farm with over fifty crop varieties harvested each year. From Amaranth to Zucchini, Coke Farm’s produce can be found in local markets, renowned restaurants, and specialty stores throughout North America. Christine, Dale’s partner, focuses on helping smaller local farms with limited production sell their crops commercially, bringing a variety of rare West Coast specialties into Canada.
Today, in addition to growing and shipping their own produce, Coke Farm also cools, stores, and ships for several local organic farms.
Lemons, Raspberries, Beans, Beets, Broccoflower, Burdock, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Daikon, Fennel, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Hot Peppers, Radishes, Rutabaga, Zucchini, Sunchokes, Turnips, Oranges, Nettles, Potatoes, Peppers, Squash, Artichokes, Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts, Leeks, Persimmons, Parsnips, Dandelions, Burdock, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Dill, Rapini, Tomatoes & Watercress
Behind the Columbia Gorge packing house, a thousand feet above the Columbia River, in the beautiful Hood River valley, you will find dirt – long, beautiful, and rich steaming windrows of composting dirt hundreds of feet long. Ronny and Jimmy Stewart, and their tireless mom, Sheryl, know that rich and healthy soil is a big part of their success, and the compost goes back to their 150 acre Stewart Farm every spring to fertilize the trees. That compost starts as what are literally the “plate scrapings” from their operation, plus ground-up broken shipping pallets and sawdust. They have been actively composting for 18 years, producing up to 2,000 tons of biologically active organic compost every year.
Columbia Gorge Organic Farm has been the recipient of a number of awards, including two times “Farmer of the Year” from Oregon Tilth and “Handler of the Year” and “Farmer of the Year,” from the Oregon Organic Council.
Apples & Pears
Today, when you look at Corona-College Heights Orange and Lemon Association’s modern packing facilities, you see the culmination of generations of hard work, experience and expertise in the citrus industry.
Over its long history, CCH has survived several fires, more than a dozen freezes, the Great Depression, two World Wars, about 14 mergers and acquisitions and 100+ years of operating challenges. Their broad grower base allows us to bring in fruit from all of the citrus growing areas of California and as far as the Arizona and Mexican borders.
Figs, Grapefruits, Lemons & Oranges