Hank and Ellen Brokaw began their business as a backyard avocado and citrus nursery in the mid-1950s. In 1967 they purchased the Lemoravo Ranch in Soledad where they planted avocado and citrus trees after establishing eucalyptus windbreaks. In 1977, they purchased the 130-acre Cheravo Ranch in Santa Paula.
Only 6 of the 130 acres were planted in avocados when the Brokaw family purchased the Santa Paula ranch — the remainder was empty pastureland. On some portions of the property the soil was infertile, while other areas were thick with generations of organic debris. Thirty years later, they are farming all 130 acres. They produce an abundance of citrus, subtropical tree-fruits, and avocados for Farmers’ Market-retail and wholesale. In Soledad they farm Hayward Kiwis and 5 varieties of avocados.
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Watsonville, CA 95076
http://www.willsavocados.comSanta Paula, Ventura County, CA and Soledad, Monterey County, CA 375 miles from Santa Paula and 125 miles from Soledad Loam, sand, gravel, clay Dedicated well Family business run by Ellen Brokaw, along with offspring Debbie, Rob & Will, and 11 year-round & 15 seasonal employees Not Certified Organic Gypsum, manure, UN32, Phosgard, KTS & chelated micronutrients Hand weeding, mulching and Rely 280 & Makaze herbicides Aphytis Melinus, Cryptolaemus Beatle & M. Californicus (IPM beneficials), Agri-mek (avocado thrips), Kocide & Microthiole (copper for guava & mango mold) and Actara (required by CDFA for ACP control). 200 acres