This month I’m going to introduce you to Jake. Jake’s my brother and he totally rocks. He’s focused, hard working, adventurous and head-over-heels in love with Kate, my soon to be sister-in-law (yay!). Farming is in his blood, and is not only his profession but also one of his hobbies. He collects different varieties of plumeria trees and grows vegetables in the backyard in the summer. We’re talking drip systems, espalier trained heirloom tomato trellises, cucumber shades, 9+ types of peppers, monster pumpkins, the works. He enjoys woodworking, fishing, hunting, jet-skiing, snowboarding, and makes a killer guacamole. I could go on, but I think you get the picture – he’s a pretty cool dude.
Describe your experiences growing up on the farm:
I started working on the farm when I was 8, helping my dad irrigate. Over the next several years, my responsibilities increased so that I could learn all the different tasks that are needed to run a ranch successfully. When I was 16, I started leasing a property that had 20 acres of grapes, which we converted to white nectarines.
The years I spent working every different job on my dad’s ranches exposed me to what things are supposed to look like, how they’re supposed to run, what time of year you should do different things, etc. I think the worst job is putting up props (pieces of wood used to support the limbs when they are heavy with fruit). My favorite job is - by far – driving the front-end loader. That puppy can move mountains.
What is your favorite quote or saying?
“Happy, happy, happy.” It’s probably the most optimistic quote ever.
What piece of fruit do you look forward to each year?
Black Velvet Apricots.
What are 3 things you need to be successful as a farmer?
Be a morning person
What is one of your proudest moments at work?
Seeing my fruit in the store.