Tuesday, November 18, 2014

NPR and the Drought

Several people asked me if I was on NPR recently, and I had to tell them it was my brother Stuart.  The piece was on the California drought and in the Pajaro Valley, there might not be another farmer who is as knowledgeable about the water situation than Stuart.  Stuart have been on two committees that advise the Parajo Valley Water Board and has been saying for years, before everyone else jumped in, that water will be one of our biggest challenges. Below is a link to the NPR piece. 

We all hope that we will have a very wet winter, but that will not solve the long term problem of increasing water demand and decreasing supply.  KB is working on many programs to use recycled water, recycle our greenhouse water, collect runoff from greenhouse roofs and reduce usage to a bare minimum.  

However...as Stuart says, the long term solution will have to be a community solution with all parties working and sacrificing together.

Stuart with a valuable resource.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Nita Gizdich's Example

Watsonville Apples and Flowers Promotion:

Who is the Queen of agro-tourism and marketing in Watsonville?  The hands down answer is Nita Gizdich of Gizdich Ranch.   

Apple orchards once dominated Watsonville and the Pajaro Valley. In 1908, there were 14,000 acres of apples in the Pajaro Valley, today there is only 2,128 acres in production. It is not hard to figure out why: apples bring about $281 a ton, strawberries return about $1,947 a ton and blackberries a whopping $6,671 a ton. Apple orchards come down and berry hoop houses go up.  

Nita and her husband (who passed away) were apple growers, and instead of giving up on apples, Nita turned apples into apple pie, literally.  Not only apple pies, but every other kind of berry pie, cider, jam, syrup, and pancake mix, etc.  Her pies are famous throughout the region and every school kid within 30 miles has been to Gizdich to pick apples.  Nita said that Gizdich Ranch wouldn't be here today if she hadn't transitioned over to pies and other branded products. 

KB is inspired by Nita.  Just like apples, flowers aren’t what they once were in the Pajaro Valley.  However, we have an opportunity to create our own alternative business based on flowers.  And using Nita’s example, we can create our KB Brand products and events.  

Here is a picture of our grower Jimmy Zheng and Nita at last Friday’s Wine and Rose event in Watsonville.  Always the promoter, Nita made sure Jimmy had one of her brochures in his pocket.  Don’t forget your Gizdich pie for Thanksgiving!