Local families to be honored for agricultural pursuits

When the Fallbrook Historical Society and San Diego County Farm Bureau present “A Salute to Agriculture: 100 Years of Agriculture in San Diego” on Saturday, May 10 in Fallbrook, not only will unique information about the rich history of agriculture in this area be shared, but local families with multiple generations involved in the agriculture industry here will be honored.

The event, free and open to the public, will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the historical society’s museum complex, located at 1730 Hill Ave. (Rocky Crest Road at Hill Ave.). It will include a broad collection of agricultural artifacts and historical photos on display. Informative displays are also being provided by Mission Resource Conservation District and the University of Calif. Cooperative Agricultural Extension.

Local growers and farmers have donated enticing raffle items for the event which will feature two speakers. According to organizers, Eric Larson, executive director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau, will present a slide presentation entitled “Celebrating 100 Years of Agriculture in San Diego County.” Janet Silva Kister, co-owner of Sunlet Nurseries, will speak on the topic of the Fallbrook agricultural perspective.

Organizers said the program will conclude with “a tribute to all our farmers and growers for their dedication and commitment to their industry.” Part of that “salute” will include the recognition of the multi-generational, local families who make agriculture their life.

“The number of extended families – both by generation and by marriage – who remain dedicated to agriculture is particularly pronounced in Fallbrook,” said Anne Burdick of the Fallbrook Historical Society.

“As an example of fathers and sons in agriculture in Fallbrook, we have the Lucy family and the Hofshi family. Bob Lucy began working in the avocado industry right after graduation from college and almost 20 years later, in 1989, he partnered with Bob Siemer and Rueben Hofshi to buy Del Rey Avocado Company. The three partners are still thriving in business together today. And Bob has since been joined by both his sons – Patrick, in 2005, and more

recently, Donnie.”

“Rueben Hofshi, co-owner of Del Rey Avocado, has been active for the last 25 years as a grower, packer, active member of numerous avocado organizations, and heavily involved in avocado research,” added Burdick. “His two sons have also followed in his footsteps. Sons Eli and Danny now own and operate Eli’s Farm Stand on East Mission Road. Eli is the farming end of the business and Danny handles public relations and home deliveries. Cristina Machado, the primary sales force at Eli’s stand, is also connected to the Hofshi family through the Del Rey Avocado Company and through her family’s land ownership. As an amazing example of the intricate web of interconnections, Cristina’s family once owned the Hofshi’s land in De Luz through an original Spanish land grant and she got her first job at Del Rey Avocado. It is indeed a very small world!”

As a result of the research done for this special event, the historical society is now developing an entire collection of stories related to multi-generational and extended families in agriculture in Fallbrook.

“There will be a public announcement when the display is ready for public viewing,” said Burdick.

The ‘Salute to Agriculture’ will conclude with a raffle of the donated products from local farmers and growers while guests continue to tour the museum grounds and view the agricultural displays. Refreshments will also be served.

Burdick said all of the historical society’s buildings – the Pittenger House, Museum, Ford Room, Rock and Mineral Room, and the Barn – will be open for visitors, and docents will be on hand to guide visitors and answer questions.

The event is open to the general public and free of charge.

11 Responses to "Local families to be honored for agricultural pursuits"

  1. ALLISON   April 30, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    I love Eli’s farm stand! It is a real jewel for Fallbrook! Their produce is fresh and delicious and very reasonably priced. I have made many super delicious meals using their produce. Every visit to the stand is a hoot because of Christina who is so energetic and friendly. If you have not been to the farm stand, you really need to go!

  2. Jeri S   May 2, 2014 at 6:29 am

    I too love Eli’s! Its a wonderful place with the best produce ever. I agree with Allison, Christina is the best! If you haven’t been to Eli’s, you really must visit!

  3. DR DR   May 2, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Where is Eli’s Farm Stand and the hours?

  4. ALLISON   May 2, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Eli’s is at 2929 East Mission Rd. Here is their website address http://www.elisfarms.com/

  5. Lee   May 5, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Organic farmers, PLEASE keep the cost of organic produce as low as you can! Organic produce does NOT cost more to grow than commercially-grown produce.

    Please do good and help your fellow man. Thank you.

  6. DR DR   May 5, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Thank you Allison!!

  7. grunt   May 5, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Lee, once again you speak as an expert on something you know little, if anything. Organic farming DOES cost more for several reasons – 1) more time by the farmer since he does not use pesticides, 2) less profit per acre for the farmer as he has to rotate crops to keep soil healthy 3) greater potential of loss of some or all the crops as the farmer does not use pesticides. There are more reasons, but it comes down to organic is riskier, more time consuming, and organic fertilizer costs more.

  8. Bert   May 5, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    If you haven’t visited Eli’s farm stand your missing something very good

  9. Pink   May 6, 2014 at 11:53 am

    You know Lee, I haven’t even commented on this post, because A. I haven’t been to Eli’s (however I am planning on trying it) and 2. I know zipity doo dah about organic farming. However since you posed the question, I will will happily answer: Nothing. I gladly do it for free.

  10. Danny and Eli Hofshi   May 7, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Thank you Debbie for such a great article and Anne for putting on this event Saturday. Thank you all for the support you have given us in this community. We are working hard and continuing to make improvements to the farm stand to make it a fun place for the family to come visit and keep local agriculture alive. We couldn’t do it without all of your support.

  11. Jan Mahr Owen   May 8, 2014 at 8:23 am

    What a nice idea to honor the folks in our town who have helped to keep the name of Fallbrook and agriculture in the same sentence. I have been to both of the businesses you featured in your article. Both are very nice places to visit, with such an up-beat take on farming. I am wondering if this celebration will be strictly for the growers who have retail business in town, or does it include the "small guy"…the unsung heroes in our town who have continued over the years to till the soil in their groves, but go un-noticed because of the size of their operation. I hope it includes everyone. That would be very nice. For example, there is one family in Fallbrook, the Herbert Mahr Family, who came to town in 1917. They purchased a plot of land near Ammunition Road, right where the fichus tree is now growing at the Carl’s Jr. Herbert was 2 years old. In 1939 Herb married Chick Miller (whose family came in 1923) and they purchased an adjoining property which is located on what is now known as Clemmens Lane. There they planted a small grove and began their life time journey of raising citrus and avocados. Back in the day, they both had to work outside the grove to support themselves and their project. Herb was a carpenter, and Chick worked in the packing house. In 1948 Chick began working in the Fallbrook Elementary School Cafeteria and continued to feed the children of our town until 1975 when she retired from Fallbrook High School. So suffice it to say, she probably served a nice warm lunch to almost every child in Fallbrook.That was a very long time ago. That same year (1948) Herb found a beautiful piece of land off of Live Oak Park Rd…20 acres of perfectly wonderful land for growing his crops…with warm summer sun, cool afternoon breezes, and just high enough to escape winter’s frost. The Mahr Ranch is located just south and a bit west (as the crow flies) of Eli’s….right next to the old Capra property. And this is where he lived and grew his crops until he passed away in 2002. Although Chick at age 93 is no longer able to participate in the physical operation of the grove, she is still the "boss" !. I must admit that writing this comment is a bit awkward for me to do, but I would rather look awkward than let farmers like the Mahrs go without some recognition. The reason I feel awkward? …..Herb and Chick are my mom and dad. The physical operation of the ranch has been passed on to me, but my mom is very much a part of everything that takes place. In 2005 we decided to transition the grove to organic which took over 3 years and a lot of expense and labor to do. There are many hoops through which to jump in order to become certified by the State of California If Lee is still reading this article, let me assure him that organic crop production is very expensive and labor intense. I speak from experience of both certified and conventional. The information he has gathered, or the lack of it, is simply not correct. There are lots of folks dotting out there in our beautiful rolling hills who have similar stories, so I hope my writing this will inspire someone to mention them and hold them in high esteem. Thank You. Jan Mahr Owen


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