Rancho la Familia
Santa Maria, CA
Rancho la Familia sits on about 40 acres of sandy soils off of Telephone Road in Santa Maria. Owned and operated by Virginia and Luis Cortez, as well as their two adult children, Luis Jr. and Omar, the Cortez family focuses on growing cool weather crops year round - broccoli, cauliflower, peas, celery, cabbage, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, as well as other seasonal favorites. At the heart of their success is their work ethic, shared by the entire family. Seven days a week, Virginia and Luis can be found working in their fields, managing their crew, or selling at markets with their 30 or so employees. Virginia and Luis both immigrated from Mexico, only starting to work on farms once they arrived in the U.S. Luis Jr. also runs a custom farming business, plowing fields, making beds for planting, laying plastic mulch, and using GPS to laser level fields for large growers throughout the Santa Maria Valley. This side business has allowed Rancho la Familia to use equipment that typically would only be available to much larger farms, giving them the best ground preparation options for creating perfect fields and and excellent crops. They work closely with a pest control adviser to monitor insects and use the most sustainable solutions, as well as the Cooperative Extension for soil health advise.