Growing Figs for 33 Years at Maywood Farms

Farming Niche Organic Figs with Passion

By: Kyle Buchoff; CalAgToday reporter

Growing up in the Bay Area, Bob Steinacher learned how to harvest and dry apricots on his family’s one-acre plot in the Santa Clara Valley. His family maintained the plot as a hobby, but when houses began replacing orchards there, he decided he didn’t want to leave farming. After graduating from UC Davis, he began farming figs and walnuts full-time in Corning, in Tehama County.

tehama-figs“I’ve had Maywood Farms now for 33 years. My family helped me get started, and we’ve been very successful at what we do.” In addition to growing and harvesting 172 acres of organic figs, Steinacher fresh markets his fruit all over the country. “We have 50 acres of conventional walnuts as well,” he added.

Steinacher’s fig farming operation is unique: “We farm the most northern commercially grown figs in the country as Corning has the same weather as the Fresno area.  We also have to worry about late spring frost and early fall rains, but we can weather that. We have wind machines installed for frost protection.”

Waxing nostalgic about his career, Steinacher reflected, “I have learned a lot over the last 33 years of doing this. I had no background in farming other than a desire to do this. I worked for other orchardists and down at a high school farm when I got out of college. I’ve learned a lot by the seat of my pants.”

“We’ve been very successful,” he continued, “because we’ve found a niche with the organic fresh figs. The fig market has been growing ever since we have been in it, and the organic market—on top of that—is growing very quickly as well.”

For more information, please visit the Maywood Farms’ website.

 

CA Grape & Tree Fruit League Changes Name to California Fresh Fruit Association

The California Grape & Tree Fruit League announces it has officially changed its name to the California Fresh Fruit Association – an identity its members believe better defines the broad types of commodities it represents.

The California Fresh Fruit Association will formally present its new name to executive and legislative officials in Sacramento, CA during its Annual Fruit Delivery on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. And to celebrate this important milestone, an evening reception will follow with government officials and California Fresh Fruit Association members at Esquire Grill (1213 K St., Sacramento, CA) from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The membership-based organization is one of the oldest agricultural trade associations in California, dating back to1921 with the California Growers and Shippers Protective League and in 1936, with the California Grape Growers and Shippers Association. Together, these organizations merged into the California Grape & Tree Fruit League. Today marks another momentous occasion, as the association has become the California Fresh Fruit Association and continues to represent its members in all aspects of public policy.

The Association’s Strategic Planning Committee presented the possibility of a name change in 2013 upon the completion of its five-year strategic plan. Members were approached by the Board of Directors to consider a new name that would encompass more of the commodities it represents, such as fresh grapes, blueberries and deciduous tree fruits including: peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, pears, apples, cherries, figs, kiwis, pomegranates and persimmons. In summary, the Association represents the state’s permanent fresh fruit crops with the exception of citrus and avocados.

With support from the Board of Directors and the organization’s nearly 350 members, the California Fresh Fruit Association proceeds with business as usual under its new name, advocating for fresh fruit growers, shippers and marketers in Sacramento, CA and Washington, D.C. The California Fresh Fruit Association’s headquarters will remain in Fresno, CA.

“While undergoing a name change is no easy task, little has changed as we’ve made sure to continue with our responsibilities as usual,” said Barry Bedwell, president of the California Fresh Fruit Association. “As we began the process, we wanted to proceed with a name that accurately represents our members and the commodities they provide. We couldn’t be happier with our selection – California Fresh Fruit Association is exactly who we are and what we represent.”

 

About California Fresh Fruit Association

The California Fresh Fruit Association is the advocate for its members on a daily basis, which is made possible through the voluntary support of growers, shippers, marketers and associate members. The organization was created in 1936, mainly to negotiate railroad rates for shippers, and has since evolved into filling the industry’s need for public policy representation. Visit www.cafreshfruit.com or call (559) 226-6330 to learn more.