picking avocados

February 4, 2018
by Mimi Holtz

A February Visit to the Avocado Ranch

Janice loves avocado

Avocado farm visit love!

Just about one year ago, in February 2017,  Janice Person came to visit our farm.  It was her very first visit to an avocado farm,  and the Southern California was dressed up in green,  with lots of wild flowers and gorgeous scenery due to all the wonderful rain.  I was hobbling around on my bad knee, waiting for my meniscus surgery date.  We had a great time together, but neither of us ever got around to writing about that day.  We decided to share our experience with you this weekend, both at the same time, because once again it’s February in the avocado grove!

I met Janice at the  Produce Marketing Association conference in 2012.  I remember the year because I had just started blogging, and I was thrilled to have the chance to go to the largest fresh produce trade show in the world.   The Idaho Potato Commission made it possible for 30 bloggers to have a press pass and attend the educational sessions as well as the trade show.  That one opportunity led to so many other wonderful experiences, including my trip to Idaho for the potato harvest.  

Janice and Mimi

But back to Janice.  She and I actually met on Twitter.  We found each other because we’re both interested in all things agriculture.  Janice blogs at JPLovesCotton.com and works in agriculture as well.  We discovered via Twitter that we were both at the PMA conference, so we met up for an in-person chat!  I told her if she ever had a chance to visit, just let me know.  (Don’t you just love how social media can help us make new friends?)

avocado tree

Fast forward to 2017, and Janice made good on her promise to visit.  It’s hard to imagine a person with more enthusiam for avocado trees!   We walked through the trees,  talking about how avocado grow and what kinds of challenges avocado farmers face.  She has visited so many different kinds of  farming operations,  she knew all the right questions to ask.

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We gave her a picking bag, a picking pole and some clippers and taught her how to harvest avocados. We discussed oil content and how that affects the ripening of avocados.  We talked about the difference between maturity of the fruit on the tree, and the softening of avocados so they can be enjoyed in a meal.  We even sat down for lunch to try some fresh avocado, and visited with The Farmer over lunch.   Avocado with everything!  Did I mention that Janice is one of the MOST enthusiastic avocado  lovers I have ever met?

I saw Janice a few weeks ago at a meeting where we were talking about how to make videos for social media to tell true stories about agriculture.   Today she sent me a blog post she wrote about last year’s visit.   AND she made a really nice video too!   Here’s a link to her post,  so you can get HER side of the story!  https://janiceperson.com/food/avocado-farm/

visit to avocado grove

I’m so glad Janice came last year after all the wonderful rain.  This year we are still hoping for more rain, but it’s beginning to look dismal.  Usually our rain comes between December and March,  leaching salts that have built up in the soil,  germinating the wild flower seeds (or as some farmers call them:  weeds),  and giving the farmers a break from irrigating.

wild flowers

I’m still hoping that these pretty little blossoms will show up this year.  (this photo was taken last year)

blooming baby avocado tree

The baby avocado trees we planted a few months ago are already blooming, as are some of the more mature trees.  The warm weather has them confused that it’s springtime already.   The crop for 2018 is looking great, and we’ll be harvesting some delicious fruit this year.  We’re already enjoying the Fuertes.  Janice decided that Fuerte was her favorite variety when she was here.  I agree with her, especially in February when they’re in season!

Valentine guacamole


Kubota RTV with Mimi Avocado logo on it

January 31, 2018
by Mimi Holtz

It’s a New Year for Mimi Avocado

Kubota RTV with Mimi Avocado logo

MImi Avocado Mobile

It’s a brand new year and I’m so glad to reconnect with all of you!  When I  wrote my last post in May of 2017,  I shared a wonderful video about how avocados grow, which was filmed on our ranch last March.  If you missed it, here it is:

I didn’t realize that I wouldn’t be posting again until 2018.   If you follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter you have seen much of what I’ve been doing since last May.   I just haven’t been ready to get back to writing here on the blog until today. Continue Reading →

baby avocados

May 19, 2017
by Mimi Holtz

How Do Avocados Grow?


Here are the freshest avocados you’ll ever see!  Just picked from our trees!  They were flowers just one year ago, and took all year to get to this size and maturity so we could harvest them for you!   They are rock hard and won’t soften at all until they leave the tree.

buds on an avocado tree before bloom

I took this photo in March,  before the trees were in full bloom.  These are the buds that appear on the trees.  Don’t they look a little bit like cauliflower?  It’s amazing how these buds unfold and eventully become flowers on long spikey stems, and later turn into tiny avocados.   In fact, it’s amazing how avocados grow!  Today I’m sharing photos and a spectacular video that was filmed right here on our ranch! Continue Reading →

California poppies

April 21, 2017
by Mimi Holtz

Avocado Blooms and Wildflowers: Super Blooms!

falling avocado flowers
I love this photo.  A brown, dead leaf that has fallen from the tree is wedged among the blossoms.   Some of the spent flowers have fallen on top of the dead leaf…as if resting in a cradle among the blooms that will soon become new fruit.  Avocado trees drop their leaves all year long, but during bloom season lots of leaves fall as the flowers come out.   Then the flowers begin to fall too,  covering the ground with tiny dried flowers.   Then the baby avocados begin to appear!

tiny avocado newborn

Tiny newborn avocado forms where the flower was pollinated.

And here is a newborn baby avocado! Continue Reading →

green hills after rains

January 14, 2017
by Mimi Holtz

Avocado Ranch Anniversary After Winter Rains

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Avocado

When I first moved to Southern California in 1977 I felt guilty.  How would we deserve the beauty of springtime if we hadn’t endured the long hard winters of snow shoveling and difficult driving that I grew up with in Vermont?  I don’t worry about winter-guilt anymore because I’ve seen what winter weather can do in California!   If we don’t get rains,  we have drought.  If we do get rains,  we have flooding.   But after the rains,  we have those crisp, clear days  when a big bowl of soup topped with sliced Fuerte avocados is well deserved!  This week I made Chicken Tortilla Soup — perfect for avocado slices–and today the sun is shining so I took a walk outside.  Continue Reading →

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