Al and Virginia Conde, Darlene and Michael Mora
460 Travers Lane
Watsonville, CA 95076
Markets: Aptos and Monterey
Products: 25-30 varieties of apples, 25-30 varieties of heirloom and specialty peppers, Blackberries, 15 varieties of tomatoes, Preserves, toppings, and sauces, eggs, rhubarb, quince, fresh/shelling beans, bi-color corn.
Mello-dy Ranch is a five-generation family ranch in Watsonville started in 1867 by immigrants from Portugal. The original farmhouse, that housed a family of thirteen, still stands on the property. Three generations now live and work on the ranch. Apples, grapes and apricots were first planted on the steep hillsides. Additional acreage was purchased over the years. By the mid-1900's, Dave and Angelina Mello (Travers) were farming the land along with their son and daughter (Virginia). Virginia later married Al and together they continued the farming tradition. Virginia and Al's daughter, Darlene and her 25-year old son Michael, now help run the farm. Darlene and Michael are the smiling faces that greet you at the Aptos and Monterey farmers markets each week.
Darlene loves her life of gardening and farming. “It's a lot of work that doesn't leave much time for anything else. For example, vacations, when we can take them, are just a few days! But it’s very rewarding serving the community and hearing from our customers at the markets how much they appreciate what we grow.” Among her annual tasks is starting the seeds in the greenhouse and nurturing some 15,000 to 20,000 transplants. “We plan on continuing to farm this beautiful land and produce fresh and delicious apples, berries and numerous fruits for all to enjoy for generations to come.”
Mello-dy Ranch's biggest crop is apples which are sold at the farmers markets and to Martinelli's for apple cider.
Mello-dy Ranch's biggest crop is apples which are sold at the farmers markets and to Martinelli’s for apple cider.
Farmland: 50-60 acres in the foothills in Watsonville.
Weed Control: Hand and mechanical cultivation, cover-crop rotation to eliminate weeds.
Pest Management: Pheromone traps in the apples, copper and sulfur sprays in apples. Row crops are not sprayed.
Water Use: Drip tape is used on all the berries and row crops, sprinklers are used on the apples.
Workers: 3-4 full time, year-round. 15-20 part-time to full-time for apple and berry seasons.
Contribute to the farmers market experience! For information about volunteering, contact Annaliese at 831.469.8233 or email email@example.com.