Agriculture

B&R Farms opens its gates to the public

Guests come from near and far to pick their own apricots.
Hollister resident Freddy Ross said his favorite part of the day was picking the fruit. Photo by Becky Bonner.
Hollister resident Freddy Ross said his favorite part of the day was picking the fruit. Photo by Becky Bonner.
People walked through the orchards looking for the perfect fruit at B&R Farms' U-Pick event on July 13. Photo by Becky Bonner.
People walked through the orchards looking for the perfect fruit at B&R Farms' U-Pick event on July 13. Photo by Becky Bonner.
Employees at the event take a moment to pose for a photograph. Photo by Becky Bonner.
Employees at the event take a moment to pose for a photograph. Photo by Becky Bonner.
Hollister resident Nadine Ceja came with her family to the event. Photo by Becky Bonner.
Hollister resident Nadine Ceja came with her family to the event. Photo by Becky Bonner.
Ripe Blenheim apricots could be found in abundance. Photo by Becky Bonner.
Ripe Blenheim apricots could be found in abundance. Photo by Becky Bonner.

As the sun beat down in Hollister on July 13, people of all ages walked the orchards at B&R Farms to pick their own Blenheim apricots and beat the heat with apricot freezes.

Co-owner Mari Rossi said the farm wanted to celebrate its 90 years in business by inviting the public to enjoy the “abundance of apricots this season.”

Rossi said over 750 people attended the event, coming from areas such as the North Bay, South Bay, a traveling RV from Maryland, San Rafael, San Jose, Alameda, Hollister, San Juan Bautista, Salinas, Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Monterey, Santa Cruz and more.

Nadine Ceja of Hollister was there with her family to pick and taste the local fruit. The experience allowed her to enjoy time with her children while supporting a local business.

“My favorite part was helping and watching my kids pick apricots for the first time,” Ceja said.

Cassidy Heene worked the u-pick as a photographer. She said, “This family has been in the community for 90 years and this is the first time they’ve opened their farm to the public.”

While taking photographs, what caught Keene’s eye the most was “watching all the kids getting to pick their apricots and learning how things are grown.”

Among the children was Freddy Ross of Hollister. Asked to share his favorite part of the day, he spoke of picking the fruit that he fondly referred to as “orange spheres”.

As Keene and Ross worked their way through the orchard, Ethan Rossi (Mari’s grandson) was at the entrance welcoming guests and directing traffic.

Helping on the farm since his preteen years, Ethan said his favorite part of the day was seeing all the guests and working alongside his family.

Mari Rossi said what made the event so special was the “overwhelming turnout of people, the kindness and excitement of the guests coming in to pick their own apricots. Sharing our legacy to new customers and educating customers on the farmer’s life and what a Blenheim apricot is.”

 

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Becky Bonner

Becky Bonner is a local teacher at San Benito High School who is passionate about sharing things to do in San Benito County.