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En Divina Luz Avocado Grower

Earl’s Organics feels privileged to add another Southern California Fallbrook Avocado grower, En Divina Luz Ranch, located 7 miles from Fallbrook in Riverside County.  En Divina Luz means “In Divine Light”. The name was chosen because they are close to the ocean which brings very clean air and no smog.  The ranch is surrounded by lush green hillsides with year round creeks that run through the valley, artisanal springs from the mountain and the land is covered with oak and sycamore trees.

Avocado trees along the creek

Sheryl and Jason Kunkle grew up in L.A. and wanted to get away from the city.  They were passionate about preserving the beautiful scenery and wildlife surrounding their property near Fallbrook so they decided to buy up the 64 acres of avocado trees and get into organic farming.

The Hass avocados coming out of the Fallbrook area are rich and creamy and are best from May-July with the peak of their flavor happening right now!  The Hass avocados will be moving north in August but En Divina Luz can hold out a bit longer than some Southern California growers. This is because they are only 1.5 miles from the ocean and the cooler weather and marine layer coming into the valley each morning produces a foggy, moist jungle atmosphere with increased humidity.  The unique weather conditions allow the fruit to hold really well and have a better flavor.  By mid-August En Divina Luz will finish picking the Hass, depending on the weather.  As long as they don’t get a big heat wave, the fruit will hold on the trees.

The warmer the weather the more water an avocado tree needs and in the hotter months avocado trees can require up to 300 gallons a week.   En Divina Luz uses well water which is very pure.  The ranch area located in the mountains is very pristine and hasn’t been exposed to any chemicals from other valley areas.  The minerals in the water and the clean air bring out the flavor of their avocados.  Sheryl’s favorite way to eat avocados is simply with grapefruit.

The avocado world is changing and it is hard to get people to pick the big trees.  You need really athletic men to climb up the trees on 40 foot ladders.  They use a pole to pick 2-3 avocados at a time, put them in a bag and once it is full at about 80 pounds they will climb down the ladder, go down the hill, deposit the avocados in bins and then start all over again.  A 4 wheel drive tractor takes the avocados to a packing house on the grove where they are packed into boxes.

En Divina Luz picks to order and it is never more than 24 hours before they get in the truck to go to Earl’s in San Francisco and then out to local retailers.  Check back for updates as the California avocado season moves from south to north.

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