Who: Robin and Steve Smith of Mud Creek Ranch
Where: Sixty certified organic acres, almost all orchard, in Santa Paula
Why: Robin and Steve Smith come from a long line of farmers. Their ancestors were farmers in Scotland and Germany their grandparents were farmers in Riverside. Both of their parents grew citrus, Robin’s in Riverside and Steve’s in Camarillo. Robin and Steve always knew they wanted to farm, but when Robin went to college she studied to be a librarian, and ended up coming back to farming. Steve studied botany and plant science and went to graduate school in business. In 1985 they bought their farm in Santa Paula. It was a fixer upper with more weeds than plants and lots of old citrus and avocado trees. In 1990 they suffered a bad freeze – it was so bad that they both had to go out and get “real” jobs to support their family. After the freeze they knew it was time for a change. They planted a lot of unique varieties of citrus and decided to get involved with Farmers Markets, the perfect place for their interesting fruit. Mud Creek currently grows about 150-200 different varieties of citrus, and Steve works with UC Extension testing new varieties. In season right now and in the coming weeks, you’ll find pommelos (0 different kinds), meyer lemons, pixie tangerines, gold nugget tangerines, blood oranges, fukumoto navel oranges (Robin’s favorite), and fuerte, zutano, and pinkerton avocados. Robin hopes that her children will continue farming – she says that two of them are interested. Robin really enjoys Farmers Markets and interacting with different people and says each Market has its own distinct personality. You can find Mud Creek Ranch at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers Market.
Farmers Market Coordinator
310-458-8712 x 2