Nearly 40 family farms in the Ojai Valley grow Ojai Pixie tangerines! Some of our orchards are small with just a few dozen trees (represented below by small Pixies) while some have several thousand trees (represented by the big Pixies). Each orchard is harvested individually when the fruit is at its peak. We all grow fruit on our own and band together for the picking, packing & selling. When you find our fruit at your local grocer look on the carton for the orchard name and see who grew the fruit! Click on the fruits below to see the groves and learn about the growers!

ATT

This orchard is a small plot of land below Tony Thacher’s parents house which was never used for much of anything. Tony didn’t like to see land going unproductive so he planted 50 pixie trees in the early 1980’s to see how they would do growing in the far east end of Ojai. They have done well and teenage sports players from the Thacher School have discovered how good they are when they sneak over from their games on the nearby athletic fields!

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Bella Collina

This ranch was an old avocado orchard that was replanted to Pixies by the Hillen family in 2006 and 2008. It is now owned and managed by the Palladini family who are excited to keep this young orchard well tended. This is one of the first orchards harvested in the spring as it is located in the frost-free Matilija canyon where the pixies ripen early and have some of the best flavor!

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Blackjack Ranch

Planted in 2009 to Pixies this orchard is at the top of a slope abutting the Los Padres National forest. The caretaker for the ranch is a wildlife biologist who likes to keep tabs on the creatures that visit the orchard. Nighttime visitors that have been caught on film by motion detecting cameras include several resident bears as well as a mountain lion!

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Bocalli’s

http://www.boccalis.com/

If you live in Ojai you know about the fabulous pizza and pasta that this family makes! Along with growing wonderful tomatoes, squash and basil for their Italian food, the Boccali family also grows some Ojai Pixies on their upper Ojai ranch. Visit their website to learn more!

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Burlingame Trust

This east-end orchard is tucked back among some homes where much of the fruit is enjoyed by local residents.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Churchill Brenneis Orchard

Jim Churchill and Lisa Brenneis have been growing Ojai Pixie Tangerines since 1980. Our first thirty Pixie trees turned 30 years old in 2010.

Jim says, “I’ve always liked tangerines; one day I tasted a Pixie tangerine over at Tony Thacher’s place and thought it was one of the best things I’d ever tasted”. I asked Tony if he sold them and he said that he only had a few trees, and by the time he was done picking his Dancy tangerines his kids had always eaten all the Pixies. That seemed like a pretty strong endorsement to me, so I went and planted a bunch of Pixie trees in the blind faith that we would find a market for the fruit.”

Jim and Lisa met in LA and married in 1988; just in time to spend our first anniversary sorting the first commercial crop of frost-bitten Pixies in a leaky tin shed. So romantic.

We received crucial early support from Bill Fujimoto of the Monterey Market who bought our entire production from 1989 – 1995 and slowly built a reputation for the Ojai Pixie. Bill cultivates farmers with the same care that farmers cultivate their crops, and without him it’s possible that Ojai Pixies wouldn’t ever have found their market.

Melissa’s World Variety picked up the torch in 1996 and has been instrumental in bringing the Ojai Pixie to the rest of the United States.

We have been CCOF-certified Organic since 2007. We sell Ojai Pixies and Seedless Kishu mandarins wholesale, via mailorder, and at the Ojai Farmers’ Market in season (Jan-June).

Visit our website at www.tangerineman.com

Founding members of the Ojai Pixie Growers Association.

Cline

Wonderful Pixie trees grow from this orchard that was planted on the valley floor in 1998 on a parcel of land that had never previously been planted with citrus.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Cromer

This canyon hillside orchard overlooking the Ventura river was planted in 2008 and 2010. The orchard is surrounded by national forestlands, making it a favorite spot for beekeepers. You can rest assured that these pixies were once blossoms that fed some happy bees!

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Crooked Creek Ranch

It was just after the freeze of ’37 that Mother and Dad and my sister moved to Ojai and Dad started farming Crooked Creek Ranch. Over half the trees had died during the freeze so over half the existing ranch was planted to Valencia Oranges and the rest was kept in navels. In 1938 dad sent a whole box car of navels to a grocery store in Cedar Rapids Iowa, where, accounts have it, they were an immediate sell out.

I was born in 39, Mom died in 40, the war came. Labor was scarce and hard to keep. Dad had to get rid of Hester and Mrs. Phelps, the two milk cows, because no one knew how to milk anymore. But the Valencias kept growing and Ojai became known for high quality fruit, and Dad’s was the best. It was packed and shipped by the “Ojai Orange Association” a cooperative packing house affiliated with Sunkist.

I grew up and went to college, majoring in “Fruit Industries”. After a stint in the USAF, I and my bride returned to the ranch in 1967 and started to work with my Dad. I am not saying it was easy, but it was rewarding and the ranch prospered. We planted 10 more acres of Valencias Our Valencias were still sought after fruit and commanded a premium in the marketplace.

Dad died in 1980. We expanded the property by 20 acres in 1983 and acquired Thacher Creek Ranch in 1987, which had lemons on it, so we were starting to diversify (a little). In 1992, we partnered with Tony and Anne Thacher (see Friend’s Ranches) and purchased McNell Creek Ranch, which was 2/3 Valencias and 1/3 navels.

History was repeating itself, our son Rob, graduated from USC and came back to the ranch to work with us. In 1998 he bought Dron Creek Ranch which had grapefruit, avocadoes and Valencias, and last year he partnered with us to pick up yet another property, San Antonio Creek Ranch which has Valencias and lemons.

But, through the years, the acceptance of Valencias in the marketplace has declined and both navels and grapefruit have not been financially viable, so most of the navels and all of the grapefruit, and 20% of the Valencias have been converted to Pixies, nature’s candy, or late navel varieties and the avocado acreage has also been expanded.

Today we are farming over 200 acres of citrus and over 20 acres of that is pixies, but they are all young and we do not expect full production for another 10 years.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Detmer

The land where this orchard is has been home to many varieties of unique citrus over the years and was planted to pixies in 2006 and 2008.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Donoghue

http://purplepixieplantation.com/
http://www.ojaivalleylavenderfestival.org/

This acre plus Ojai Pixie orchard was planted by the Donoghue family over several years. The family also grows lavender on their land and which they call The Purple Pixie Plantation. The Donoghue family is a participant and organizer of the annual Ojai lavender festival.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Edelson

Planted in 2001 this several acre orchard sits atop a bluff overlooking the Ventura river. Hilltop orchards like this one stay warmer than the valley floor during the winter, lending to extra tasty fruit. The owner of this orchard shares his fruit with customers at his local hotels and restaurants.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Etchart Ranch

Etchart Ranch is located on Maricopa Highway at the mouth of Matilija Canyon. The grove, on fifty acres of gentle to steep south-facing slopes, is almost always frost-free. Historically, the ranch produced oranges and lemons as early as 1901; fruit was marketed with the box label, Meiners Ranch, Nordhoff, California.

In 1942, Michel and Marina Etchart purchased the property (he a Basque immigrant and she a descendant of early Californios); they moved from Santa Barbara with their two sons, Bob and Will. The Etcharts continued the citrus and avocado operation into the 1980’s, marketing the fruit through Pure Gold, Sunkist and Calavo co-ops.

In 1987 Will Etchart acquired sole ownership of the ranch after retiring from a thirty-year career in public secondary education. A major objective was to cease dependence on cooperatives and engage in more direct marketing, and most importantly, to seek niche markets with specialty citrus, avocados and other subtropical fruits. He sought advice from several sources and planted a variety of citrus and avocados. One friend, April Jensen, said, “plant some Pixies”, and he did. He was a fixture at the Santa Barbara farmers market for over 15 years with his new offerings, and also sold fruit to many local grocery stores. He had a loyal customer base and enjoyed chatting and engaging directly with those that loved his fruit.

Sadly, Will passed away in April of 2005. His physical presence will be missed, but his spirit will live on at the ranch, and in all of those who knew him. Today, Etchart Ranch consists of 11 acres of specialty citrus and avocados: Pixie, Satsuma, Gold Nugget, and Tahoe Gold mandarins, Moro blood oranges, Minneola tangelos, Cara Cara navels, pummelos, guayavas and Hass and Fuerte avocados. The grove is managed and operated by Will’s sons Mike and Mark, and fourth-generation helpers at markets. The fruit is sold at farmers markets in Ojai and Santa Barbara, retail stores in Ojai and Santa Ynez Valley, and direct sales at the ranch. Hass avocados are marketed through Mission Produce.

Come visit us at the markets or call us directly at 805-646-2538.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Friend’s Stable and Orchard

This orchard was planted in 1997 and is part of the original homestead property of the Friend family. The orchard is part of Friend’s Orchard and Stable; a great place to board your horses in the beautiful east-end of Ojai. Of course horses love to eat Pixies and the Pixie trees don’t mind a little fertile manure to nourish their roots.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

G.E.

www.friendsranches.com

This orchard is owned by Friend’s Ranches on a piece of property that Elmer Friend purchased in the 1940’s where some of Ojai’s first tangerines were planted. The Pixies were planted in 1998 by George Thacher after he finished college and was deciding where and what to do. The soil under these Pixies is very rocky and George wasn’t happy moving so many rocks to plant these trees. We are grateful though as the orchard produces abundant good tasting fruit which George’s children now enjoy!

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Hahn

The Hahn Ranch is one of the smaller Ojai Pixie ranches owned and operated by the family of 3. The Pixie trees were planted in the 1980’s and are some of the oldest trees in the valley. This is one of the first orchards harvested in the spring as it is located in the frost-free Matilija canyon where the pixies ripen early and have some of the best flavor!

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Haque

This orchard was planted in 2004 and is located at the entrance to the Matilija canyon where it receives some warm canyon winter weather, resulting in extra tasty pixies! As it is a canyon orchard it is harvested at the beginning of the Ojai Pixie season.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Hartmann – Maricopa

This orchard was planted in two phases, in 2001 and 2006 replacing an old avocado orchard. The ranch is located at the entrance to the Matilija canyon where is receives some warm canyon winter weather, resulting in extra tasty pixies! As it is a canyon orchard it is harvested at the beginning of the Ojai Pixie season.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Henry

www.friendsranches.com

This orchard is owned by Friend’s Ranches on a piece of property that Elmer Friend purchased in from his brother Henry where some of Ojai’s first tangerines were planted. The Pixies were planted in 2005 and 2010. The first crop was harvested in 2010. Friend’s Ranches uses abundant amounts of mulch, compost and manure to keep soil fertility up in this rocky alluvial soil along Thacher Creek.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Hermitage Ranch

If you break a bone in Ojai it is likely that you will be seen by an Ojai Pixie grower as this orchard is owned by a local orthopedic doctor. The orchard was planted from 1998 to 2004 up along the avocado growing hill on the north side of our valley. The hillside stays warmer during cool winter nights lending to excellent flavored Pixies which ripen before the fruit on the valley floor.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Herrick

After determining that Pixies indeed grow well along the east hillsides of the Ojai Valley, Tony Thacher suggested to his aunt Hattie Herrick that she plant some on her property adjacent to the Thacher School. The property is now owned by Hattie’s son who takes pride in sharing the bounty of his land (Ojai Pixies, navel oranges, several types of avocados as well as mulberries) with his children and grandchildren. This orchard isn’t big, with 50 trees, but has some of the oldest Ojai Pixie trees planted in the 1980’s.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Huth

The original trees on this ranch date back to 1991 and over the years more have been planted. This was one of the first small ranches to join the Ojai Pixie growers group, which led to other owners of small parcels to join! This ranch lies on the middle ground between the hillside and valley floor.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Inman

Two wonderful Ojai teachers grow Ojai Pixies on their hillside property which they planted in 2000. Matt and Ann work at 2 different schools and on bountiful years have been known to share their Pixies with the entire school, especially during those weeks of spring testing.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Matilija Canyon Ranch

Matilija Canyon Ranch was founded in 1954 by Bill Lucking.  Starting in 1997, while in his 80’s, he replaced the original Valencia oranges with Pixies. Some of the Pixie trees are Valencia trees that he grafted over to Pixie tangerines. The ranch is now owned and operated by Bill’s daughter, Carly Ford, and her husband Ernie along with their family. Carly is proud to be a third generation California farmer and has great stories about growing up on the ranches in Ojai and riding her horse to school.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

McNell Creek Ranch

Co-owned by the Davis and Thacher families this was once the biggest Pixie orchard in the world—at nine acres! Initially planted in 1997 this ranch allowed the Ojai Pixie Growers Association to have sufficient quantities of fruit to sell to large wholesale buyers, including into the Sunkist system.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

New Oak Ranch

This Ojai Pixie orchard Planted was planted in upper Ojai in 2004 by Bill and Karen Evenden who also grow lavender and walnuts. Visit their website for loads of information about their ranch including opportunities to visit their ranch.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Ojai Citrus Partners

One of the newest large Ojai Pixie plantings this orchard was planted in 2006 and 2008 replacing an aging Valencia orange orchard. The orchard lies on the valley floor along Reeves creek.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Ojai Sky Ranch

This small orchard was planted around a beautiful estate along the avocado growing hill on the north side of our valley. The hillside stays warmer during cool winter nights lending to excellent flavored Pixies which ripen before the fruit on the valley floor.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Pepperwood

This several-acre ranch was planted in 1999 along the avocado growing hill on the north side of our valley. The hillside stays warmer during cool winter nights lending to excellent flavored Pixies which ripen before the fruit on the valley floor.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Poca de Gracia Ranch

We fled LA about 20 years ago to find a bit more space. Ojai has been more than that with a beautiful valley filled with really nice people- and a reintroduction to the occupation of our ancestors- growing things! Our two sons grew up here, sharing the chores and learning as we went along. We grow Pixies because we like them. In 1988 we had one Pixie tree on the ranch, didn’t know what it was, but everybody loved the product. Over several years we planted more & more trees, now with about 500. Except for picking and nutritional spray service in June, we do the chores ourselves, occasionally hiring a Nordhoff High School football player for more muscle. Beneficial insects are released every month with great control of bad bugs so no sprays have been needed this century.

We left about a quarter acre as meadow so the coyotes would have a comfy place to sleep. Most mornings you can see the flattened grass were they spent the night.

The East End of Ojai is made of a glacial moraine- the dirt & rocks pushed forward by a glacier which has since disappeared. So, we have plenty of rocks and great soil drainage- good for citrus, bad for hole diggers.

Every day seems to get prettier. By the way- poca de gracia is what you need to dance the Bamba.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Red Mountain

This Ojai Pixie orchard lies at the entrance to our valley where is receives more coastal breezes and nice exposure to early morning sun. Such sweet, juicy gems grow on this beautiful ranch where bears, wild boar and deer roam.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Ross

This east-end orchard was planted in 2004 and lies on the floor of the valley.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Rusin

This east-end orchard was planted in 2004 and lies on the floor of the valley. The owners believe in keeping the soil well nourished, using mulch to increase the soils’ organic matter. Some of the crop is sold at a roadside stand and what remains is sold wholesale.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Sheldon

www.friendsranches.com
Owned and operated by Friend’s Ranches, this is one of the first Ojai Pixie orchards. Some of the original Pixie trees were planted by Elmer Friend at this Matilija Canyon ranch in 1970. Tony Thacher subsequently replanted much of the orchard to tangerines from the 1980’s on. Friend’s Ranches sells a portion of their Sheldon ranch Pixies wholesale and much of the crop is sold at farmers’ markets and through their online mail-order business.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

The Hartmann Ranch

We live in a 135 year old farmhouse on this 9 acre property. We have eight children and eleven grandchildren. All of them help with the family farm. Over the years we have grown walnuts here and had a family run choose-and-cut Christmas Tree Farm with over 8000 Monterey Pine trees. Now we have planted the property to Pixie Tangerine Trees. We chose Pixie’s because we love to eat them and figured others would too! Our slogan says it all “Sweet, Petite, Great to Eat.”

This is our favorite crop of all. We enjoy growing and, yes, eating our sweet delicious Ojai Pixies right off the tree. Our friends and neighbors love them too. In the spring, when our trees are bowed down under the weight of the bright orange tangerines, they trade us fresh eggs and freshly caught fish for bags of Ojai Pixies. We sell some Pixies to the famous Ranch House Restaurant in town where they use this Ojai specialty in fruit compotes and lobster dishes.

Thanks for buying our Ojai Pixie Tangerines. We enjoy growing them just for you.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Three Sisters’ Orchard

Sandi Ruch grew up on an orange ranch owned and managed since the 1930s by her parents, Sam and Christine Barrett. Sandi and her three daughters, Julia, Laura and Sara are now partners, growing Ojai Pixie Tangerines and many other fruit trees on their ranch at the end of Boardman Road near Black Mountain.

Sandi’s late husband, Jim Ruch, spent much of his free time managing the property to restore the native oak/sycamore/grass woodland and to provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife from deer and quail to owls, bobcats, coyotes, many species of birds and an occasional bear who drops by to sample the tangerines!

The family finds it challenging to produce quality fruit for sale while, at the same time, fitting the orchard into the natural environment, but they wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks for your interest in Ojai Pixies!

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Timber Canyon Ranches

Shore’s “Timber Canyon Ranches” is a family owned farming operation established in 1965 to grow citrus and avocados. Our farms are in Santa Paula and Ojai.

We planted our first Pixie Tangerine Tree in 1996 after tasting the delicious fruit grown by Friends Ranches in Ojai. Since 1990 we have participated in the Ventura Certified Farmers Markets. We believe that direct marketing is beneficial to both the grower and consumer.

We are advocates of the Salad Bar School Lunch Program and sell to the Ventura School District.

One of our orchards is C.C.O.F. certified organic. We are sensitive to good environmental practices.

The Shore Packing Company located in Santa Paula packs specialty fruits for Timber Canyon Ranches and other growers.

For more information contact Ben Shore: reevescr@pacbell.net.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Twichell

This orchard is an extension of Terry Twichells zealous gardening. He planted over 200 trees in 2003. What remains after his grandchildren eat their fill gets pick and shipped through the wholesale market.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.

Weirick

This orchard lies on the western edge of our valley near Lake Casitas. The orchard was planted in 2001 with only 50 trees. Every other year this orchard produces prolifically and many of the fruits are shared among family and friends.

Member of the Ojai Pixie Tangerine Growers Association.