Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
May 22nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Brown Ranch Recognized

blog_dirt_BrownRanchFamily business honored for 100-year presence in Capitola
When the 1906 earthquake destroyed James Brown’s automobile dealership in San Francisco, Brown made a decision that would have a lasting impact on the City of Capitola. He retired from the automobile business, moved to Capitola and eventually founded Brown Ranch in 1911. Starting out as a berry farm, Brown Ranch became a world leader in the production of begonia bulbs by the 1950s. Today the bulb growing operation has moved to Moss Landing; however, the Brown family operates a shopping center, Brown Ranch Marketplace, on the old Capitola ranch property, and they continue to donate begonia blooms from their fields to the Capitola Begonia Festival each year.

This Friday, the Capitola Chamber of Commerce will be honoring Brown Ranch with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The award will be given to Barclay and Todd Brown and the rest of the Brown family at the Annual Community Awards Celebration at the Seacliff Inn.

Barclay Brown, the grandson of James Brown, started working for the family business in 1942 by picking weeds out of the begonia fields at the age of 10. “We think of ourselves as a farming family,” he says. “Like many farm families we’re fortunate that the younger generation tends to like the idea of staying in the business, so the present chief operating officer is fourth generation, and we even have people in the fifth generation working in our business.”

Barclay left Capitola to attend college at Cornell and then to serve in the Navy; however, he started working for the family business again immediately when he returned. This was in 1956 and he continued to work for the business until approximately 12 years ago. Barclay has seen many changes during that time. The crops have changed and the City of Capitola has doubled in size, thanks in part to Brown Ranch, he says, which annexed its 100-acre property to the city.

Barclay is modest about Brown Ranch’s legacy. “We like our business and we feel fortunate that we’ve be able to make it last that long,” he says. “I’ve always felt that we were very lucky that [James Brown] made the decision to start farming in Capitola because it seems to me to be a wonderful place to live and have a business.”


The Capitol-Soquel Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Awards Celebration at the Seacliff Inn takes place March 25, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $35/person. Call 475-6522 for reservations.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Enlightened Flavors

Squash & Blossom’s artisanal alternative-flour delights, beet kvass from Cafe Ivéta, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival