Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Jan 30th
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

 

Throwing It All Away

Everybody’s for recycling, right? So why are we all doing it wrong? Our reporter gets down and dirty to uncover 10 secrets that will finally make the recycling process make sense

 

Aquarius Calling, Humanity Rising

Aquarius (11th sign after Aries) is the sign of service—serving one another, building community. Aquarius is fixed air, stabilizing new ideas in the world. When new ideas reach the masses the ideas become ideals within the hearts and minds of humanity. Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are mental. They think, ponder, study, research, gather and distribute information. For air signs, education and learning, communicating, writing, being social, tending to money, participating in groups and creating sustainable communities are most important. One of the present messages Aquarius is putting forth to the New Group of World Servers is the creation of the New Education (thus thinking) for humanity—one based not on commodities (banking/corporate values) but on virtues. Humanity and Aquarius Aquarius is the sign of humanity itself. We are now at the beginnings of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Humanity (rising). The “rising” is the Aquarian vision of equality, unity, the distribution and sharing of all resources and of individual (Leo) creative gifts for the purpose of humanity’s (Aquarius) uplifting. This is the message in the Solar Festival of Aquarius (at the full moon) on Tuesday, Feb. 3. We join in these visions by reciting the World Prayer of Direction, the Great Invocation.Tuesday’s solar festival follows Monday’s Groundhog Day, or Imbolc (ancient Celtic fire festival) the halfway mark between winter solstice and spring Equinox). The New Group of World Servers (NGWS) during these two days are preparing for the upcoming Three Spring Solar Festivals: 1. Aries Resurrection/Easter Festival (April); 2. Taurus Buddha/Wesak Festival (May); and 3. Gemini’s Festival of Humanity (June). Aquarius and the new and full moons together are the primary astrological influences behind all of humanity’s endeavors. The NGWS are to teach these things, calling and uplifting humanity. Join us everyone. (301)

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Job Insecurity

Woman fights for her job in thoughtful, life-sized ‘Two Days One Night’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Jeffrey’s Restaurant

Why quick and friendly service matters at a local diner.

 

If you didn't live in Santa Cruz, where would you be living?

I would live in Kauai because the water is warmer, and I just love it there. Maureen Niehaus, Santa Cruz, Dental Assistant

 

Clos LaChance Wines

Pinot Noir 2012

 

Striking Gold

A taste of Soquel Vineyards’ five gold medal-winning Pinots