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 From Neglect to Thriving Orchard: A Tale of Determination and Success from Accidental Farmers

In September 2020, my husband David and I embarked on a transformative journey by acquiring a picturesque home in South Morro Hills, Oceanside, California. Situated on 2.5 acres of land, the property boasted 300 trees that would become the catalyst for our remarkable story of growth and achievement.

Beyond the beautiful home, the initial state of the land was one of neglect, with the trees in desperate need of restoration and nourishment. Understanding the urgency and the potential threats posed by wildfires, we made securing a reliable water supply our top priority.

Seeking guidance from our local community, we received a recommendation for Jesus, an expert in tropical fruits and an invaluable partner in our journey. His expertise, integrity, and work ethic guided us as we embarked on the mission to rejuvenate our orchard.

Repairing the dilapidated irrigation system proved to be a formidable task. David tirelessly dedicated hours before his full-time job, fixing broken pipes and reviving the lifeblood of our orchard. Slowly but surely, through his unwavering determination, the trees began to flourish once again. The sight of white flowers and green bulbs confirmed the success of our efforts, highlighting the resilience of nature when nurtured.

The shock of the water bill in December 2020 propelled us to explore alternative solutions. Recognizing the prevalence of well installations among our neighbors, we cautiously considered this risky endeavor.  We worked with a well drilling company to identify a new spot on our property knowing that there was no guarantee.

In February 2021, the drilling process commenced, evoking a mix of apprehension and hope. Five days later, at a depth of 876 feet, our perseverance was rewarded as water gushed forth at an impressive rate of 100 gallons per minute. This abundant water supply surpassed the requirements for a viable well, securing our orchard's future and alleviating the burden of excessive water bills. The success of this endeavor demonstrated David's visionary spirit and his unyielding commitment to turning dreams into reality.

With the flourishing of fruit came the challenge of managing its abundance. While our wholesale agreement with Jesus helped, the supply exceeded demand. Seeking solutions, we explored selling at farmers' markets and became certified producers and we tapped into the Facebook community, connecting with fruit enthusiasts.  We found an overwhelming interest in our guava, particularly the Asian Thai Guava, led us to establish an immersive u-pick orchard experience.

Preparations for the grand opening of our u-pick orchard in October 2021 consumed our days. Pruning, organic fertilization, and mulching became regular practices to ensure the health and strength of our trees. Our commitment to sustainable farming led us to plant a new hillside of guava, mango, and citrus trees, underscoring our dedication to environmental stewardship.

Today, our orchard boasts over 500 thriving trees—an inspiring testament to our determination and the power of community support. La Villa Sulla Collina, Inc. Tropical Fruit Orchard stands as a shining example of transformation, offering visitors the chance to reconnect with nature, savor the fruits of our labor, and be a part of our story.

Lastly, we are San Diego County Certified Producers and Member of the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce.

We look forward to meeting you, 

David and Carmen

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