In the late eighteen hundreds, my family came from Spain and settled in the Yolo County area. They were ranchers in the Western part of the county along Putah Creek, raising nuts and stone fruit (apricots, peaches, and plums). My parents took over the ranch operation in the mid 1940's, farming 100 acres of apricots, the first California apricots of the season shipped to the Eastern market.
I was raised on that ranch, where I cut fruit at the ripe age of six years old. The ranch also raised cattle and horses. With this, I started my knowledge of what ranching was all about. The miracle of Mother Nature never ceased to amaze me, and as I grew, my love for nature and growing things grew. When I wasn't working on the ranch, I was in the creek or in the hills--this was my playground, and it was great.
I went off to college, but I couldn't get the dirt out from under my fingernails. I would go to the ranch every weekend, to the peace of the country. My parents decided to retire in 1975 and sold the Winters ranch. Alice and I bought this ranch in 1980, cleaned it up, and planted the peach orchard. We decided to sell our peaches direct to the consumer off the ranch. We started selling peaches off of the patio, under the big pecan tree in the shade by the house, with my mom, Terry and DeeDee doing all the sales. We grew from that location to a covered shade area by the barn, then to the current packing shed and store. We now also sell local Capay Valley grown produce, honey and nuts.
In the mid 90's, an article was written about our ranch in Sunset Magazine, identifying Manas Ranch for the Best Peaches in the West. Hence, "The Best Peaches in the West" has become our motto.
We now offer apricots, cherries and five different kinds of peaches. We are looking into adding other new varieties of stone fruits in the future. We also operate the Double Bar O Angus Ranch, selling high grade beef directly to the public. (www.doublebaroangus.com)
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