ABOUT GARZA FAMILY FARMS
From Our Family to Yours
We may be a busy family, owned and operated Apricot Orchard, but here at Garza Family Farms we’re in the business of working hard at making our apricots the best and making special memories. Bring your whole family down to our Orchard located in Gilroy, CA and enjoy good fruit and good company!
How it all started
While Garza Family Farms has been a family owned and operated apricot orchard since 1977, Eddie Garza Sr., the family’s apricot patriarch, has been working with apricots all his life.
In fact, at age eleven he left school to work full time in the orchard, picking fruit like apricots, pears, and prunes.
“As a child I made $9 a day. In those days, Santa Clara Valley was all orchards, from Cupertino to Alum Rock Park to Steven’s Creek Road. Even Steve Jobs's parents had an orchard,” Eddie Sr. recalls.
Surprisingly, when the family acquired the orchard, there were only 500 apricot trees. The others were prunes!
Since then, the orchard has grown into approximately 900 California Blenheim apricot trees, a variety that’s famous for its natural sweetness, spanning ten and a half acres and managed by Eddie Sr. and his children.
Throughout the year
Working in the orchard requires long hours and it’s a yearlong endeavor. January through February are reserved for planting new trees and pruning the existing trees. In the spring, the bloom comes. There are typically three blooms spanning February to March.
If there isn’t enough rain, which is mostly every year in California, we manually water the orchard four times a year by laying massive pipes between each row of trees. This process of laying pipe and moving them down each row takes about 2 weeks.
The pipes can’t stay out for long though, as we must loosen the soil by discing. Discing is a process that happens every three months and lasts a couple weeks once it’s started.
Operating the orchard is a labor of love that doesn’t come without its challenges. Eddie Sr.’s son Eddie says to properly grow apricots, you need to know a lot of different things, such as operating various tractors and forklifts. You also have to be prepared for droughts as there are some years where we’re constantly laying pipes to water the trees.
I remember driving a forklift when I was around 10 years old helping my dad and mom pick up the trays which were full of dried fruit and driving the pallet to the barn so we could scrape them into 4 x 4 bins.
They were long days and a lot of work, but I thought it was pretty cool being able to drive the tractor!
- Eddie Garza Jr.
I remember changing the water pipes with my mom, dad and Eddie when I was 10 or 11 years old. My dad would always change the tees on the trunk and do the larger 4 inch pipe Eddie and I would do the smaller 2 & 3 inch line.
We would try to have fun with it and race each other to see who would could finish their lines first! Of course, I would always win because my mom would help me, girl power!
By the time we were done checking all the lines we were always soaking wet. Usually because someone aimed a sprinkler at the other person!
- Michelle Garza - Rivera
We may be a busy family, but we’re in the business of working hard at making our apricots the best and making special memories.
Our orchard and land is a labor of love and we are happy to share it with you!
We welcome you to bring the whole family down to our orchard, located in Gilroy, and enjoy good fruit, good company and see the labor of love we have cared for all these years.
Get in touch to learn more about us and find out why we’ve been a prime destination for over 40 years!