November 2012 -Ben Shore - Reeves Creek Ranch - Ventura County Agricultural Education
Like most Ojai farmers, Ben Shore is a very down to earth kind of guy. His boot leather is several years worn, his jeans look like they should and upon arriving to his ranch his dog Hanna greets you way before you see Ben. When Ben did appear he was holding a small white box overflowing with bright orange Fuyu and Hachiya persimmons. And on a drizzly November morning the 50 persimmons trees surrounding us were dripping heavy with ripe fruit.
Reeves Creek Ranch is a gorgeous piece of agricultural paradise, way off the beaten path, nestled in a canyon at the end of Reeves Road and not far from Ojai Valley School. The Shore’s Timber Canyon Ranches, with two locations in Santa Paula and Ojai, is a family owned farming operation established in 1965 to grow citrus, avocados and persimmons. They planted their first Pixie Tangerine Trees in 1996 after tasting the delicious fruit grown by Friends Ranches. (The Thachers are always ahead of the curve.) Ben was very proud to explain his 80 acre ranch is certified organic. He learned to farm from his father, Michael Shore, and is now carrying on the family tradition. We ended our ranch tour with Ben showing Art and I the old original wooden fruit crates from the 1960s that were sitting on the back of a Chevy flatbed pickup truck. We were all eating delicious crisp Fuyu persimmons like you would an apple and well it doesn’t get much better than that. The Shore’s sell their fruit at local Farmers Market; the Pacific View Mall on Wednesday and downtown Ventura on Saturday morning.