As my knowledge of avocados grew, my hunger to know more grew faster! I wanted to know so much more than what regular Internet research gave me. It was hard for me to go out to an actual avocado farm. As much as I wanted to visit one, they were a little to far for my reach. Even though I couldn’t go meet a avocado farmer in person, I was lucky enough to get the chance to chat with an expert avocado grower over Facebook.
As I was waiting for a live chat online with Chuck Brandy, a California avocado grower, I was thinking of the questions I wanted to ask him. I didn’t know what I expected out of this chat, but I was pleased with our conversation. He was very informative and I could tell he loved talking about what he does best. He definitely knew his stuff; of course I would never expect less from an expert avocado grower. I knew that he was very passionate in what he does, and I was glad that he shared his knowledge with me. Now I know that there are some very technical details in growing avocados. I never would have guessed that irrigation and water supply would be a problem in growing avocados, let alone I wouldn’t have expected him to say that the cost of water is a problem. It makes me realize that there is way more care and detailing in growing an avocado tree, or thousands of avocado trees. I have come to appreciate this wonderful fruit even more, and I can’t wait to discover more so I have a deeper understanding of why this fruit is oh so expensive.
Questions with Chuck Brandy:
-What do you think is the most important thing in growing Avocados? What do you think the greatest obstacle is?
the most important thing in growing avocados is proper irrigation and irrigation management. The greatest obstacle in southern California is the availability and cost of water. –CB
weather is always a challenge too, we are facing different types of impacts at different times of the year – from roughly mid-Oct through mid-Feb Santa Ana winds are a huge concern for us. From Nov 30 through Feb 30 cold temps are a huge concern to us too. Heat spells are not as big of a concern if we have advanced knowledge of when a hot spell is likely to arrive or how hot it might get and we have an opportunity to pre-irrigate going into a heat spell – CB
-For the different kinds of Avocados you grow, do they need different treatment? Is the growing time different? or is there no difference at all?
From an irrigation and fertilization standpoint there is minimal difference. the growing time will vary by just a few months of actual tree life, the actual tree life of the fruit. For example, the Hass avocado in this area reaches maturity in mid-late January and will hang on the tree until mid-August. While the Lamb hass-hybrid matures in mid-summer and will hang on the tree until early October –CB
What is your favorite part about being a California Avocado Grower?
It’s an opportunity to be outdoors, 360 days a year haha – it’s an extremely healthy lifestyle. I spend hours a day walking in the foothills of northern San Diego county, and Southern Riverside county, amongst green trees, with beautiful views and lots of fresh air every single day – CB
In addition to the lifestyle, it’s a huge feeling of satisfaction that we’re producing a product that is so delicious –CB