Erickson Ranch's roots began in Italy in the early 1900's. Born in 1888, Augusto Toselli immigrated to Suisun Valley by way of San Francisco as a young man on a quest for adventure, and a new life. Good fortune and luck were on his side. In 1920, after years of hard work, Augusto married Annie Boitano, the youngest of four daughters born to Italian immigrants. Annie had been living in the nearby town of Tolenas, and the couple was able to purchase a 20 acre farm planted with pears. The pears were removed to improve the profitability of the Ranch and were replaced with the wonderful Bartlett Pear. Augusto and Annie also raised chickens and sold eggs. As time progressed, the farm, as well as the family, grew with the birth of the three Toselli children, John, Rose and Alice.
The second generation was to carry on the Toselli tradition of farming. Rose married her high school sweetheart, a local hard-working young man named Ray Erickson. They married after Ray returned from WWII and built a home alongside Rose's parents. A son, Ray Erickson Jr, was born in 1951, and the family farm grew slowly. Big Ray worked at Mare Island and farmed on the weekends. And in 1958, Ray and Rosie purchased a 13 acre ranch up the road from the Toselli farm. The land came with old prune trees, which Rosie worked and maintained. The young family moved their home to the new ranch in 1960, and has been farming the land ever since. Over time they planted apricots, peaches, nectarines and Bartlett Pears. Peach harvests were so plentiful that as a child Ray Jr. sold peaches from the back of a truck on the current property. This eventually led to building a more permanent produce stand. Tomatoes and corn were added to the crops, and by the 1970's, so were kiwis.
Ray and Victoria were married in 1983, and now have two grown children. Our daughter and son-in-law have completed Air Force service and are both attending school full time. After completing service in the Marine Corps, our son, is completing classes in business. Farming has changed over the years and so, too, has Erickson Ranch. With the increasing demand for authentic, fresh, and locally grown produce, they definitely fit the bill. The ranch is very authentic; and without a doubt, local. According to Victoria, "We grow what we sell and can, which certainly guarantees that our produce is picked at its peak ripeness. This ensures the best possible flavors."
A portion of the original 90-year-old Bartlett pears have been removed due to less demand but in their place are peaches, nectarines, figs and pomegranates. Our peaches and nectarines begin when we open in late June and continue through November. There will always be a delicious, tree-ripened white or yellow peach or nectarine to satisfy your taste buds.
Our harvest season begins with the Blenheim apricot from our well-established orchard of this traditional fruit. We are able to extend its delicious flavor by selling it fresh, as jam and as a dried fruit.
In the year 2000 we began flower production of dahlias in earnest. Flowers had always been planted in addition to the crops but only for decoration. The dahlias were from the original home garden at the ranch and as time progressed the dahlia garden has grown and new varieties have been planted for picking. Each year you'll find something new in the Dahlia garden.
In 2002 we added the Chile Roaster to the property. For years we have grown chilies and generations of families have come to pick peppers to take home for roasting. We can now roast the chilies for them with three sizes of roasters on the spot. We have a huge variety of chilies from mild to hot and in between. You pick!
Homemade jams were added to the produce stand shelves in 2003. The fruit is grown on the Ranch or in Suisun Valley, harvested and prepared immediately. We have the added benefit of picking fruit from the tree at the peak of ripeness and are therefore able to use less sugar. This technique enhances the natural flavor of the fruit.
At Erickson Ranch we are currently continuing with the traditions our family has cultivated for generations, and always looking for ways to improve our ideas and offerings so that the family farm may be preserved.