At the avocado grower seminar series on the central coast, organizer and San Luis Obispo Cooperative Extension County Director Mary Bianchi wanted to bring in a wide variety of industry professionals to start a healthy discussion. One of the panel members told growers about some new farming practices that are bringing in some extra income.
Shanley Farms began in 1998 in Morro Bay growing avocados. Since then, they have branched out, with more working land around California, and the company now produces avocados, finger limes, kiwis, lemons, figs and goji berries. The avocado industry in California has been hit hard by the drought, and a lot of growers have had to stump their trees. Shanley Farms Director of Marketing Meagan Shanley says they started looking into layered agriculture to bring in extra income to supplement other losses.
Owner Jim Shanley fielded a lot of questions from other growers at the seminar, and said although the trees are still young at this point, the coffee plants produce a couple pounds of coffee per plant every year. Shanley says they are also mixing in another new fruit that is gaining popularity in Southern California.
Jim Shanley says at this point everything is going well with the new crops, but it is still a work in progress as coffee and dragon fruit are just starting to emerge in California.