John and Patti Koman own the White Dove Farmin Santa Paula, a small town and agricultural hub in Southern California. Located about 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the farm grows passion fruit, a few avocado and lemon varieties, and guavas. Initially founded in 1938, the Komans became the property’s second owners in 1997 and named the farm after John’s father, who used to raise white doves.
As a local farmer, John Koman is constantly getting inquiries from developers and city planners about his land. In essence, they want to buy White Dove because they hope to build expensive housing developments on the property, at a huge profit. Those are just the harsh realities about land trends in California. Inherently, there isn’t anything wrong with building new homes for people to live in, but this phenomenon is sadly coinciding with a massive drought in the state. John takes issue with developers, because at the same time he’s being asked to reduce water usage at his farm by 30%. As more families move into the community, this water shortage will continue to escalate.
Farther north in California, many farmers have also seen more plots taken up by grape vines and the highly lucrative wine industry. Generally, the eastern side of Sonoma County has been considered the area for growing grapes, but wine has continued to spread west in recent years. It’s a hard truth to accept, because this nutrient-rich soil and mild climate could be utilized to grow nearly anything imaginable. However, the farmers don’t see the local economy working in their favor anytime soon.
Despite the land trends in California, The FruitGuys recognizes that White Dove’s community farm is a likeminded business, helping to sustain a healthy environment and grow delicious fruit at the local level. By supporting White Dove, it feels good to know that at least 10 acres of valuable land will not be sold off to build condominiums or harmed with “slash and burn” farming methods.