A Match Made in Heaven
At first glance you can tell this pair were meant for each other. Their love for one another and farming clearly shines through the struggles and reality they’ve had to face. Vince and Bonnie Matulich (Mata-Lich) are apple growers based out of Aromas, California. They currently farm around 150 acres of various produce: apples, squash, beets, and strawberries to name a few. They joined our Abundant Harvest Organics family in Autumn of 2015 with the Pippin and some Gala you’ve enjoyed.
Though both born into farmer families, Vince found his love for apples early on. His grandfather was an apple farmer in the Santa Cruz Valley and Vince’s father, upon returning from service, became an apple grower as well, though with a slow few years in the market, Vince’s father left the farming business. Vince was accustomed to being around farming.
Vince made time between his 70-80hrs per week job at the Santa Cruz boardwalk as a mechanic and electrician, to care for other farmer’s crops who were too old to farm themselves. Meanwhile, Bonnie traveled with her family all over the United States when her father decided farming wasn’t making enough money and changing careers to become a construction worker building dams across the country.
Their paths soon crossed in the early 80s, as they began working their magic on several dying farms to bring back to life for other landowners. Eventually they bought their own land and put in five acres of apples thinking they would retire off their bounty, but they quickly found there were too many costs and had to revert to full-time farming once again.
On a daily basis, Bonnie oversees the bookwork, paperwork, payroll, and maintains their farm’s organic certification. Though often she finds herself traveling with Vince and watching him work with the field. Vince claims, “if we weren’t working as a team it would be impossible.” You can find Vince in any of the many orchards he farms; tending to them and managing his workers.
If you ask Vince why apples? He’ll tell you it’s in his blood. He loves watching them through the seasons: going dormant, watching the first buds coming out of the leaves, harvesting and then watching them fall back asleep. Though this year was an especially
terrible year for apples. One of the things you’ll notice right away is their love for apples. If you ask Vince why apples? He’ll tell you it’s in his blood. He loves watching them through the seasons: going dormant, watching the first buds coming out of the leaves, harvesting and then watching them fall back asleep. Though this year was an especially terrible year for apples. The Matulich lost quite a bit of their crop due to the lack of rain and cold in their valley. Vince stated,
“Frankly, until we were able to sell apples to the Peterson Family Farm, we were going to go under on the apples. But with your program you put together and being able to pick the fruit and taking it right to the people, has really helped us. That makes us excited, and we want to improve our program and give a good product. If it wasn’t for that, we would take a bulldozer and put berries or what else cause we could not compete.”
Spread the Matulich love for apples and share one of yours with a friend.