For more than three decades, Cuyama Orchards has been growing apples in the high desert of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties—and this year the grower-shipper is expecting a high-yield crop of excellent quality.
Cuyama Orchards got its start in 1992 when hay farmers Howard and Jean Albano decided to make the switch to growing apples by planting 20 acres of the Nagafu Fuji variety right outside of their farmhouse.
Howard and Jean Albano
“In the mid- to late ‘80s, Fuji apples were a new phenomenon in America, and they really took the market by storm,” says Byron Albano, Howard’s son and the current owner of Cuyama Orchards. “People just loved them compared to the Red Delicious and Golden Delicious.”