What we’re drinking now: Good Land Organics California Coffee. Story shot by Par BengtssonArt Direction by Randy Price
RIDING THE CALIFORNIA COFFEE WAVE
Along the sparkling blue California coastline and up into the rolling hills of Santa Barbara sits Good Land Organics Farm- a fruit lover’s and coffee connoisseur’s paradise.
Within a two and half hour drive from Los Angeles you can find Good Land Organics Farm – an exotic fruit paradise and coffee farm in which Central America meets California. Owned by Jay Ruskey, an agricultural specialist and life long surfer, he is serious about offering a truly authentic “seed to cup” experience and passionate to offer the finest flavors. Developing a local coffee trade for Californians to enjoy, this could easily be the next wave among the third wave coffee movements. We had the privilege of spending some time with him at his farm, photographing and enjoying his homegrown coffee production.
Surprisingly, coffee is not commercially grown in California (or in the rest of the continental United States). American coffee is typically only grown on Hawaiian soil, but Ruskey is changing this landscape completely as this is the first type of coffee grown locally. He grows, produces, and roasts (along with fellow coffee expert Lindsey McManus) 13 different varieties,including the rare and sought after Geisha bean- an aromatic and delicate black teabody with a touch of bergamot.
Good Land Organics sits within a unique microclimate at the foothills of Santa Barbara, which allows for his coffee plants to thrive. On his farm you can also find avocados, dragon fruit, caviar limes, passion fruit, cherimoyas, and surinam cherries. Ruskey is an experimental farmer who is constantly studying and exploring efficient ways to grow his specialty produce, such as interplanting the coffee trees with the avocado trees so that they share the same amount of water. This love for each of his plants and how they work in harmony is what keeps his products diverse and high in quality.
We certainly enjoyed the fruits of his labor, as we watched the sun come up over the hills, enjoying freshly grown and roasted coffee while eating deliciously creamy avocadoes right off the trees. Rise and shine!