Name: Kirsten Soria
Farm: Somers Ranches
Location: 1121 E. Guiberson Rd, Fillmore, CA 93015
What they grow: Lemons, mandarins, navel and Valencia oranges, Bearss limes, pixies, blood oranges, ruby red grapefruit, tangelos, Haas avocados, and honey.
Where to buy: Farmers markets including Tuesday and Saturday in downtown Santa Barbara. Manyrestaurants also use their citrus, from blood orange sodas at Blue Owl to sweet and tangy cocktails at Milk & Honey and Cadiz. With the summer season fast approaching, Wine Cask, Seagrass, and bouchon will also feature Somers Ranch produce on their seasonal menus.
In season now: Blood oranges, Valencia oranges, tangelos, ruby red grapefruit, pixies, and mandarines. In the upcoming months, Somers Ranches will also be featuring their popular juices, including navel, tangelo, blood orange, grapefruit, and the top-selling blood orange lemonade.
Their story: Started more than 30 years ago, Somers Ranches is a family-run business consisting of six different ranches and totaling 2,200 acres. A farmers market veteran, the farm has become known for its wide variety of citrus and popularity with local restaurants.
“Our blood oranges are extremely popular, especially with restaurants,” said Kirsten Soria. “They make for excellent cocktails. They are so dramatic looking, with a big bold flavor.”
With so much citrus in bloom, the farm decided to harvest honey, hosting their own bee hives to help with pollination. In addition to an ample supply of honey, the farm picks their produce as needed from market blocks on site, ensuring quality, freshness, and less food waste.
“Shannon Somers does a great job as a farmer. It’s simply the best selection and quality,” said Soria. “They got me to like grapefruit….They must know what they are doing!”
With a citrus selection as diverse as their customer base, Somers Ranches grows year-round, ensuring everyone their daily Vitamin C fix. While pixies may be a personal favorite with younger market-goers, Soria provides ample samples to savor and sample the seasonal bounty of their land.
“I love working the markets,” said Soria. “It’s such a great atmosphere, with amazing food and people.”