Next on our tour, we visited avocado growers Scott and Debbie McIntyre at Rancho BellaSante', their 112-acre farm in the hills above Temecula. Scott McIntyre is a 3rd generation farmer who currently oversees the management of more than 5,000 acres of avocado and lemon groves, while the farm in Temecula grows avocado, citrus, and wine grapes.
Scott explained a key to the farm's philosophy: by paying his labor force well and making work available year-round, he has fostered a sense of respect and loyalty from his workers.
Many details about the production practices were also discussed. Chief among them was the fact that avocados do not ripen on the tree. Instead, once they reach maturity, there is a window of time when they may be harvested. It is only after they are picked that they begin to ripen. For this reason, strategically picking at the right time in the market is important.