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Grebar Farms Is Nothing But Fresh Family Fun

This 7-acre farm was rebuilt after the 2007 Witch Creek Fires and now serves up fresh veggies and fruits.

Grebar Farms may not have deep roots since the wildfires of 2007 took out many of its greenhouses, but it does have a plentiful second harvest—all for the sharing.

The family-ran farm here in Ramona started out as Grebar Groundcovers in 1979, where Greg and his wife Barbara Harper (the origins of "Grebar") produced wholesale plants in greenhouses on their 7-acre property at 401 Pile St.

"He always wanted to do the farmstand thing," said Greg's daughter, Patti Prohaska.

So that's what Greg did after the Witch Creek Fires destroyed his property. And the result was 1,200 stonefruit trees, new greenhouses for goods like tomatoes and strawberries and lots of berries and greens.

"Last year was our first year for strawberries," Prohaska said. "We experimented with them and they were really successful."

Strawberries should be ready for residents to purchase by Valentine's Day, Prohaska said.

The mother of two, who helps her dad in the fields, said this is only the second full season open for the modest farmstand, as it took years for the fruit trees and berries to mature once they were planted after the fires.

Prohaska also said the whole farming business has been a learning process for her and her parents.

"Two years ago, I was an insurance underwriter and now I do this," she said. "I couldn't keep a house plant alive before this!"

But it seems as if the Harpers and Prohaska know what they're doing. Their strawberries are sweet and juicy (a certain Patch editor got to try a handful!) and they're taking extra special care of their greenhouse tomatoes by adding heaters to accomodate for the cold nights Ramona has seen lately.

"We grow everything naturally—no pesticide sprays," Prohaska told Patch. "We use no harsh chemicals. We're eating this stuff, too!"

Prohaska also explained that everything is picked fresh daily, which extends the life of their crops in your fridge.

"It's cut daily so it stays fresh longer," she said of their many lettuces and greens.

Grebar Farms is maximizing every bit of space on its land, too, by growing crops in between the greenhouses and eventually filling up a pond and adding tables and grass for guests to sit down and enjoy the farm's serene atmosphere.

"We want to be able to eventually do something with the wineries and become an attraction," Prohaska said.

But for now, the family farm, ran just by Prohaska, the Harpers and one field worker, is steadily ploughing out all types of greens and fruit, including, but not limited to:

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Kale
  • Squash
  • Olallieberries
  • Nectarines
  • Plums
  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Lettuce mixes (conveniently sold bagged)
  • Kohlrabi

Don't recognize some of those oddly-named crops? Grebar Farms has you covered.

"We send out emails with what's in the store," Prohaska said for the farm's customers. "And recipes for the things people aren't familiar with—like kohlrabi."

You can sign up for newsletters and see recipes on Grebar Farms website here.

Prohaska said the farm is hoping to expand their choices as they go, but they're "still new to this." However, that doesn't mean it's all hard work.

"This is a lot of fun, and for me, it's been a great learning experience," the young farmer-in-training said. "But we get new people in everyday and the keep coming back."

Want to add fresh local produce to your family's dinner table? Visit Grebar Farms at 401 Pile St. and get quality food, from one family to another.

Jenn Stewart January 24, 2013 at 04:01 AM
Grebar Farms has the absolute best tasting strawberries & blueberries ever. My 3 year old loves them and gobbles down entire containers of them! Definitely a place worth shopping for berries at. And the salad bags are really good, too!
Kim Holzhauer January 24, 2013 at 02:25 PM
This is one place I look forward to going to. I love the fresh veggies. They have real taste!! I just ask that you guy send out more updates. We got the updates in the summer; however, now the updates are far and few between.
Stacy Bart January 24, 2013 at 03:59 PM
This farm is wonderful. I buy fruit and it's eaten before we get home!
greg Chick January 24, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Now this is better than a charred body in a truck any day. I would welcome postings on growing skills and other veggie tips here on the patch. It might be a shameless plug for business but hey I have no shame, I am Ramona's Plumber. I would even offer a plumbing design for a rain catchment system for better water. Veggies thrive on rain water, as do many plants. As for tip #2, we as a culture need to chose food crops over turf for our limited water supply. I am going to this place! see your there.
sandee salvatore January 24, 2013 at 06:15 PM
Sounds wonderful however I cannot shop with you. Your business days and hours are within my business days & hours. Your closed days are my off days and your hours are 10:00 to 4:00 my hours are 10:00 to 5:00. Maybe when I retire. Or maybe delivery?
Jenn Stewart January 25, 2013 at 02:06 AM
@Sandee, the hours posted are the winter hours. Come spring and summer the hours change so hopefully you can make it by there. Its worth a trip, their products are delish!
PProhas January 25, 2013 at 02:54 AM
Hi everyone! This is Patti from Grebar Farms! Thank you all for your kind words! @Kim we will be sending more emails as soon as the strawberries are in...as far as growing goes, we are pretty slow during the winter months. So in the next week or so you will start seeing more from us! @Sandee starting with day light savings time, we will be going to our spring/summer hours of Wednesday-sundays 10am to 6pm. I hope you are able to come out and visit us!
Traci Squyres January 28, 2013 at 04:07 AM
Their vegetables are excellent, but oh, the fruit! The peaches, so flavorful and juicy, I have to wear a bib eating them on the way home. And so many varieties! Then there are the berries, my mouth is watering just thinking about them. I had no idea what blueberries really tasted like, my only experience being from the grocery store. Indeed, a wonderful addition to Ramona.
Catryna White February 10, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Hope you made it over to Grebar Farms. If you have, I'm sure you'll agree that they are the best. But wait until summer when their berries come in. It's pretty fantastic.

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