Back and Forward: Harvey Correia on Working in the World of Figs

Back Q&A May 26, 2017

Harvey Correia, a third-generation Delta resident, has one of the most diverse collections of the common fig in the world. Correia offers his perspective on this very particular industry. For more from Correia, check out “Gettin’ Figgy With It” in our June issue. Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll email you when it’s available online.

What’s the biggest change in your industry in the past year?

We are not a typical fig grower, instead focusing on continuing our trials of new fig varieties we discover. We are continuing to add more varieties with 30 added so far this year and another 50 or so still to be planted when they get a bit larger. We don’t have unlimited space and resources, so we have removed some varieties that we found to be too similar to others we are growing or that we found to be mediocre to our taste preferences. Change is an ongoing part of our farm.

What do you foresee as the biggest change on the horizon in the year to come?

Increasing labor costs and regulatory burden in California makes the farming of many crops unprofitable. More growers will need to differentiate their produce from that of others and devote more attention to marketing. We find growing many varieties more interesting to us personally and consumers appreciate this as well. Growing a specialty crop instead of a mainstream commodity is one approach some growers can use to remain economically viable. We will continue to increase our use of social media to reach out to others for both marketing and educational purposes.

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