In 1918 Lake Hodges dam was completed and it was purchased by the City of San Diego in 1925. Southern California was a booming avocado growing region at the time and the introduction of the dam brought water to the San Diego area which enabled avocado farming in Rancho Santa Fe, Carlsbad, Escondido, and Poway. Our orchard was one of the properties that benefitted from this new source of water.
The original Orchard Operating Co. was owned by Howard G Smits, President of the Pacific Iron and Steel Company and Caltech Alumnus. Much of the land in North Poway was owned by Howard who grew the original avocado trees that used to punctuate the hills across the street from Poway High School. The company was dissolved in the 1980s but the trees remained. One neighborhood in particular was named The Grove because many of the original trees still stood when development began in the early 1990's.
When our family purchased the lot in 1994, over 100 original avocado trees from Orchard Operating Co. still stood. Since then we have planted many varieties of citrus including different oranges, limes, tangerines, grapegruit, and pomelos. We also have kiwi vines, pomegranate, and apple trees. As a nod to history, in October 2022, we reincorporated The Orchard Operating Company and are very excited to offer our fruit to the surrounding area for little more than the cost of the water to grow it. The mature and delicious fruit is unlike anything you've ever experienced and we invite you to give it a try. Welcome to The Orchard!