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The Father and Son of Grace Rose Farm

Grace Rose Farm

June 30, 2021

Every business needs a jack of all trades, the person who can figure just about anything out and has the patience to see hard projects through. Let me introduce you to Juan. As of writing this post, Juan has been with us the longest out of all our employees.

When we bought our Santa Ynez farm we didn’t know anyone in the area and had no idea how to find help. That was a huge obstacle we faced early on with our farm because Ryan and I didn’t have the experience needed to do a lot of the initial setup of our farm. We placed an ad on Craigslist and Juan replied immediately. We hired a lot of people initially because we had thousands of roses to plant, and everyday people would start and quit because that kind of work just wasn’t for everyone. It was a lot of digging and really dirty work since it was the rainy season.

Little did we know, the oldest hire we made would end up being one of our very best. Juan came to us with over 40 years of farming experience. He worked at several of the area’s vineyards, which turned out to be really lucky for us. He knew all about pest management, planting, grafting and propagating new plants, irrigation, fertilizing and so, so much more. And he’s not afraid of snakes! One of the many glorious things about farms - snakes!! Plant cultivation is Juan’s expertise and it’s been such a huge blessing to have him these past 4 years. He had the real farming experience Ryan and I lacked so we knew we needed to take really good care of him.

Juan is a quiet man of few words. He’s kind natured and his intentions are pure. He works meticulously and can do anything. He came to the United States from Mexico in the early 80’s with his wife Dolores and has five sons. Juan and Dolores worked hard to purchase their home and give their sons a wonderful, stable life. They experienced immense heartbreak as a family when one of their sons was killed, and knowing this has made Ryan and me even more protective of their family. Being able to give them steady, enjoyable work has been our pleasure and we consider them part of our family. You may remember Dolores from our Santa Ynez farm. She was Seraphina’s doting nanny. No one is better with babies than Dolores!

When we bought our previous farm I remember feeling so overwhelmed with the amount of roses we needed to plant and how would we ever get all the irrigation run. Juan knew just what to do. Having him join us so early on at our first big farm has been key to our growth.

Soon after Juan started he asked if his son could come to work as well. Knowing how great Juan was, we immediately said yes and then came Dan. So many of you know who Dan is because he’s with me all the time. Dan started out in the fields planting and working alongside his Dad, but outdoor work wasn’t really Dan’s thing so his position evolved to indoors.

Today, Dan does the hardest job at our farm. Let’s just say I could never do his job! It’s a stressful one, too. Dan oversees order fulfillment and everyone who works in production. He juggles the processing and shipping of thousands of roses everyday. He’s under constant pressure to meet time deadlines and has to figure out a lot of logistics depending on how many roses he has and in what colors. Dan has grown into this position and we love him for taking it on. He’s a creative soul who I relate to so much. We are pretty much inseparable. Whenever I look put together, it’s because Dan has done my makeup! He’s immensely talented and such a sweet, loving friend.

This season Juan is driving hundreds of miles everyday delivering our roses from our previous farm in Santa Ynez to our new farm, where we do all our production. Since he owns his home up north it’s harder for him to move down to our new farm, but we are figuring out a way when our rose bushes get here later this year. Juan will be the person overseeing the huge job of moving all our roses. Dan lives on our farm with his kitty, Lucy. She was our kitty, but she doesn’t like other cats (we have a lot of cats) and she took to Dan, so she lives with him! We are striving to build Dan and Lucy a tiny house at the farm so he can have his own, beautiful space.

This week we celebrated Juan’s 60th birthday with a pizza party and cake. He’s currently at our new farm installing our fertigation system. Just for some insight…we were quoted over 15k for installation by an Ag company on top of all the parts we bought. Juan said he could do it with one helper and he’s near finished in the same amount of time we were quoted. I can’t tell you how thankful we are for Juan and that he answered our Craigslist ad all those years ago. He, his son and wife ARE our farm family and the people who make Grace Rose Farm such a special place. They are the epitome of hard working, devoted, loyal people and we love each of them dearly.

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