This week we are excited to feature beautiful grapes from Fresno’s Benzler Farms! This third-generation family farm grows a number of grape varietals, including Thompson Seedless (green) and Flame Seedless (red). With their in-house packing facility, they are also able to produce their own raisins from Thompsons and Flames - be sure to pick some up the next time you visit the Central Valley!
Fred and Bertha Benzler founded Benzler Farms in 1952, the year they began selling their produce at the Farmer’s Market. In the late 1970’s their son Tom took over the family farm, following a 17 year career teaching industrial arts at the local Junior High School. Under Tom’s care, Benzler Farms earned organic certification in 1983. While the Benzlers had always grown and packed their produce in ecologically and environmentally friendly ways, Tom pursued certification in response to consumer concerns and demands around organic food production.
Tom’s son Thomas started getting involved in the day-to-day activities of running the farm in 2001, and eventually took full control of the farm in 2005. Today, Tom and his wife Betty commit much of their time to charitable causes in their Fresno community and to missionary work in Puerto Rico, though Tom still joins his son at the Farmer’s Market on many a Saturday!
What began as a 40 acre farm has now grown to a 200 acre farm that grows, packs, and ships produce nationwide. Having an in-house cooling and packing facility means that their assortment of citrus and grape varietals can be picked and shipped in a matter of hours, guaranteeing taste and freshness without compromising shelf life.
Three generations of the Benzler family have offered consumers foods free of pesticides and other synthetic chemicals, and the Benzler family tradition of excellence has endured. Times have changed, but farming is still the Benzler game! Pick up some of their grapes at your local co-op and taste the organic difference!