Erickson Ranch’s roots began in Italy in the early 1900’s. Born in 1888, Augusto Toselli immigrated to Suisun Valley by way of San Francisco as a young man on a quest for adventure, and a new life. Good fortune and luck were on his side. In 1920, after years of hard work, Augusto married Annie Boitano, the youngest of four daughters born to Italian immigrants.
Annie had been living in the nearby town of Tolenas, and the couple was able to purchase a 20 acre farm planted with pears. The pears were removed to improve the profitability of the Ranch and were replaced with the wonderful Bartlett Pear. Augusto and Annie also raised chickens and sold eggs. As time progressed, the farm, as well as the family, grew with the birth of the three Toselli children, John, Rose and Alice.
The second generation was to carry on the Toselli tradition of farming. Rose married her high school sweetheart, a local hard-working young man named Ray Erickson. They married after Ray returned from WWII and built a home alongside Rose’s parents. A son, Ray Erickson Jr, was born in 1951, and the family farm grew slowly. Big Ray worked at Mare Island and farmed on the weekends. And in 1958, Ray and Rosie purchased a 13 acre ranch up the road from the Toselli farm.
The land came with old prune trees, which Rosie worked and maintained. The young family moved their home to the new ranch in 1960, and has been farming the land ever since. Over time they planted apricots, peaches, nectarines and Bartlett Pears. Peach harvests were so plentiful that as a child Ray Jr. sold peaches from the back of a truck on the current property. This eventually led to building a more permanent produce stand. Tomatoes and corn were added to the crops, and by the 1970’s, so were kiwis.
Ray and Victoria were married in 1983, and now have two grown children. Our daughter is practicing nursing in Arizona and our son works at a local refinery. He is carrying on the Erickson Ranch tradition of farming by perfecting the art of making hard cider. Stay tuned. Farming has changed over the years and so, too, has Erickson Ranch. With the increasing demand for authentic, fresh, and locally grown produce, we definitely fit the bill as our jams are made from our fruit. Erickson Ranch is authentic. According to Victoria, “We grow what we make into jam and if we don’t grow it we source the best product possible.This certainly guarantees that our produce is picked at peak ripeness, ensuring the best tasting jams and jellies”.
Due to the devastating rains and levee break we experienced during the winter of 2017, accompanied by the loss of many fruit trees, we have come to the realization that we can no longer operate as a fruit stand. The economic changes that have become a reality for the small farmer have made Erickson Ranch decide to change our business direction and focus on our jams. Time and Mother Nature bring changes and the life of a farmer is always challenged by her.
Our jams are hand made by the small batch method. The fruit is picked ripe and therefore less sugar is added bringing out the full flavor of the fruit.
Erickson Ranch is currently continuing the traditions our family has cultivated for generations, and we are always looking for ways to improve our decisions so the family farm may be preserved.
Visit our store to order jams and jellies.
In this video interview, Victoria and Ray Erickson talk about the history of their farm, their flourishing jam business, and exciting plans they have for the future.