Jim Churchill and Lisa Brenneis
Jim moved to Ojai in 1956 when he was 9 years old. The family moved back to LA in 1961 but kept a house in Ojai where they spent weekends. In 1972 Jim’s father bought 40 acres, which became Churchill Orchard. Originally the orchard was all avocados. Although Jim has grown comfortable with calling himself a farmer, he initially came back to work at the orchard because it was one of the few ways he could live in Ojai.
“I love tangerines, I love turning people on to the experience of really good fruit, and I feel like the luckiest man in the world to be working for myself.”
Both avocado and citrus have a large ripeness window compared to other fruit. This way fruit can be picked for a number of months (January – May) instead of only once.
Foremost Jim grows for taste. Weed control is far and away the greatest time requirement. He does lots of mulching to build soil and get control of weeds. He works hard to create a healthy, living web of microbial life in the soil so it can feed the trees. He enjoys engaging with customers and feels that he learns something from everyone he comes into contact with.
Length of relationship with Oliveto
17 acres in the Ojai Valley of Southern California
Citrus: Pixies, Pages, Satsumas, Encores, Seedless Kishus, and Gold Nuggets. Secondary crops: Avocados, Chandler pummelos, Oro Blancos, cocktail grapefruit, Meyer lemons, Buddha Hand citron, limes
Organizations / Certification
CCOF since 2007
Monterey Market, Berkeley
Ojai – Sundays