When it became clear that the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District could not continue to let the orchard go unmanaged, they asked the Johsens family to take over the seasonal operation of it under a special license agreement. The Johsens had already been managing a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm on land leased from the District (www.skylinetreefarm.com), and several other Christmas tree farms on other lands (www.timberlinetreefarm.com and www.lonestartreefarm.com).
The Johsens’ quickly realized that the property and heritage trees needed much more work than could be done in one season, let alone only one part of the year, in order to get it up and running properly again. The idea was to have the farm available to everyone on equal terms and they have been working hard to fulfill that goal.
The family has been farming in the Santa Cruz Mountains for three generations now, starting in the early 1940s with a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm (a concept that the family developed over 50 years ago). In addition to Skyline Chestnuts and Christmas trees, the Johsens Family also keep honeybees and sell the honey (available at the Orchard).