It is a long-held belief — or understanding, at least — that coffee only grows between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. But a farm in Goleta, California is tackling that assertion and proving quite easily that coffee plants can thrive in the continental U.S.
Farmer Jay Ruskey, the owner of Good Land Organics, built his reputation on exotic fruits. His caviar limes, passion fruit and cherimoyas are popular at local farmers’ markets and shipped to leading restaurants around the country. These are niche products that consumers don’t expect to find in California, so it’s no surprise, really, that Ruskey was approached by a UC Davis professor to spearhead the coffee program.