Hi, I’m Laura Hillebrecht. Our farming experience started way back in the late 60s with our farm family garden. Farmers have farms and often times they have a family garden. We were one of those families. It was training grounds for the future of our family farm. We learned to plant, irrigate, weed, trap varmints, and harvest at age 5 and on. My earliest recollection of harvest, was picking wild blackberries at the crack of dawn with the entire family…dogs included, until we discovered they were stealing the berries from our pans! My parents suggested that we whistle while we were harvesting so that we wouldn’t eat all the berries we were picking.
I remember lots of mosquitoes and stickers from the briar patch. It took some talking to get us down there sometimes. The promise of my Mom’s delicious berry cobbler usually did the trick.As soon as we were old enough to join 4-H we did, and it was through that organization that we got our livestock education. We raised beef, horses, hogs, and dogs and enjoyed a variety of other social activities such as public speaking, political education, community service, and marketing strategies.
My parents started selling Muscat grapes in their front yard in the late 70s. Then they came up with the idea of marketing our citrus through our own fresh market and that is when they leased the corner of Idaho and San Pasqual Valley Road for our first season with the Farm Stand. My Dad designed and built the Farm Stand structure with the help of his lifelong friend Rolf Steeve. They built it on an axle, so that it could be picked up and moved fairly easily, at whatever time we found a suitable property to buy and set up shop. A year later, they traded a property for the land on the corner of Summit Drive and San Pasqual Valley Road.
I have three siblings. One brother, Mike, and two sisters, Mary and Sally, all older. My brother works for my Dad and helps us out where he can. My sister Mary lives locally, manages three farmer’s markets, and is a huge help with harvest and marketing of our Farm Stand products. Sister Sally farms in northern California, and helps me with computer accounting issues as well as encourages me with new and improved ideas for marketing. When she and her children, Steven and Regina and Husband Martin are here they help with harvest. At one time, we all worked in the Farm Stand business.
I married a local farm kid named John Kapusnik, who is an engineer by day and a farmer the rest of the time. John is a jack of all trades and a huge help with the corn and melon production as well as anything and everything that needs to be done. He is a wealth of knowledge and a great partner.
Farm Stand West was built in 1990 to capture some of the traffic off of I-15 since we were producing more product than our market on Summit could sell.
We closed Farm Stand East when my Mom was diagnosed with cancer. Operating two produce stand locations and caring for her became overwhelming. We have since moved the original Farm Stand building to our farmland on Idaho Ave. where eventually we would like to open an apricot u-pick.
I am grateful to have had this agricultural upbringing and the opportunity to carry on my Mom’s legacy and our family business.