Rancho Gecko

Rancho Gecko is the home ranch. This place was bought for a song in 1998.

It was a tomato farm for quite some time back in the days when Niland, California was the winter tomato capital of the U.S. The market went elsewhere and whitefly came along so many of the vegetable growers had to give up. Like much of the farmland around here, the ranch lay fallow for a number of years till we came along and decided to try growing dates.

It was a gamble. The soil is heavier and the weather slightly different from the main date growing area in the Coachella Valley.There was only one other small date grove in the entire Imperial Valley at the time.

The first planting was a dismal failure. Most of the expensive offshoots were lost. After replanting as many as possible the next year and switching to drip hose instead of flood irrigation, it worked. Now there's about 7 acres planted in date palms, a few lemon trees and a big garden space. There's also a little house, an old packing shed, an antique wooden train car, and a small building we use as an office.

Our water comes from a canal that runs next to the land.

We like it here in Niland.