Sun Valley Orchard

Russ Marino

Russ Marino’s grandfather purchased the family farm in the early 1900s. Today five members of the Marino family farm 1,250 acres, half of it on rented land, and they grow such crops as peaches, bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and squash.

The farm has seen change over the years. Crops had formerly been grown for processing but are now all grown for the fresh market. By marketing their crops directly to chain stores they’ve seen an increase in the price per box attained. They have the capability to air cool their product which allows them to guarantee their product. Russ’s son, Joe, started his own trucking company which provides the family with even more control in how their product gets to the marketplace.

These days he is concerned with the environmental issues related to production such as access to water and the availability of land. Water saving techniques such as drip irrigation are utilized in their production practices.

He expects environmental and labor regulations to only increase in the future. But he is looking to the future and sees the family getting more and more involved in direct marketing as a way to make a living in this industry.