UC Cooperative Extension advisor helped Solvang family start a new business

May 10, 2012

Mark Gaskell, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Santa Barbara County, is credited in the Santa Inez Valley Journal for helping a retired couple start a new business. Gaskell is an expert in small-scale farming.

The article said Leonard and Nancy Morrell were unsure what to do with their 2.5-acre farm in Solvang after their kids were raised and they retired from their jobs. Leonard read a research paper by Gaskell that suggested the area provided excellent conditions to grow blackberries and raspberries.

“It just seemed like something that I’d like to do,” Leonard said of his initial reaction. “(Gaskell) came down from Santa Maria and he helped me set it up and everything. That was kind of the beginning.”

Now 12 years later, the Morrells have turned their modest berry farm into a family business, selling fresh berries and berry jam at the Solvang farmers market.

By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist