In 1975, renown psychotherapist Dr Bernie Brandchaft and his wife Elaine stole away to the Santa Ynez mountains to escape Los Angeles’s summer heat. They fell in love with the cooler Mediterranean climate and built a sustainable homestead, pioneering off-the-grid living with solar power and an on-site water well. A few years on, Bernie returned from a business trip to Australia having fallen in love with these beautiful, ancient flowers. He planted his first cuttings in 1985 and eventually planted thousands of Protea on the farm.
Their nephew Larry took over the ranch in the early 1990’s and grew its flourishing flower business. He maintains their sustainable mission to this day, using no pesticides or fertilizers and even upgrading the solar power to meet growing demand. The shelves at the Ranch of the Golden Hawk are still full of Bernie’s books covering everything from outer space to the inner mind.
The Early Days
Late 1970’s after Bernie, Elaine, family and friends first enjoyed the fruits of their labor. Most Protea take about six years to produce their first bloom.
The Ranch Today
With over 100 acres and 100 species, our staff has grown to include an incredible team lead by Hugh, Kim and our lead farmer Antonio.