Apr 10, 2015

Spotlight Story: Annie Haven A Modern Day Rancher!

I am so honored to have this amazing lady as our Spotlight Story.  I'll admit that I've been in awe of her ever since I met her online a few years ago.  Awe and admiration are two words I use to describe Annie.  She and her family are in a way an important part of our gardening heritage.  Her Family is responsible for providing seeds across the worldThe Haven Family Heritage is quite interesting.  Annie is continuing her family's legacy in another great way.  Join me now as I share some very interesting facts about Annie and The Haven Family....

"My Grandfather Archie Haven with brothers Lawrence and Robert 1920 Haven Seed. Co."  credit Annie Haven

Annie says, "My family has been farming and ranching since they stepped off of the Mayflower.  Haven Seed Company grew produce for seed and sold them to seed houses Burpee, Comstock Ferre, and D. Landreth Seed.
We raise draft horses, mules and cattle and have for generations.  The way we raise them and the knowledge that has been passed along through the generations is why my product Moo Poo Tea is different.  There is history behind the product.
Haven Seed Company was the World Leader from 1863-1968 and grew over 90 varieties of tomatoes.  The bell pepper that we know today is my Grandfather Archie Haven's doing."
That is quite an accomplishment isn't it?  Think of it 90 varieties of tomatoes who doesn't love tomatoes?  Wow! I love bell peppers and owe that to Annie's Grandfather Archie!

Photo credit 
 Haven Family Archives - Orange County Historical Society

Photo credit: Authentic Haven Brand

Avelina Jimenez Haven, Queen LA County Fair 1950 with Paul Ives Haven, showing his grand champion Berkshire Hogs.  Annie's Mother and Father.


Little Annie with Sodbuster the colt that belonged to a childhood friend Melinda's Dad Bob.

 Kandi (L) Annie (center) Paul (R)

A page from the Haven Seed Company Record Books
save and enlarge for better viewing. 
(personal use only)

Photo credit: Authentic Haven Brand

Annie's Great-Grandfather is explaining the difference between the Gold Husk and the new Purple Husk (now known as the tomatillo) in those days referred to as a husk tomato.  This letter was dated 1910 to the Comstock Ferre.

Photo Credit
Steve Bender aka Grumpy Gardener of Southern Living, P. Allen Smith of P. Allen Smith Garden Home TV Host, Author, etc. and  our Annie Haven at The Moss Mountain Home Veranda. 2011 The First Annual Garden2Blog  

I spoke with Annie recently and asked her, "Do you still sell seeds?"  

She replied:  "No I no longer farm for seed production, we wound down Haven Seed Company in 1968 due to drought/lack of water needed to maintain the size of the operation needed to maintain Haven Seed Co; also development moving in on valuable land. Although my father continued on a smaller scale he farmed more for fresh produce, with seed being secondary (for our farming needs and local sales. Same with the livestock was then raised for their manure as well as for grass fed beef for local customers.

After my fathers passing my way to continue our legacy was to put everything into raising my livestock for their manure and bring what made the Haven Seed Company a world leader to the home gardener. I do not sell seed, I do personally still save seeds in the Haven fashion from my garden. My focus has been raising the livestock and producing manure tea, it is how we have remained as development has taken over the land."

This brings us to her present day Authentic- Haven -Brand 

Be sure to check out her Manure Teas there are several varieties.  Each has it's own soil enriching ingredients that help specific needs for specific plants.   I can personally tell you that this product is wonderful!  As a matter of fact one of my next posts will be about the review of this product.  Stay tuned...but I'll tell you a little secret, just go ahead and buy some of this product....!

Paul Haven and Annie Haven
I can see where she got her love of ranching.

In closing I'd like to say a few personal thoughts about Annie:

I met her several years ago and she has been such a dear friend.  Granted she is an online friend but she is a genuine friend.  She has been there for me personally at one of the most important times of my life.  When my mother was sick and dying she was with me sending words of comfort making it possible for me to put one foot in front of the other.  That is just how she is with everyone!

I laugh when I think of what she said to me when I first approached her years ago about doing a Spotlight Story about her.  "You know, since you are a cowgirl." I said.
She politely set me straight when she said, "Dolly I'm not a cowgirl, I'm a rancher.  A cowgirl would work for me." 
I love it and I love her!

Photo credit

Be sure to check out the links below for even more great information.
Tell her Dolly sent you..until next time


  1. Great post about a wonderful friend. Thanks, Dolly!

    Tom Mann/@SolakNC

    1. Hi Tom, She is a wonderful person and you are too.. You are so welcome.

    2. Thank you Tom, I'm humbled and honored

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Annie. It is a privilege and honor to know you. Your products are wonderful and you family would be so proud of you.

  3. What an interesting story. I love the photo of her mom at the county fair. She is just stunning in that outfit. That is so classic!

  4. Wow! We grow tomatillos, I wonder if our variety started with her family! What a heritage to have.

    1. Thank you so much, I'm sure they are related Kathy they say it all starts with a seed :)

  5. OMG, that manure tea looks darling!!! Anyone that can romanticize poop to such a degree must be awesome sauce, haha.

    Anyhoo, I found your blog through a Sustainable Bloggers Link Up, and thought I would take a moment to say hi! It would totally make my day if you did the same.. or better yet, keep in touch! <3 - www.domesticgeekgirl.com

    1. Isn't Annie amazing? I get the feeling that is how her entire family has been! Quite innovative! I'm coming over to see you now, Gingi!