Farming is a family affair for the Loquaci clan of Madera. At 88, family patriarch Bob is still an active part of the operation. His sons, Dave and Les, are partners in the consulting firm Madera Agricultural Services, Inc.
Les’s adult sons pull their share of the weight with Richard as the company’s operations manager and Robert as the shop manager. In addition to farming their own land, they manage acreage for other growers in the Madera-Fresno area. Fields of wine and raisin grapes, almonds, prunes and pomegranates — all permanent crops — Dave Loquaci said, are grown under their direction.
“Generally speaking, we had a great crop of grapes this year,” Loquaci said. “A few of the varieties were down a little bit but all in all it has been a good year.”
The seven varieties of grapes grown by Madera Ag Services are turned into raisins or made into wine. The three varieties of raisin grapes they grow are the Thompson Seedless, Fiesta and the Selma Pete. These grapes ripen in stages, about a week to 10 days apart with optimal raisin conditions being sun-dried before the fall rains come...