Charley Wolk relocated to Fallbrook while serving in the Marine Corps as a Lt. Colonel. His new home had dozens of avocado trees and he quickly educated himself in the care and farming of the avocado.
This new found responsibility spurred Charley into a brand new business, providing a future opportunity when he retired from the Marine Corp. Charley was tenacious in his endeavor, managing other peoples avocado groves, in his off duty hours. He quickly learned that there was a niche for managing small groves like his, ones the big guys did not want to handle.
Always a good student, Charley submerged himself in all things avocado. He learned how to select strong healthy plant stock, recognize all types of plant disease and pests, how to manage judiciously the precious farm commodity of water, pruning practices, and his marine training made it easy to command a platoon of experienced laborers.
Charley has played a pivotal role in increasing the sales and the marketing of avocados nationwide. He served as a multiple term Avocado Commission Chairman and headed a nutrition committee for over 20 years that was responsible for educating consumers in the nutritional benefits of avocado consumption.
When importers arrived at our agricultural doorstep, Charley was key in drafting, (and lobbying to get it passed), a Federal Promotion order requiring a monetary assessment on the tonnage of avocados coming into the USA from offshore suppliers. The promotion order was crafted to use the assessment money for nationwide marketing, and create a Federal Board to oversee the spending of the funds. Offshore producers could no longer ride on the coat tails of California Marketing Promotions, they would have to start paying their way. Charley was elected to take the helm of the newly formed entity, as the Chairman of the Federal Haas Avocado Board, a responsibility with worldwide implications, and served for 4 years.
Over the past 35 years, he has planted, picked, cleared, or stumped most groves in Fallbrook, and known most of the original owners. There is no substitute for experience. Charley has helped growers through fires, freezes, droughts, heat waves, pests, water restrictions and quarantines….he’s seen it all and done it all…..with dedication and professionalism.