Natalie had his first son, Bernard Bertagna, who followed in his fathers’ footsteps and acquired a natural green thumb and a passion for farming. Lit’l Ben started volunteering to work in the almond orchards of neighboring farmers at the early age of twelve. By the time we was seventeen years old he had earned and saved enough money to buy his first twenty acres of planted almond trees. He had committed his whole life to the laborious yet rewarding livelihood of tending and farming his almond orchards, striving to save and invest in more acreage every opportunity that came forth.
Ben and Carmen Bertagna had three children: Ben Jr., (Maisie Jane’s father), Nick, and Andy. These three strapping lads started learning about and working the almond orchards with their as soon as they could walk. In fact Ben Jr, the oldest son, can remember driving tractor long before his feet could reach the pedals…“my dad would just stick wood blocks on the pedal to work as extensions of my short legs”. The strong work ethics Ben Sr. instilled in his sons paid off, as all three of them eventually joined their father in their family farming corporation, Bertagna Orchards, Inc.
Maisie Jane and her husband Isidro continue to farm almonds, and experience the joy of bringing their crop straight to the consumer under the Maisie Jane’s California Sunshine Products brand. They love living the farming lifestyle along with teaching it to their three daughters; hoping to instill the same passion for agriculture in them so the generational farming legend continues.