Novakovich Farms is a hidden gem kept alive by the third generation of the Novakovich family that will bring you back to the era of the Valley of Heart’s Delight.
In all started in 1911 when newlweds Matt and Mary Novakovich took the plunge and immigrated from Yugoslavia to Sonora in California’s Gold Country. The in 1925 they bought the Saratoga land in an action and settled in the white Queen Anne farmhouse built in 1890. They raised their four children while tending to pigs, chickens, prunes and apricot trees.
By the 1920s, the valley's fruit industry was known around the country for its incredible bounty. Local ranchers worked hand in hand with with over 39 canning companies that dotted the valley like Del Monte, Sunsweet, Mayfair and Valley View Packing that shipped goods across the globe earning its nickname, "Valley of Heart's Delight."
On a sunny day one of the sons, George Novakovich, Sr. met a pretty young southern bell at the Village Creamery on Big Basin Way. Leah was a student at State Teachers College at San Jose (now San Jose State University) and George was a volunteer fireman. After courting they married in 1952 and moved into the farmhouse to become the second generation of caretakers of the family orchard.
George, Sr and Leah raised their three boys Matt, George, Jr. and Dan on the sprawling 11-acre family-run business on Fruitvale Avenue. The Novakovich family still lives in the historical home and lovingly tend to the orchards, although one by one others have disappeared from the landscape as more high rises and homes appeared.
While Silicon Valley techies are pecking away at their computers just miles away from Apple headquarters a third generation of Novakovich sons are pruning, cutting and pitting apricots. Stop by for a moment to visit, pick up some fresh produce and have a chat!