Our Ranch History
The founders of Eben-Haezer Poultry Ranch, Eb and Annie Hogervorst, were born in the Netherlands and immigrated to the United States shortly after they were married. Annie's sister sponsored the couple to come over by ship on May 20, 1955.
They landed in Hoboken, New Jersey after nine days of sailing. They took a day tour of New York and then boarded the Greyhound Bus to California.
They started on a Tuesday afternoon, May 21, 1955 and arrived in San Diego on the following Saturday morning, Memorial Day weekend, May 30, 1955. All their belongings were packed in a large crate and shipped by freight boat to Long Beach
and then by train to San Diego. Cornie De Young, a dairyman in Chula Vista needed a cow milker and Eb was hired. A small house was provided for Eb and Annie on the dairy which was located at the North end of 1st Avenue. (Today, the 805 freeway runs through the land where the dairy used to be.) They borrowed a gas stove, bought a new refrigerator and Annie's sister had a used bed that they borrowed. They even bought their very first used car, a 1947 Dodge for $395.00. This was quite a cause for concern for the young couple because what would their friends think that they had such a fine car as poor, young immigrants.
Annie's sister, Kreinie Doelman and her husband Bill ran a dairy on Dye Road in Ramona. Right at the end of Dye Road lived a Russian couple, John and Marie Tickunov, and they had their chicken ranch up for sale. Eb and Annie bought the place on October 1, 1957. They lived with the Russian couple for a month and John taught Eb the chicken business. The ranch had about 4000 laying hens and the eggs were picked in wire baskets and placed on a flat bed truck to be transported to the egg room where they were washed and cleaned on a small egg washer and picked up by their egg buyer, "Arden". Annie worked right besides Eb and was also raising a brood of her own: seven children. Eb did a lot of building over the years. He hired Annie's cousin, Luke Van Egmond, who was a carpenter and together they built many of the lay houses that are still in operation today. They also added on several rooms to the farmhouse to accommodate the growing family. The work ethic was strong in this family and all the children were helping out on the farm at an early age.
In the sixties and seventies there were many egg ranches in San Diego County, but with many years of poor egg prices but rising feed costs, many ranches couldn't make it.
Today, there are only a handful of ranches still in operation in San Diego County making it more and more difficult to buy the local ranch fresh egg. Although they are officially retired, Eb and Annie are still very active in the business today...You will find Eb working on the ranch every morning. He milks his goats and yes, he will sell you the fresh milk. Annie runs two farmer's markets at Pacific Beach and Del Mar on Saturdays. Eb & Annie also help make egg deliveries every Tuesday on the coast. Their daughter Bernice and son-in-law Luis and their five children manage the ranch. They farm about 55,000 chickens from day old chicks to laying hens. Their son Eb operates a local soil amendment business. He sells the ranch's chicken manure, a local dairy's cow manure and Eb mixes a top-notch compost that is in high demand. Click on the Top Soil link for his phone number. He will deliver to your address or load up your truck. In the summer months, Bernice and Luis grow natural vegetables and in the Fall they have a you-pick pumpkin patch for all to enjoy! Another treat is their Dutch cookies made from recipes that Annie brought along from the "old country".