Our Story

The beginning of Sunsational Farms dates back to the 1970's. Nick and Sharon Faryna were building a business managing and maintaining several thousand acres for local citrus growers during a booming period for the citrus industry. Several devastating freezes throughout the 1980's brought a drastic reduction in the amount of citrus acreage in the area and many growers moved south to avoid any future weather catastrophes.

However, Nick and Sharon remained stable throughout the transition thanks to Nick's pioneering and innovative application of using Microjet sprinklers to help save trees during a major freeze. Groves began to thrive again and by the late 1990's citrus was abundant in the area.

By the late 1990's the Faryna's saw a need for a citrus packing house to handle the large amount of fruit in the area. By 2001 a new packing house was opened in Umatilla – Sunsational Citrus. A small packing house compared to the majority throughout the state, Sunsational Citrus was providing premium quality citrus to markets throughout the U.S. as well as international. During its peak in 2008 they shipped nearly a quarter million cartons of citrus, employed over 30 people, and operated over 9 months out of the year.

Within the large commercial operation nestled a simple 200sf retail space. The humble, yet popular area, sold fresh citrus, local honey, and fresh squeezed juice. Over the years more and more customers would return looking for fresh and local products. The need to expand was evident and in 2014 a 1600sf stand-alone retail store was opened along SR 19 to house the retail operations of Sunsational Citrus. New items included soft serve ice cream made with real FL orange juice, candles, wines, gift items, shaved ice, and of course the iconic Big Orange.

Due to the devastating impact of citrus greening, Sunsational Citrus was forced to cease their commercial operations in the 2019-2020 season. Many growers were faced with the decision to replant or repurpose. With a passion and commitment to agriculture, the Faryna's decided to repurpose one 18 acre citrus grove, and in November of 2019 Sunsational Farms was born.

Following the lead of the previous retail store, and teaming up with longtime family friends, Bill & Dru Baker, who were also in the citrus industry, a new larger open-barn farm store was built. The farm is truly diverse. New varieties of citrus and lemons, hydroponics strawberries and many other types of vegetables are grown on site and sold out of the retail store. A small version of a commercial citrus processing line is housed on the property and fresh squeezed orange juice is made in the retail store. Seasonal items such as u-pick mini pumpkins and Christmas trees are also available. It is a great setting for field trips and small groups to see up close and learn about growing many different crops and understanding the importance of where our food comes from. Other barns on the property provide great venues for unique birthday parties and other events. Repurposed citrus bins are used on site as a very popular haunted Trail, during the Fall season; and a custom-made bee barrel train is great fun for the kids.

Sunsational Farms strives to be an agricultural element and distinctive part of the community for all to enjoy. The Faryna's and Baker's take pride in our home town and hope that our farm becomes a staple of the Umatilla area, and surrounding areas, for many years to come.