In the most recent few years, the sprawling ranch on the east side of Jacumba was an organic farm that created an eye gnat nuisance. Alan Bornt leased the land from the Jacumba Valley Ranch development project and started growing organic spinach and lettuce. Gnats quickly took over and made living in Jacumba difficult for everyone, especially youngsters and pets. County-ordered preventative measures were put in place, but the gnats continued to be problematic. When the water started to run low, it was time to leave. Residents were joyous when Bornt Farms ceased operations in the summer of 2012. Fields were sprayed with pesticides and left empty... as were the barns, houses, silos, stalls, and coops.
Personal Experience: "Is that an abandoned commune back there? I swear it looked abandoned, turn back!" Good thing we did because this area had a LOT to explore, making us ponder what the heck this place was used for! We concluded that it was some type of farm at one point and that multiple families had lived on the land. That all has now been confirmed and it really is heart-breaking that it all got shut down because of eye gnats. I wonder how organic farms battle gnat issues? I wish they could have remedied the problem instead of this happening to it.
Either or, it's a fun place to explore. Be safe! There were two run-down homes that we didn't enter. I cannot speak if people live there or not but there was something about them that gave off the vibe that people may be living there still. Nobody came out when we were exploring and there are no private property signs.
Member's SectionMurphy's Ranch
Anza Borrego Desert
Cuyamaca State Park