Ben grew up in a rural part of Santa Cruz County and operated farm equipment from the age of fourteen, tending several acres of riparian corridor agricultural land. He later studied landscape design and architecture as well as engineering technology (drafting) for three years at Cabrillo College, U.C. Berkeley Extension, and Sierra College. Ben managed McPherson’s Nursery in Grass Valley and a retail garden department in Hawaii. He won three Blue Ribbon awards and one Best of Show award for garden design at the Santa Cruz County Fair. He improved and maintained rural properties for over 15-years before opening Zap Haul in 2016.
One side of his family operated a well-loved landscaping nursery for over thirty years, and the other operated a land development business–installing and maintaining roads and building pads, clearing brush and performing fire safety maintenance–in You Bet (Lawton Way, and Eowana Lane are namesakes) for multiple generations.
Ben holds a Bachelors degree from U.C. Santa Cruz and an Associates degree from Cabrillo College in Aptos, and enjoys recreating in nature and social dance.