Farmland: 42 acres in Watsonville, CA. 20 acres are organic and 22 are conventional farming methods.
People: The entire Rodriguez family joins forces to produce their vegetables. They also have ten to fifteen workers throughout the year who assist with harvesting and preparing the farm.
Certification: Certified Producer in Monterey County, California Certified Organic Farmer.
Farm History: Roberto and Manuel Rodriguez started the farm in March of 2001. They learned how to farm in Michoacán, Mexico where they grew strawberries. When they came to the United States they started off by working in the fields in Watsonville, California. Eventually, Roberto and Manuel decided to start their own farm. They began by renting fifteen acres where they grew raspberries, strawberries and winter vegetables. The farm has since expanded, and they now have a total of 42 acres.
Pest Management: A sucking vacuum is used to remove bugs. The vacuum is connected to their tractor and sucks up the bugs on top of the rows of strawberries. The Rodriguez family also cleans and maintains their produce by hand, checking plants every day for pests.
Weed Control: Rodriguez Ranch actually uses weeds as fertilizer for the plants. They let the weeds grow to a certain height, then pull them and lay them next to the plants. The weeds will eventually decompose, releasing nutrients into the soil.
Personal Note: The farm is family owned, and they are very proud of this achievement. They put a lot of hard work into producing high quality products. Mrs. Rodriguez invites you to visit the market and try organic produce; not only is it healthier and more eco-friendly, it is cheaper than the vegetables in chain grocery stores. The Rodriguez family wants to spread the word about the benefits of eating organic produce.
What motivates you to do this work? One thing that motivates Rodriguez Ranch is being able to help people by providing work to families. They find satisfaction in paying their employees and bringing food to their families. Manuel also enjoys agriculture and farming.
Farmland: Over 250 acres at 13502 Cogswell Road in Hickman, California.
People: This is a family owned business run by Rodney and Don (brothers) with several employees.
Certification: Certified Producer in Stanislaus County.
Farm History: Rodney and Don Stackhouse are the brothers and partners behind Stackhouse Brothers, but Rodney is the one who runs the farm. The brothers grew up on their family's five-acre dairy farm with only 10 cows. Yet, as they were growing up, their dad steadily expanded the farm to 80 acres and incorporated tree fruit. After Rodney, graduated from California State University, Fresno in 1964, he decided to farm as well. Over the years, the brothers bought more land to add to the acreage their dad already owned. At first, they grew mostly cling peaches for sale to the canneries. Today, almonds and fresh stone fruit (apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines, and pluots) are what they sell at over 30 farmers’ markets around the California Central Coast, and make up the bulk of their business.
Pest Management: In order to control the pests in the summer, Stackhouse uses hanging pheremones, occasionally adding bacteria. In the winter, they use oil.