Lakeside Organic Gardens Owner Dick Peixoto Discusses New Items and More
- by Robert Schaulis
WATSONVILLE, CA - Boasting a family farming lineage that dates back to the 1800s and an all-organic assortment that began in the 1990s, Lakeside Organic Gardens has been a pioneer in the California organic growing scene. I recently had the opportunity to chat with the company’s Owner and Grower Dick Peixoto—about the company’s efforts to expand acreage and grow its already impressive assortment of organic offerings to include new and exciting categories that thrive on the California coast.
Because of its setup in the Pajaro Valley, along the state’s Central Coast, Dick noted, Lakeside Organic Gardens is able to hang its hat on a number of staples that grow extraordinarily well along the coastline.
“Our artichokes are a big part of our program. Because we’re able to grow along the coast, we can grow a variety that tastes more like the old artichokes used to, and I think we have some of the best artichokes right here along the coast for that reason,” Dick said. “Our sweet baby broccoli is kind of a signature item for us. We went to the breeders and told them what we wanted. All the breeding that went on was focused on the taste of the product as opposed to ease of production, and we’ve been working together with those breeders for over ten years to bring that to light. The variety that we have right now, we think, is probably the best in terms of taste.”
Additionally, Dick told me, the company is coming into season on several new items this late spring and early summer, items that will add to Lakeside Organic Garden's already comprehensive 45-plus assortment of organic offerings.
“Romanesco is another product that we’ve brought on in the last few years that’s really expanding. It’s a very unique item and has a unique texture. It grows really well along the coast here in the summertime. When it grows inland it tends to spread and just get this off-color to it. But on the coast it gets a nice green color; it’s a beautiful item,” Dick noted. “And another new item that we’re starting now that will come into production around July or August is the purple Brussels sprout, which is similar in color to a red cabbage.”
And the company is rolling out Nantes carrots as well.
“It’s a better eating, better tasting carrot. We’re going to come into production on that about a month from now, and that will be a good addition to our product line,” Dick concluded.
With a newly-remodeled 55,000-square-foot cooler, increased through-put, and the convenience of offering almost 45 different organic categories in a single loading location, Lakeside Organic is primed to take advantage of this spring and summer and help its partners do the same.
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