Everyone’s Harvest Market Days: Sundays in Marina, Mondays in Pacific Grove and Wednesdays at Natividad Medical Center
Produce: See Rodriguez Ranch Seasonal Produce Chart
Farmland: 60 acres in Watsonville, CA—20 acres of organic and 40 acres of conventional crops.
People: Roberto and Manuel Rodriguez are the owners. 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. Melania and Alba Rodriguez are the friendly faces usually seen at the farmers’ markets.
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 60 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 local, organic produce.
What motivates you to do this work? One thing that motivates Manuel is being able to help people by providing work to families. He finds satisfaction in paying their employees and bringing food to their families. Manuel enjoys the lifestyle of agriculture and farming.
To Contact: 831-726-9008