This county is blessed to be in such a fertile farm area. Add to that the healthy trending towards organic small farms who produce some of the most vibrant, delicious produce and it makes perfect sense to shop at the Farmers Markets. Many people are eating seasonal and shopping local. So I was delighted to talk to Ronald about his livelihood and passion.
Capitola By The Sea: How long have you been farming?
Ronald: Since I was 15 years old in Holland. I started farming in Santa Cruz 28 years ago. It’s what I want to do.
CBTS: Where is your farm located and how big is it?
R: I’ve been in the Moss Landing location for the last 7 years. It’s 10 acres of farm overlooking the ocean.
CBTS: What does your farm mainly produce?
R: Kales, chard, leeks, dandelion, beets, carrots, cilantro, spinach, strawberries, squash and cabbages. They are all heirloom verities except the carrots. I keep my seeds to grow the next crop. Heirlooms are better quality, they have more nutrients and taste better than most hybrid foods.
CBTS: Whats your favorite part of farming?
R: Freedom. No one expects things. I can come late or take a day off. It’s a challenging job too. I feel alive.
CBTS: What Farmers Markets do you sell at?
R: Cabrillo, Live Oak, Down Town. I only sell small scale.
CBTS: What percentage of your customers are repeat customers?
R: 90 percent. I like to generates a relationship with my customers. I talk to them and get to know them more each time. I like the community. I’ve been at the Down Town market since the first one. I’ve been on the Farmers Market board.