Do you ever think about where your food comes from? We sure do!
If you drive about 20 minutes southeast of Farmhouse Culture’s home in Santa Cruz, you’ll find yourself in some of the finest agricultural land in the country, the Pajaro Valley. The nutrient-rich soil and cool, sunny weather make it possible to grow an amazing abundance of fruits and vegetables. It is here, in well-groomed fields at a family-owned farm called Lakeside Organic, that the green cabbage that will be turned into Farmhouse Culture Kraut is grown.
Dick Peixoto, the founder and owner of Lakeside Organic, has farming in his blood. The Peixoto family has been growing crops in the Pajaro valley since the late 1800′s. Dick grew up in Watsonville learning about farming from his family and his neighbors, and he started farming at 16. He practiced conventional farming for 25 years, before transitioning to an 800-acre organic farm in 1996. Part of what drew him to organic farming was the challenge of being able to grow gorgeous, high-quality vegetables without using chemicals. He has definitely succeeded. His cabbages are the best looking and tasting we’ve found, and we love that they are grown sustainably.
The farm is a truly family-run operation. Dick’s sister Joanne is the company controller and his nephew Brian is the Sales Manager. Dick’s three children have also all been involved in running the farm over time. The entire family is passionate about organic farming and sustainable agriculture and are committed to growing the highest quality produce. We also love the high value that Lakeside Organics places on their relationships both with their customers and with their employees.
For Farmhouse Culture, Lakeside Organic grows a variety of green cabbage that is a little sweeter than what is commonly available. Every week we get a delivery from Lakeside: crates of perfect looking cabbage that we turn into fresh, delicious kraut.
We asked the Peixotos for any tips they had for customer looking to pick the perfect head of cabbage in their local grocery store. While most people pick the heaviest head of cabbage, Brian told us that those can be bitter and that choosing a slightly lighter cabbage head will mean sweeter tasting cabbage. Thanks, Lakeside Organic!