For over 100 years the Peixoto family has been farming in the Pajaro Valley on the central coast of California. Dick Peixoto started his farming career in eighth grade by hiring neighborhood kids to pick tomatoes on his family farm so he could market them. From that early start his business has grown tremendously. In 1996 he recognized the advantages of organic farming and began transitioning to organic. In order for the ground to be certified organic it must not have any materials applied for three years that are not approved for organic use by the USDA. This means that you must either find ground that has been fallow for at least three years or you must grow crops organically for three years but the crops cannot be sold as organic until the ground is certified. We chose Q.A.I (Quality Assurance International) as our certifying agency. Each year we must undergo extensive audit/inspections, which cover all of our ranches & our cooler. The Inspector checks our records, ranches & facilities to make sure that we are in compliance with USDA organic standards & using only products that are approved for organic use by OMRI. The additional audits, record keeping and fallowing of ground all add to the cost of organic farming. Also most organic fertilizers are more costly than conventional because the supply and availability are much less. Lakeside Organic Gardens is committed to the communities and the state we farm in. While other shippers get produce from Mexico and South America in the winter we feel strongly about providing produce that is grown here in the United States. All our produce is grown with pride in California.
The lettuce that is more than a lettuce! Curly endive has a slight bitterness which makes it an amazing and versatile green. Great in a mixed salad... but especially when cooked! </br></br>Escarole/endive is perhaps best known as a vegetable for soups. Make the soup, and when its almost done, toss in the endive and simmer for 10-20 minutes before serving. Other great ways to use escarole/endive are to make salads and to wilt or saut it as a side dish. If this wasnt already one of your favourite vegetables, it will be now! _x000D_ _x000D_ Endive is a good source of dietary fibre, calcium, vitamin C and iron.
Of all the lettuces, Romaine is by far the most nutrient packed. Tonnes of vitamins K, A, and C hidden in these crunchy leaves. Also lots of folate, carotenoids, and other minerals.
This is one beautiful bulb of fennel. The root or bulb is great raw, roasted, or glazed. </br> </br> If you are lucky to get a bulb with the fronds make a wonderful tea. Be sure to use the whole plant! </br> </br> Like many of its fellow spices, fennel contains its own unique combination of phytonutrients including the flavonoids rutin, quercitin, and various kaempferol glycosides that give it strong antioxidant activity. In addition to its unusual phytonutrients, fennel bulb is an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is the body's primary water-soluble antioxidant, able to neutralize free radicals in all aqueous environments of the body.