Pescadero farmers have been ahead of the organic curve for decades

By on Wed, June 17, 2009

Larry Jacobs and Sandra Belin are expanding their Pescadero organic farm to meet growing demand, reports Julia Scott in the Mercury News.

When Larry Jacobs and his wife Sandra Belin bought a small Pescadero farm in 1980 with the intention of growing produce without pesticides, the farmers in the area laughed at them. Literally.

"They said, ‘It’s not possible to do that without spraying.’ One guy told me, ‘I put this stuff on my cereal. It’s not going to hurt you," recalls Jacobs. "Now he’s been asking me about how you get certified organically."

Thirty years later, the couple has had the last laugh. Jacobs Farm is the largest culinary organic herb grower in the country, with seven organic farms spread out across San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties as far south as Watsonville. Their other company, Del Cabo, imports 19 million pounds of sweet, organic cherry tomatoes and other vegetables from their partner co-op in Mexico, where farmers earn good profits for their work.

This is an interesting profile of a company that has made sound agriculture work on the Southcoast.