The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Local organic farm sprouts in the area

A local organic farm in Atwater, CA is growing by leaps and bounds as it celebrates nearly 10 years of operation. Planting a seed in the Central Valley— often called “The Food Basket of the World,”— Rancho Piccolo, meaning “small farm” in Italian, is developing business in a big way. Owned and operated by food fanatics David and Michelle Silveira, and with the help of their sons Antonio and Joseph, the family prides themselves in harvesting bundles of quality organic produce available for home delivery or nearby pickup.
The service began in 2005 with 20 members and has sprouted to reach 500 members this year.
Though based in Atwater, the 60-acre farm produces 70 varieties of organic vegetables made available at over 20 pickup sites in the Bay Area, Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced Counties.
Members can expect a weekly delivery with seven to nine fresh items that will reach your table quicker than you can say “disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid”— the kind of mouthful Rancho Piccolo avoids.
“Items are grown on our farm and usually harvested within the last 48 hours,” said Community Supported Agriculture Coordinator Julie Moreno. “We need to continue to educate the public on what eating seasonally and locally means. But also we understand people have busy lives and are often coming from a position where they are not used to cooking at home.”
Rancho Piccolo is doing their part in the stride towards sustainable agriculture, using David’s farming experience on the islands of Azores, Portugal, and his formal education at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. The Silveiras not only share crops grown at their site, but also partner with other local farms to add variety to the produce packages. In addition, each box contains a newsletter with recipe ideas corresponding with the items they receive.
The farm is in the process of prepping double their usual demand for food boxes in preparation for Thanksgiving and has made holiday recipes available in the newsletter and on the website via podcasts. The tasty benefits are only one of the many positive outcomes that come with supporting local farms. Moreno said the community not only can visit the source of their food, but also see the benefit of their own greens, as these dollars go directly back into the local economy.
The long-time dream of owning a farm for David Silveira has materialized into nutritional wealth for both his family and his neighbors— a gratifying success for the agronomist.
“I feel like I was called to feed people,” Silveira said. “To see that happen, to put a seed in the ground and put the faith and work into what you’re doing, and then end up with something that will feed a family— it’s very satisfying to me. I enjoy that.”
To find pickup sites near you, visit http://ranchopiccolo.com/homedelivery.html

Leave a Comment
Donate to Signal

Your donation will support the student journalists of California State University, Stanislaus. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Signal

Comments (0)

All Signal Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Local organic farm sprouts in the area