“Increasingly awesome”

Today was the second and final day of the Know a California Farmer #FarmFreshTour for food and family bloggers. We visited the Pacific Oceano Vegetable Exchange (POVE) and Talley Farms. Both are conventional farmers, neighbors and good friends. Here is a very brief overview of the day. Expect a longer, more reflective blog to come.

We were greeted at POVE by General Manager, Dan Sutton and grower, Tom Ikeda. They described how the cooperative of five growers functions and answered all of our questions about modern farming: everything from technology to food safety, to gleaning. Dan explained how today’s tractors are able to virtually drive themselves. The bloggers now understand the mystery behind perfectly straight crop rows.

“The technology that is available to us is increasingly awesome… We’re using iPad’s as part of our daily process,” Dan said.

POVE is the largest supplier of Nappa Cabbage in North America. They supply 25 percent of the Nappa (or Napa) Cabbage grown in California and 40 percent of the North American supply. We discovered throughout the day that Nappa can be pronounced Nah-puh or NAP-ah. I’m not sure which is correct.

Below is Dan Sutton and the Nappa Cabbage.


Next, we visited Talley Farms, known for their “thick walled” and “sweet” peppers. Cal Poly alumnus, Robert Meyer is in charge of growing the peppers. He brought up the “Dirty Dozen“, the 12 fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticides. This is actually a topic that we had just discussed back at  POVE.

“I see a lot of articles and stuff on TV about peppers being one of the dirty dozen… We don’t spray them at all… This is a crop that is well suited for our area,” Robert said.

One of our bloggers later reflected that, “The dirty dozen is really a big blanket statement… that gets back to my message which is ‘know your farmer.'”

Below, Robert Meyer and Brian Talley show us their peppers!


Then, we got to see some wine bottling in action! This team bottles 2,400 bottles of wine in one hour!


The day ended with a delicious sandwich and salad lunch at Talley Vineyards (accompanied by wine, of course. And eclairs!) I think the tour was a definite success. I overheard one of my fellow bloggers say they now had a “healthy respect for how much work it is.” Another said they enjoyed seeing both conventional and organic farms along our two-day ag adventure. There is much more to share from the experience, but let me take some time to think it all over first.

Until next time, Jennifer.

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