Webb’s Organic Farm
Lowell Webb – Potato Aficionado
By Kirsten Fairchilds
Lowell Webb is just partial to potatoes.
While he may partake of a baked potato ever so often in the evening, Webb enjoys his favorite carbohydrate in the morning, often before the sun comes up. Served alongside four to six poached eggs, Webb’s morning boiled potatoes may include sprigs of basil or purslane, depending upon his preference.
Working 80 hours a week on average, Webb eats his breakfast of potatoes and eggs at least six mornings a week to help provide him with a good start to what is frequently a long day.
As a fourth-generation owner of his family’s farm, Webb’s Organic Farm, as well as the owner of Webb’s Farm Supplies, Webb and his right-hand man Francisco “Kiko” Solario are busy from daybreak to nightfall.
Truth be told, Webb, 75, doesn’t need a particular time of day or place to indulge in his favorite food. As his regular customers at the Aptos market may very well know, Webb even eats potatoes raw.
“Often, people at the market will hold up a potato and ask me what it’s like,” says Webb, taking a break after completing a purchase order for power equipment from the office of Webb’s Farm Supplies on a recent weekday afternoon. “I’ll take it out of their hands, bite it open and show them what it looks like inside. I eat raw potatoes out in the field when we’re digging them as well.”
That digging for potatoes takes place on the 40 acres that makes up Webb’s Organic Farm. Located on Old San Jose Road, the farm was started by E.D. Webb, Lowell’s great grandfather, in the 1880s. Mary Webb, Lowell’s late mother, was one of the earliest vendors at the Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets and a fixture at the Aptos market.
“My mother had a sixth-grade education,” Webb says. “She followed the crops with her family from Arkansas to Oklahoma to California — they were Dust Bowl Okies. She moved from ranch to ranch from farm to farm with them. My mother loved to grow her flowers and just nurtured everyone she knew.”
Webb’s son and daughter, Adam Webb and Tabitha Jenrette, occasionally will be on hand at the Aptos market, but Webb and Kiko are the mainstays.
“Webb really deserves all the credit he can get,” says Robin Gordon, an Aptos market regular. “He’s so good with the customers. He always explains what you’re buying.
“If you’ve never tried a fingerling, he’ll just give you some and tell you to come back and let him know how you liked them,” continues Gordon, while selecting a number of Yukon Golds for purchase. “I really like his potatoes. They’re always so fresh. Even if you don’t use them right away, they still stay fresh and taste fresh.”
An all-around vegetable lover, Webb has his favorites when it comes to potatoes.
“I’m extremely fond of Yukon Golds and fingerlings,” Webb says. “But frankly, I’ve never met a potato I didn’t like.”
Market Profile: more about Webb’s Organic Farm >
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