Adriana Silva and Chris Tuohig, owners
Markets: Aptos, MPC and Del Monte (seasonal)
Products: large variety of tomatoes including heirloom tomatoes; strawberries and other berries; root vegetables such as carrots, beets, and onions; bunched and loose greens such as Bloomsdale spinach; brassicas including broccoli, cauliflower and kales; chard; fresh eggs from free-range chickens.
History/Philosophy: The farm was named Tomatero, which means “tomato picker” in Spanish, by Adriana’s 80-year-old Nicaraguan grandmother. Tomatoes were the original crop when the farm was started by Adriana and Chris in 2003. Over the years they diversified; they now grow many different vegetables and raise laying hens for eggs. The farm was certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) in its first year of operation.
The main ranch, which consists of 20 acres, is located adjacent to Tynan Lake (also known as Redman Lake) in Watsonville. Chris and Adriana also farm on several small parcels, most of which are located within a mile of the main parcel.
“Our customers appreciate the great flavor of our produce,” says Adriana. “We benefit from the combination of the temperate climate on the Central Coast, the combination of the crops we nurture, and crop rotation which makes for beneficial, organic soil.” Adriana was elected president of the local chapter of CCOF in 2010. She is working to increase participation and community among CCOF-certified farms.
Chickens are raised humanely on the farm. “The hens enjoy the outdoors all day, everyday, and sleep in custom-made coops refashioned from old cotton trailers at night. They are fed a certified organic custom blend made exclusively for our farm. In return they provide delicious, nutritious eggs,” says Chris. “It’s a very labor and time-intensive operation, which means our eggs are more expensive, but our customers are crazy for our eggs!”
The farm crew consists of family members and 20 to 25 employees, many of whom have been involved since the farm began. The farm provides steady, year-round employment and exceeds fair wage requirements.
Tomatero produce is sold at area farmers markets, as well as to area stores, restaurants, and caterers.