Aptos, Monterey, Del Monte
Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.
Rudy and Ester Vasquez, owners
65 Springfield Road, Moss Landing
Ester and Rudy Vasquez grow their luscious berries using sustainable techniques on 15 acres in Moss Landing. 10 acres are currently in production. The farm is in the process of being certified organic by CCOF. The farming is done with the help of seven employees. A few friends and six of Ester’s and Rudy’s 16 beautiful grandchildren help out at farmers markets.
The land that the Vasquezes purchased in 1973 was once a berry field. The couple built a house on the property, and starting in the late 1970s Ester brought the farm back into use, acre by acre, with the help of family and friends. While Ester was building up a successful business growing a variety of berries and selling them at farmers markets, Rudy worked for various local food companies. In 1993 he decided to become actively involved with the farm; he now drives the tractor and sells at additional farmers markets.
Ester and Rudy are very outgoing people and find participating at farmers markets the most rewarding aspect of their farming life. “Selling at the farmers markets is like being part of a big, warm family,” says Ester.
Rudy offers tips for extending the life of strawberries: “Do not wash until ready to eat/use, and refrigerate in an air-tight container that is lined with dry paper towels. Leave a bowl of strawberries out to enjoy right away!”