If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you likely know that CCOF envisions a world where organic is the norm. We believe there is room for everyone at the organic table, with different communities across the world being served by local organic growers. While we seek to create an organic world, there is no place like home. We are grateful to growers like Lakeside Organic Gardens for their decades of dedication to the organic movement and would like to join in celebrating their 25th anniversary this year!
Longtime residents of California’s Pajaro Valley (about half an hour from CCOF’s headquarters on the west side of Santa Cruz), the Peixoto (pronounced “pa-shoat”) family has been tending to our fertile soils since the early 1800s. Founder of Lakeside Organic Gardens and descendant of the early Peixoto family, Dick Peixoto has received accolades befitting a true visionary. The Lakeside website describes Peixoto’s early passion for farming:
By the time he was a senior at Watsonville High School in 1975, Peixoto was growing green beans, squash, and picking cucumber for Capurro on a 40-acre farm. The young farmer had no doubt that he was following his career path. “I got a job at the local grocery story and retired from the grocery business at 17,” he quipped, indicating that his career leaned toward the supply rather than buy side of the equation.
Since then, Peixoto has supported the health not only of the communities who eat Lakeside Organic Gardens produce but also the communities growing the crops and stewarding more than 3,000 acres of organic farmland in the “salad bowl” of the world. During the start of the 2020 pandemic, Lakeside Organic Gardens became a Friend of the CCOF Foundation by making a donation to support our 501(c)(3) nonprofit programs that educate, train, and fund organic farmers at all stages of their careers. Peixoto and Lakeside have also donated $2 million to the Pajaro Valley nonprofit organization Agri-Culture Inc. to support the development of a local agricultural education facility. This facility will serve to educate consumers on the origin of their food and provide information to potential new organic farmers seeking to start their own businesses.
For 25 years, Lakeside has been at the helm of local, sustainable agriculture in the Central Coast of California. From all of us at CCOF to all the staff and supporters of Lakeside Organic Gardens, congratulations on your 25th anniversary!