“Anyone who shops for ‘organic produce’ should know what that term really means,” states Tom Hubbard, VP of Operations at Webb Ranch. “It doesn’t mean anything until it carries an official certificate, such as CCOF."
Portola Valley, CA (PRWEB) May 24, 2010
The Webb Ranch Farmers Market announced the availability of the Harvest Advantage Card, a free program that provides shoppers with savings on organic and sustainably-farmed produce, plus access to special offers.
Harvest Advantage Card members enjoy exclusive weekly savings on certified organic produce, picked at the peak of ripeness. Members can take advantage of special offers each month for other products, such as oils, nuts, vinegars, and jams. Individuals that sign-up for the Harvest Advantage Card will receive recipes that feature seasonal produce, a free, re-usable shopping bag, advanced notification of events such as U-pick berry days, and the Webb Ranch Farmers Market newsletter.
The Webb Ranch Farmers Market offers cookbooks from nationally known, innovative chefs and restaurateurs like, Jesse Cool. Ms. Cool is the recipient of many business leadership awards and is recognized for her support of sustainable farming practices. Her seventh and most recent book, “Simply Organic,” plus her best selling, “Tomatoes,” are offered at the Farmers Market.
What “Organic” and “Sustainable Farming” Mean at Webb Ranch
All produce that claims to be organic is not the same. In 2008, Webb Ranch earned its California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) designation, the most trusted seal in the organic industry. There are many requirements a farm must meet to earn the CCOF stamp of approval: One of which is a guarantee that the fields have been pesticide- and herbicide-free for a minimum of three years. Webb Ranch has not used pesticides or herbicides in its fields for over 30 years. Compliance with the CCOF standard is an ongoing process that is integrated into the daily routine at Webb Ranch, which includes monitoring and recording all activities on the farm’s fields.
“Anyone who shops for ‘organic produce’ should know what that term really means,” states Tom Hubbard, vice president of operations at Webb Ranch. “Farmers and stores can call their produce organic, but it doesn’t mean anything unless it carries an official certificate such as CCOF. These are standards set to guarantee the produce is certified organic – from seed to harvest to market. At Webb Ranch, organic means we meet the CCOF standard.”
Webb Ranch has adopted the broadest definition of sustainable agriculture, implementing farming practicing that promote the well-being of the environment and the community it serves. In the 80's, the farm switched from flood irrigating to a filtered, drip irrigation system, saving 75% of the water and culminating a three-year process. Since 1990, the ranch has employed Union farm workers. It continues to strive for the best working conditions, which includes offering health and dental coverage as well as free housing. Some farm workers have been with the Webb's for over 30 years.
Webb Ranch has an ongoing composting operation that utilizes its daily stable waste to create an organic soil additive and mulch for areas such as its young orchard of stone fruit trees planted in 2008 and 2009. These efforts benefit the local area by eliminating potential landfill and solid waste concerns. The health of the farm’s soil is addressed and continually monitored through the use of crop rotation. Plus, Webb Ranch uses a farming technique called “cover crops” – the practice of planting and growing a crop of legumes over the winter and then plowing it under before it reaches full maturity. This is done to increase soil fertility, to reduce weeds and unwanted pests, and to manage water resources by eliminating erosion.
Produce Certification at the Market
Webb Ranch delivers CCOF produce daily from its own farm. Additionally, the Webb Ranch Farmers Market features produce from the local farming community. This is based on long-term relationships with farms that embrace the same quality, freshness, and organic standards as Webb Ranch. Webb Ranch proudly displays its CCOF certification and maintains the certificates of all the farms represented at the Farmers Market.
Located at 2720 Alpine Road in Portola Valley, the market is open daily from 10 am to 7 pm.
About Webb Ranch
Webb Ranch began in 1922, delivering strawberries, blackberries and raspberries to local markets. Stanley Webb, the youngest of six children, assumed management of the ranch in 1950. He oversaw the growth of Webb Ranch, expanding the farm produce to include crops of corn, green beans, squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Horse boarding to the public began in 1960, and has grown to the present day stable of 250 horses.
The 4th generation of Webb Family members currently manage the daily operations of the ranch. It is the Webb Family’s wish to continue with the tradition of providing a warm, friendly, safe and fun family environment to our equestrian and equine friends, and to continue to produce and provide the highest quality and freshest produce to our community. In 2009, Webb Ranch won the readers’ choice awards for best place to buy pumpkins at its Halloween Pumpkin Patch, and Christmas trees at the Santa’s Village at Webb Ranch.