Wednesday, September 30, 2009

JR Organics

Farmers Market Vendor Feature: J.R. Organics
J.R. Organics: 31030 Rodriguez Road Escondido, CA 92026

On any given Sunday at the Hillcrest Farmers Market, Joe Rodriguez Jr. can be found directly across from the musical performers, smiling and conversing with regular customers as they happily peruse through the wide array of fresh, organic produce. Joe’s company, J.R. Organics is a certified (CCOF) organic vegetable farm started by the Rodriguez family in the early 1950s that consistently has over 45 different vegetables being grown, as well as strawberries, melons, and a variety of fresh flowers.

J.R. Organics is a family run business staffed by Joe himself, his father (Joe Sr.), his mother, brothers, nephews, nieces and even his own children. The family now participates in 10 different Farmers Markets, and gathers once a week to discuss logistics and decide who will go where.

J.R. Organics is a row-crop operation meaning that everything is seasonal and therefore always fresh. They also use some of the best organic growing techniques available, including crop rotation, green manures, beneficial insects, composting and mulching. They fertilize with worm castings, rock minerals and other organic fertilizers. Joe Jr. is very particular about their farming strategies, stating that “My belief is to create a high quality product with high taste values, and good flavor to keep our customers coming back.”

Joe is one of the original farmers who have happily been with the Hillcrest Farmers Market from day one, “I love to do it- we enjoy being out there, seeing our products grow, taking it to people and seeing them say ‘wow, it can be done beautifully and organically,’” says Joe who also notes that the most rewarding part of this is knowing he is helping to protect our environment and his workers from pesticides, and then seeing people happy and taking a product away that has been grown the right way.

“Get to know your farmers and support your local farmers,” suggests Joe. So instead of your local grocery store, stop by the Hillcrest Farmers Market for the freshest of the fresh, and say hello to Joe right across from the music performers this Sunday and every Sunday!

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