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US (CA): Berry farm hosts berry planting field trip

The strawberry planting season looked a little different today for California Giant as a portion of their farming property became an organic strawberry field for the first time in Watsonville. The ground had been waiting for three years to be an organic strawberry field and today a 3rd grade class took part in planting the first crop.

The farm located across the street from Ohlone School in Watsonville is owned by California Giant Berry Farms and three years ago the decision was made to let the ground sit fallow without a crop as it transitioned to organic property.

Bill Moncovich, President and CEO of California Giant invited the school right across the street to be part planting the first crop and the school jumped at the chance to include some of their kids in a field trip and learn more about their neighbor. “We really want to be a good neighbor and the best way to do that is to invite your neighbor over and get to know each other” says Moncovich.

Rich Uto, the farmer on the property served as a host on Tuesday, November 21, to twenty 3rd graders from Ohlone School who got the chance to help plant the first organic strawberries on the property and place name tags next to their plants so they can watch progress and be back for the harvest in the spring. 

“It was such a rewarding experience to share with these kids that have been watching this ground since kindergarten and will now be part of a new crop. We will take care of their plants and bring the students back to check on them in March” says Rich Uto, Farmer for California Giant. In the meantime, each of the 3rd graders were able to take a potted strawberry plant back to school to help grow and nurture through the winter. 

California Giant has been transitioning ground they own near schools and day cares, but this is the first time they have had the chance to really share the hands-on farming experience with their neighbors as the crop is planted. The 15 acre plot is part of a larger organic program for the company and should be producing fruit by early spring 2018 when the students will be invited back to share in the first harvest and taste their new crop.
For more information:
Cindy Jewell
California Giant Berry Farms
Tel: +1 831 728 1773
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