A Sustainable Harvest
Because of their health benefits, flavor and overall appeal, strawberries
add vibrant color to almost any kind of salad. Not only that, they can add depth and
sweetness to enhance more traditional salad dressings.
Produce for Better Health
We’re proud to support Fruits & Veggies—More Matters in the effort to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in America.
Hector Gutierrez is a first-generation strawberry farmer from Oxnard, California. He exemplifies environmental responsibility in Calfiornia strawberry farming. Growing up in an agricultural family in the Central Valley, Hector developed a profound respect for the land and a desire be a steward of the environment. He initally farmed vegetables, but several decades ago gravitated to "the pinnacle of what I wanted to do" - growing strawberries.
In addition to being a farmer, Hector is a licensed pest control advisor who understands integrated pest management strategies. He is committed to employing sustainable farming practices, which include a wide range of organic and conventional methods. Some of his sustainable practices include:
- Limiting pesticides with use of a bug vacuum to remove harmful insects.
- Plants flowers to attract beneficial insects.
- Uses fish emulsion as an environmentally friendly fertilizer.
- Participates in cutting-edge research to see a futher reduction in pesticide use.
Hector says he has learned a lot from organics, and says, "The public has a misperception about we farm. We only use pesticides if we have to - and even then, as judiciously as possible."
To learn more about Hector, click on his video on the Video Features page.