MEET LARRY SANTOS
Meet Larry Santos. He can talk a blue streak when it comes to organic farming and has the official best moustache of any farmer in the Salinas Valley. Larry Santos has been part of our Earthbound Farm family for nearly 20 years and his agricultural roots go even deeper. Larry grew up on the Cauley Ranch in California’s Salinas Valley. And today, he manages that very same farm for Earthbound.
A native of South Monterey County, Larry says, “Growing up, my dad was a grower contact, which is a person who orchestrates farming contracts. I used to ride around in his pick-up truck and see him do his work. Agriculture is what I know.”
By the time he was 14 years-old, Larry was in the business himself, working for local farmers in the summers. “I was moving sprinkler pipe and bailing hay. They really put me through the wringer.”
When it came time to go to college, Larry realized agriculture was his true calling, and he has focused on growing the best possible produce and caring for the land ever since.
“It was 1995. Hardly anyone knew about organic,” says Larry of his choice to grow organically. He was working on a piece of land in the Salinas Valley that had not been farmed for 15 years. He encouraged his boss to give this “new, experimental” growing method a try.
“So we gave it a go, and I really got addicted. It is really hard to make an organic field look good. It takes years to learn. And we struggled, but we figured it out.”
From that moment on, Larry was hooked. His farm was transitioned to certified organic by 1998, and what started as 200 acres is now 600 acres on that piece of property today.