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In June 2010, Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo, the Pescadero, CA-based organic cooperative grower, packer and distributor, expanded its operations to include a new warehouse, packing and distribution facility in Boston, MA, that would allow for more timely distribution of organic culinary herbs and edible flowers throughout the region. The new HAACP-approved operation is the first East Coast facility for the company. Marina Pace, marketing representative, told The Produce News that in early January, Sara Rostampour joined Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo as manager of the new facility.

"Sara is a recent graduate of Cornell University. She has a masters degree in horticulture and a bachelor of science degree in nutrition, cum laude," said Ms. Pace. “Sara recently worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Women, Infants and Children program, or WIC, which targets lower-income persons at nutritional risk.”

Having created Jacobs Farm in 1980, which developed into a successful organic farming operation, and with a knack for developing niche markets, longtime organic farmers Larry Jacobs and Sandra Belin were confident in their vision for their next venture. In 1985, they encountered a community of struggling, subsistence-level farmers in Mexico, and the Del Cabo cooperative was conceived.

The idea of farm- and community-centered production supported by international market opportunities proved to be successful. Today, the collaboration between Jacobs Farm and the Mexican growers provides over 400 farming families with needed training in organic growing, harvesting and handling, as well as start-up funds, farming technology, administrative training and consistent distribution channels, all of which ensure the best return for small-scale farms.

Ms. Pace said that Jacobs Farm now offers more than 60 varieties of organic culinary herbs and edible flowers. Del Cabo specializes in organic cherry and specialty tomatoes, organic vegetables and organic basil.

“All varieties of Del Cabo cherry varieties are in strong supply currently,” said Ms. Pace. “The crops have all benefited from the excellent growing conditions at our farms in southern Baja, California. This has led to prolific yields of cherry tomatoes that have excellent eating quality.”

In fall 2010, the company began new screenhouse production in southern Baja. Ms. Pace said that it continues to yield both Persian and slicer cucumbers. She added that the harvest was beginning to wind down in mid- January.

“From the same growing region, we are also trialing new eggplant varieties, including Japanese and white eggplants, as well as an Italian heirloom variety, Rosa Bianca,” said Ms. Pace. “The Rosa Bianca eggplant is grown specifically for its outstanding flavor. These will be coming to market at the end of January.”