Bonus: Interview with Esteban Martinez
Esteban Martinez, the 4th oldest of the 10 Martinez children, is the vice president of the Martinez Farms operation and also works in the sale department.
Martinez Farms has been in operation since 1999. At that time, they started with only three acres of strawberries and are now operating about 50 acres dedicated to the berry. All together, Martinez Farms grows 25 different types of fruits and vegetables, including zucchini, green beans, Bok Choy, broccoli, red cabbage, English peas and green cabbage to name a few. The crops are rotated through the fields each season to help keep the vitamins and nutrients in the rich soil.
Strawberry harvest starts about 7 a.m., but Esteban is up around 2 o’clock in the morning. He starts in the cooler to check on the berries, puts together the orders, loads the trucks, does some deliveries and then dives in to sales for the day. “I really like it – I love it. I really enjoy what I do.”
Esteban feels that the Albion is the strongest berry on the market right now. It’s a bigger berry that has a great dark red color with sweet flavor. They put a lot of care into these berries and the organic practices, and the berries are left on the plants until their color and flavor is perfect. “We put a lot of work into our farm, the berries and our organic practices, and we trust God to give us a little sunshine so the berries can get a little flavor,” said Esteban.
As with most farm families in the area, the Martinez family works year round. When it’s not harvest time, they tend to other farm tasks such as maintenance of the fields and machinery, but Esteban likes the slower times that come with the winter season because that is when they’re able to spend more time at home with the family and their children.
Esteban believes that eating organics is one of the best decisions a person can make. “Working and living with organic products at our farm keeps the family healthy,” Esteban said.
“Organic products may cost more money at the store, but in the long term it’s better because you won’t have to pay a lot of money to the doctors,” he said.
One of his favorite things about working with the family is that they’re able to all be together. “It’s never been about the money, it’s always been about keeping the family together. We work and play together. After the day is done, we’ll get together for a barbecue.
Martinez Farms has been providing to Sigona’s to many years, since at least 2000. “We’ve worked with the Sigona’s family for years; their family has helped support our family. We like that Sigona’s helps support local farmers and the Martinez Farms family says thanks to the Sigona’s family for supporting us and other local farmers.”