Proflie: California SLO-Grow Producer

Proflie: California SLO-Grow Producer

Posted: Updated:

May 16, 2016

Story provided by Cal Poly 

More than a quarter of a century ago, a California farmer decided it would be best to sell what he grows directly to the people who eat it.  And that meant finding a way to produce vegetables year round.

Philip Langston prefers to meet the people who eat his produce face-to-face – something he’s been doing for the past 25 years. 
 
“I was growing for other people at the time," explains Langston, "and my wife and I always wanted to kind of do our own thing.  Just the opportunity came up that we were able to find a place that was perfect for the way we wanted to grow and we were able to start on own place then.” 

With a background in greenhouse and hydroponic tomato production and some experience under his belt – he set out to produce those vegetables year round and sell directly to consumers.
 
“I enjoy every aspect of it," Langston explains. "I mean I get up liking to go to work and plant seeds and I like pulling weeds, and so I get a lot of fulfillment out of it – growing things.  I also feel like I get a – I’m growing food for people to eat, so I get a lot out of it that way.” 

He still sets up at local Farmers’ Markets five days a week. This morning,  in Arroyo Grande selling his tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, eggplant and basil.

For Langston’s customers (and indeed his business), he needed to grow these vegetables year round and not just when they are in season.  He embraced that challenge.

“So for me," says Langston, "for greenhouse culture, those are all basically summer type vegetables and I’m able to grow them off-season in the greenhouse. And so I like the science involved in growing the off-season stuff.” 

Because of the availability of the produce year-round, SLO Grown Produce is now featured in ten local restaurants and a couple of specialty grocery stores.

Langston has also taken over the production of olives at a local orchard, producing award winning olive oils alongside the greenhouse vegetables.

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