Growing a field of greens
Ratto Bros. offers more than 70 varieties of leafy greens.
For years, our parents have told us to eat our greens, but even they couldn't have imagined how many greens are available to us these days. The plethora of produce that's at our fingertips now, is in part thanks to farmers like the Ratto farming family in Modesto.
Their vertical integration at the farm—or "one-stop shop for greens"—actually began with their ancestors, back in 1905. That's when Antone Ratto, the son of Italian immigrants, started a small vegetable business near Oakland. In those days, deals were done with a handshake and their produce was delivered to customers from a horse-drawn cart.
Today Frank Ratto is in charge of the family business where they plant, harvest, package, deliver and market all of their own veggies, growing many of the same greens their ancestors did. From collard greens to cabbage to spinach, the family offers more than 70 varieties of leafy greens. And over the years, they've chosen not to grow a lot of one thing but rather a lot of smaller crops in order to stay true to their roots.
While the new generation of the Ratto family has modernized the farm quite a bit from the days of horse-drawn carriages and hand-delivered produce, they remain firmly steeped in Old World family traditions.
For more information about Ratto Bros., visit www.rattobros.com.