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Organic grower Kimes named farmer of the year

Modified: Friday, Jun 28th, 2013

Sandra Ward (from left) and Ken Kimes of New Natives in Corralitos share a laugh with Vice Mayor of Santa Cruz Lynn Robinson as she presents 2013 Farmer of the Year Kimes with a proclamation from the city. (Photo by Roseann Hernandez/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE Kept a secret until the last possible moment, Ken Kimes of New Natives in Corralitos has been named Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau's 2013 Farmer of the Year.

The organic farmer and founding member and president of Farm Fuel, Inc., a biofuel supplier based in Watsonville, was honored by the 1,100-member organization for his outstanding contribution to the agricultural community.

A voice for organic and sustainable farming in the region, Kimes and wife Sandra Ward spent their early time in Santa Cruz shoring up support and helping other early adopters form up the foundation for the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF).

Their New Natives organic sprouts farm was one of the first to receive CCOF certification back in 1983 and they continue to grow a wide assortment of organic micro greens across 40,000 square feet of greenhouse space. They sell at eight farmers markets a week, including the farmers market at Cabrillo College on Saturdays and deliver to wholesale and retail clients.

Initially founded in 2007 to explore ways of using the mustard that grows wild along the central coast as a form of alternative energy, Farm Fuel, Inc has since expanded its research into fumigant alternatives.

For the complete article see the 06-29-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 06-29-2013 paper.

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