Meet A Full Circle Organic Produce Delivery Supplier – Billy Bob Orchards
Most people see the Lakeside Organic Gardens’ label and think ‘vegetable grower’. What they don’t realize is tucked under the umbrella of Lakeside’s well-known name is a small label called Billy Bob’s Orchards, named for Billy and Bob Peixoto, brothers of Dick Peixoto who owns Lakeside. This organic fruit grower is one of the many organic produce delivery suppliers for Full Circle.
Francis Peixoto bought the 16-acre orchard in 1960 and sold his apples for $65.00 a ton to a local processor. When Grandpa Francis passed away, Billy and Bob took over the apple operation. Although Bob is no longer active in the apple part of the business, Billy’s passion for producing high quality organic fruit to deliver to his dedicated customers has enabled the legacy of the Peixoto family apple business to live on. From Jonagold to Braeburn to Honeycrips, Pippin, Fujis and more, Billy’s plethora of organic apple varieties are mostly sold to his loyal farmer’s market customers and a handful of local organic produce delivery services who literally count down the days until the apple harvest begins, nephew Brian Peixoto said.
When asked what the biggest challenges of growing apples in this region are, Brian said, “Labor shortage is always a problem here in Watsonville. This year especially, so Uncle Dicky lends his leek harvesting crew to Uncle Billy to ensure he can harvest all of the fruit for the upcoming farmer’s markets he has scheduled.”
Brian assures me that Uncle Billy’s favorite part is throwing his apple bag on and joining the crew. And Billy’s wife, son, and daughter are heavily involved as well. While many apples on the market are harvested and stored for several weeks, even months in advance, the Peixoto apples are harvested the night before they are sold.
Oh and in case you were curious, the Braeburns are the family’s favorite. “It’s hands down the most crisp and sweet apple every season,” Brian said.