This family-run business specializes in high-quality agriculture and landscaping supplies and has been serving San Diego farmers and residents for nearly 70 years
It’s time to start planning what you’ll be planting in this year’s gardens so we ask Kevin Grangetto what sets this family business apart.
What was your motivation for starting Grangetto’s Farm and Garden Supply?
My dad (Ed Grangetto Sr.) started Grangetto’s in 1952 after working for Ej Hatlestead who provided tree oils and fertilizer (bulk) for the local farm community in the Escondido area. The area was primarily farmed with citrus in those days, and my father also provided a commercial spray business for the local farms in the region to control their weeds and pest issues. My brother Eddie (Edward Jr.) and I worked at the business as we were growing up so we saw all the hard work that our dad put into it and decided to adapt those same principles as we transitioned into ownership.
We have adjusted the business from one that was strictly commercial to having a retail and commercial business model, adding irrigation supplies in the mid 1980’s and grew from one small store in Escondido to a total of four in North San Diego County (Valley Center 1976, Encinitas 1985, and Fallbrook in 1995).
How is Grangetto’s adapting to the pandemic?
The farm community is continually adapting to change—pest infestations, water costs skyrocketing, labor issues that result in crops going unpicked, consumer desires changing, crops being grown in other countries due to cost factors and the list goes on.
When I see what changes we have had to adapt to regardless of Covid-19 it actually hasn't been as difficult as it might appear. We were classified as an “essential business” and have been able to stay open since Shelter in Place restrictions were put in place by the State of CA in March of 2020.
We have implemented the adoption of social distancing, wearing face masks and practicing hygiene requirements. While it has been cumbersome, I believe we have adjusted well, and I sense that the community at large has a greater appreciation for what farmers do. The crisis has also motivated many to plant their own gardens and edible landscapes.
How are you working to help others?
We continue to educate our existing clientele as well as this newer customer base to enjoy planting and maintaining their vegetable and fruit gardens and to embrace the joy that comes from a freshly harvested apricot to a ripened tomato off the vine.
There is a local farm called JR Organics that due to limited access to Farmers Markets provides a “pop-up farm stand” on site at our Escondido location from 1pm–5pm every other Tuesday. JR Organics also provides CSA boxes for their existing customers.
What motivated Grangetto’s to become an Edible San Diego business member?
We decided to join Edible San Diego as a Garden Partner to support their goal of providing resources to the community where Farmers can connect with the consumer (farm to table), enjoy new recipes and connect with other like-minded businesses to promote and encourage healthy living and wellness.
What tips do you have for San Diego residents to get started with growing their own herbs?
I would suggest that someone find a location that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight/day and encourage them to use a Smart Pot (fabric-lined container) or Garden Box with a quality potting mix (e.g. G&B Potting Soil/Happy Frog/Ocean Forest). It’s best to use a container/garden box since that eliminates the challenge of burrowing rodents (e.g. voles/gophers) and you can enjoy the produce from your balcony/backyard area and use quality starter plants or buy your own seeds from local vendors (e.g. San Diego Seed Company) since those varieties do well in our San Diego area.
We have a box at home that has arugula, spinach, basil, oregano, sage and thyme. Just keep in mind that some varieties grow faster and can be invasive due to their root mass and development. Remember to harvest them regularly since that seems to stimulate their growth response.