2018 looks to be an exciting year at D’Ottavio Produce
vineland, nj — As Michael D’Ottavio put it simply, “This is an exciting year for us.”
In a May 8 interview with The Produce News, the president of M. D’Ottavio Produce Inc. outlined some of the projects going on at the company, which is a grower, shipper, wholesaler and transportation firm headquartered here at the Vineland Produce Auction.
“We will harvest for the first time on our family farm QCS-certified organic blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and golden raspberries,” he said, referring to the company Quality Certification Services. “With new varieties, our articulated trellises and a regimented organic program, we are confident that the quality and taste will be excellent.”
He continued, “We spent months researching varieties that will grow best in our soil; along with the use of our trellises and satellite irrigation system called Natures Eye, we can save over 30 gallons of water per pint of blueberries. Natures Eye lowers fuel used to run the water pumps by 40 percent. We also have strategically planted bee habitats around the farm to help with pollination.”
On the conventional side of the farm “we increased our acreage by another 150 acres,” he said.
On the personnel front, Anthony Castellini has joined the company as manager at D’Ottavio Farms. With more than 20 years as a farmer in the Vineland area, “he will be a tremendous asset to us with this additional acreage,” said D’Ottavio.
D’Ottavio Farms, along with the organic program, “will have steady supplies of conventional blueberries, Bell peppers, specialty peppers, eggplant, specialty eggplant, green and yellow squash, pole cucumbers and some wet vegetables throughout the Jersey season,” said the company president. “We decided to grow our cucumbers on poles this season due to the fact that we had great success at our partner farm Oakes Farms,” located in Immokalee, FL.
“We also added to our packingline a stickering system that we will use for the Bell peppers,” said D’Ottavio. “Myself and Dave Duquette, vice president of sales and operations, both feel all this growth can only be accomplished with a team of employees that work hard and love what they do, and we are so lucky to have so many of them alongside us.”
D’Ottavio Produce “continues to service loyal customers that have supported us over all these years, and [we] continue to look for new customers that feel the same way about our environment and passion to help support our next generation of farmers,” he declared.
“That’s very important for me. I have a son and daughter that really enjoy farming, and I hope for a bright future for them.”
He concluded, “My fingers are crossed for a good season this year for everyone.”