Meet Our Growers
Our soil is very sandy with temperatures in the summer reaching 110 degrees Fahrenheit. This provides a perfect growing environment for sweet potatoes in the fertile area of the San Joaquin Valley in Central California. Organic production revolves around four varieties - Garnets, Jewels, Sweets and Orientals. Growing sweet potatoes takes a long time and a lot of work. We start in February, when seed is put into hotbeds to grow plants that will later be transplanted into fields. All sweet potatoes are grown from transplants, which are set in the field April through July. We harvest in late July-October. During the winter, sweet potatoes are stored, washed, sorted, and packed to be shipped.
The company was founded by Antonio Vieira Tomas, who immigrated to the United States from the Azores Island of Pico in Portugal in 1920 and settled in Livingston, California. In 1960, Mr. Tomas founded A.V. Thomas Produce with 10 acres in production and one small packing shed in downtown Livingston. Twelve years later, his nephew, Manuel Eduardo Vieira, joined the business. In 1977, Manuel E. Vieira bought A.V. Thomas Produce and began a new chapter in its history, investing in, growing and expanding the farm and packing facility.
At A.V. Thomas Produce, we use sustainable farming practices to preserve and improve the health and life of the entire farm environment: soil, water, air, plants, animals, and people. As a family farm our land is our pride and passion. Our family has farmed in Livingston, California for 55 years, and we work hard every day to conserve the land for future generations.
- Sweet Potatoes
- Farm founded in 1960
- Growing organically since 1988
- 2200 acres under production