Califonia Bountiful

The 'Pepper People'

One family finds the spice of life at their farm

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Peppers are known for being a "hot" commodity, but now they're also a profitable one for the Winsberg family of Palo Alto—or, as they're known around there, the "Pepper People of the Bay Area."

David Winsberg and his family grow a couple thousand pounds of peppers a year at their state-of-the-art farm, which features climate-controlled greenhouses that have retractable roofs and are controlled by computerized environmental sensors that monitor temperature, light, rain and wind. And while the Winsbergs' farm is relatively small, what they lack in size, they make up for in variety. In all, they grow 30 varieties of peppers in all different shapes, sizes and colors.

In addition to their prized peppers, they've recently branched out even further at the farm, making spices like paprika out of some of their produce. And because their farm is indoors, the family can extend their growing period as well. This allows them to bring their peppers and spices almost all year long to Bay Area restaurants and farmers markets, where they have found a niche market with folks looking for exotic products.

Thanks to their farmers market appearances, the family has managed to build a loyal following over the years, and business is booming. They are now adding more markets to their schedule and growing a variety of produce at the farm like squash and cucumbers. So you might say, things really are hotter than ever at this pepper farm!

For more information about the Winsberg family farm, visit

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