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Mark "Guido The Gardener" Ferro

My love for food, and the growing thereof, began as a very young child. You see, I am Italian on both sides of my family. Both my grandfathers, like so many other immigrants, grew most of their familie's food in small, but productive backyard plots.

I can remember running through the fava beans with my older sister. After we were quite tuckered out, we would consume all the fava we could eat. It wasn't until years later, when I grew my own fava beans, that I realized how fragile those stalks were! I guess my grandfathers were too nice to grumble about the destroyed stalks that we assuredly left behind.

Many years passed between those early gardening memories and my more recent gardening encounters. In my late 20's, in the midst of a semi-successful real estate career, a friend gave me an old "Organic Gardening" magazine. That did it!

In the ensuing 15 years I ditched that real estate career, began organic gardening almost year round and developed a passion for produce.

Since the summer of 1991 I've been working full time in the wholesale produce business. The last six years I have worked for Whole Foods Market, the largest natural foods retailer in the country. My duties include food sampling and cooking demonstrations, produce team member education and various writing assignments. Previous to this, I had been everything from the head street buyer, to an order/filler driver and even Safety!

Since May of 1992 I've been writing a weekly produce article for my local newspaper, the Alameda Journal. and since May of 1996 I've been writing a produce newsletter every two weeks for the San Francisco Produce Terminal Market.

For about a three year spell in there, I appeared on a local cable TV show called "Food Talk". I also participate in the Family Ecology program in the Alameda County Public School District as a community helper. There I teach children about gardening, recycling and how they can make the earth a cleaner place to live.

My most recent adventure in produce promotion has been to team up with another produce guy, Dan Avakian from the Produce Pair. After a successful run in the san Fracisco Bay Area, "The Produce Pair" show is now broadcasting at 10:00AM (Pacific Time) on the United Talk Network.

he format is loose and humorous (we hope!), we have special guests and take produce questions from interested callers. In between we highlight the fresh fruits and vegetables that Joe and Jane shopper may encounter in their produce departments.


Email Guido: Guido@ProducePair.com