Business: Rainbow Orchards
Employee: Michelle Livingston, 39
Approaching the Rainbow Orchards farm stand at the El Cerrito Plaza Farmer’s Market was a delight to the eyes. Green apples were stacked high in bins and customers were stopping frequently to taste a sample of a rich, sweet apple cider that also was for sale. Livingston was busy, with a smile on her face, taking time to make sure to offer samples to everyone who stopped by.
How long have you been working for Rainbow Orchards? Eleven years.
How long have you been coming to the El Cerrito market? Our farm has been coming for probably 10 years, but I personally have been coming for the last year or so.
How do you like it? Oh, I love it. It’s a great market and a really nice community.
(Livingston pauses to help a customer.)
Livingston: How are you doing today?
Customer: Good! It’s a nice day today.
Livingston: I know! So sunny! Last week it was pouring and windy. Do you want an apple cider shot before you go?
Livingston: No sugar added, no preservatives and no water (in the cider). We make it every week.
Does your farm specialize in apples? Yes, we’re from Apple Hill, which is a historic apple growing (region) up in the Sierra Nevada foothills, up north, near Placerville. It’s a third-generation apple farm—but we also grow blueberries and pears and peaches and nectarines, and I make wine for them. We just planted wine grapes.
Are you part of the third-generation family of farmers from Rainbow Orchards? Extended family. I’m not actually part of the family, but…
What do you do for fun? I have a very energetic three-and-a-half-year-old, so I have lots of mommy fun. I love to go hiking, I’m a real outdoors person.
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