David Peri calls himself a steward of the land; several thousand acres to be exact. Growing fruits and vegetables takes a whole lot of time, talent and heart to healthfully feed a community you call home. For David, however, it is not work – it's his passion. “I moved here in 1979 and started growing onions." Over the years he grew his acreage and produce selection, “We ended up evolving in 2006. We got into vegetables."
David grew up on a family farm east of Sparks in Lockwood, where more than a hundred years ago, his grandfather, father and uncle grew and pedaled produce. That is where they also cultivated David's love for the land. “It's just in my blood." Continuing the legacy, he started farming full-time fresh out of high school and opened Peri & Sons Farms in Yerington which now grows more than 350-million pounds of onions annually. However, that is just the beginning. “We grow broccoli, cauliflower, all the baby spinach." The family farm has grown to become the state's largest USDA certified organic operation. Peri & Sons subsidiary, Nevada Fresh Pack, grows produce pesticide and herbicide-free, which means pulling weeds is a time-consuming task. "That is 100% done by hand. It's a very tedious, slow, expensive proposition." David calls it fulfilling to use green farming practices for his leafy greens. Plus, northern Nevada's dry climate and cold winters help with mildew and insects and growing organically makes for some good tasting crops. "The only thing used on that is hydrogen peroxide,” David told me as he picked lettuce out of the ground for me to taste. “You're eating as clean as you can eat right here.” And it was delicious!
By conserving water and caring for the land, the multimillion dollar operation has grown beyond David's imagination and employs hundreds of people. However, the roots of the family business are the same as they were generations ago. “They taught me one thing; they taught me how to work hard." David says it is not a nine-to-five job and it is not easy either, but families rely on the fruits of his labor; and no other job yields a harvest as rewarding as that. "I've never gotten out of bed one morning in my life and said I hate my job and not too many people can say that."