For Rene Van Wingerden, one of the owners of Ocean Breeze Farms, Field to Vase is more than just a dinner but a labor of love that encompasses a rich history of nearly 50 years. The Van Wingerdens have been a farming family for generations. Rene and his parents and siblings, along with his three uncles and their families, immigrated to the United States from Holland in 1966. They had a well-established farm in Holland growing flowers, vegetables, and fruit, but eventually decided to sell everything they had and pursue the American Dream. They initially visited Rhode Island, Colorado, and Lompoc, California, before settling around Carpinteria, California.
Today Rene and his wife June continue to own and operate the Carpinteria division, while their son, Ivor, and his wife Brooks own and manage Ocean Breeze Farms’ Arroyo Grade division.
A sister company, MOBI’s, hosted the very first Field to Vase dinner in 2014 and followed up with another in 2015. During COVID, Ocean Breeze started an outdoor sales event each Saturday where visitors can take a peek inside the gerbera greenhouse and purchase farm-fresh American Grown flowers. The commitment of the farm and sister company to connect directly with flower lovers is amazing, and this year’s Field to Vase dinner continues to be an opportunity to share the bounty in person.
Rene & June Van Wingerden
The Van Wingerden family and the rest of Ocean Breeze are excited about showcasing their hard work at the upcoming dinner. They are particularly looking forward to the face-to-face interaction with buyers and consumers since they haven’t had as many opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rene and Ivor believe that it’s important to show all the aspects of running a farm, so consumers can realize that supporting a local business is important. “It’s good for consumers to see what’s happening,” Ivor said. “Hopefully, it will build more interest and desire so they can tell our story to the people they know, and they realize why American Grown Flowers are the ones to buy.”
If you want to experience the breathtaking beauty of Ocean Breeze Farms, dine in a greenhouse full of gerberas, and taste some amazing local food, buy your tickets to the upcoming Field to Vase Dinner.