The Tanimura family set sail from Japan eventually moving to San Juan Bautista, California and began the family farming operation. The Antle family moved from Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl and ended up settling in California.
During WWII, the Tanimuras were forced to abandon their farm and possessions. Two of the Tanimura brothers served in the U.S. Army and the rest of the Tanimuras were sent to a relocation center in Arizona. Bud and Lester Antle started their own lettuce ice packing operation, called Bud Antle, Inc in 1942 and supplied fresh lettuce to the East Coast to be shipped off to soldiers during the war.
The Tanimura brothers began their farming operation again under the direction of George Tanimura. Bud Antle adapted field packing and vacuum cooling which revolutionized the growth of the produce industry in the Salinas Valley.
The Tanimura’s farming operation continues to expand to include growing more items such as green onions and celery. Bob Antle, Bud’s son, began the “The Antle Process” which was a machine that produced field harvested trimmed lettuce heads wrapped in a newly developed shrinking film which was then vacuum cooled prior to being shipped.
The Tanimura brothers continue to be Bud Antle’s largest grower and also develop a limited partnership in a new venture called the “Salinas Transplant Company” which is a greenhouse operation producing the first high-quality vegetable transplants in the industry. The Antles established themselves as the largest marketers of premium iceberg lettuce in the United States by 1971, marketing approximately 20,000 acres of crop.
On November 10th, 1982, the first box of Tanimura & Antle iceberg lettuce was shipped and a partnership was formed, blending the Tanimura farming and the Antle harvesting and marketing talents, combining years of experience.
Tanimura & Antle farms over 30,000 acres of rich, fertile farmland and ships a full line of premium fresh produce throughout North America, Europe and Asia. For three generations, their commitment to providing the highest quality products and superior customer service has never wavered.
We pride ourselves in being innovative conventional farmers and true stewards of the land. Every day, our ultimate goal is to conserve all of the natural resources entrusted in us to preserve them for generations to come.
Our definition of sustainability is to preserve not only the land we grow on, but also to continue to service our greater community. By using sustainable farming practices, we are able to ensure that we give more than we take.
At the heart of what we do, we are agronomists. We feel blessed to be able to grow Mother Nature’s best medicine, vegetables, by using a fully integrated system of farming from seed to harvest.
Our resources are precious, from the health of the soil, types of seeds, quality of water, integrated pest management practices, and energy conservation throughout the chain. We diligently and constantly strive to reduce our footprint while growing and shipping high quality vegetables.
Vacuum cooling revolutionized the shipping of vegetables in the late 1940’s, and is still the best process for cooling leafy vegetables. The process actually boils water from the product and works strictly on the principle of evaporative cooling. Tanimura & Antle uses this cooling method to improve product quality by extending the shelf life and save time in the cooling process so that all products can get to the store shelf quicker.
The “Antle Process” was founded in the 1960 and involved trimming and wrapping individual lettuce heads and packing them in cardboard boxes in the field. The cartons were then transported to the cooler where they were vacuum cooled. This process set the stage for harvest machines that are still used in vegetable industry today.
Drip Tape has been a watering method of choice for commercial farmers for years because of it’s economical, efficient and effective uses. George Tanimura was the first farmer to implement the use of Drip Tape irrigation as a way to conserve water and Tanimura & Antle has been using this method for over thirty years.