(Aug. 13) WATSONVILLE, Calif. — Buyers looking for organic green beans have a new outlet to turn to.

Pacific Gold Farms was to begin harvesting them for the first time in the Salinas and Watsonville areas the third week of August.

“I just came from the field,” marketing director Cindy Jewell said Aug. 12. “The field is beautiful. The green beans look wonderful.”

Green beans aren’t Pacific Gold’s first foray into organics. While it has grown and shipped conventional strawberries from a variety of regions in California since 1987, it began growing and selling organic strawberries in 1999.

The addition of the green beans is a response to the increasing demand for organic products of all kinds, Jewell said. While organic items still represent a small share of total produce sales at retail, demand for organic produce continues to increase each year. Citing Fresh Trends 2002, Jewell pointed out that both strawberries and beans ranked high as organic items consumers bought most often in the past six months.