Special Reports

Joe Bertero's fame grew at Joe's Garden

Joe Bertero, who founded a small farm that became a Bellingham institution, died last April at the age of 96. Born in San Francisco, Bertero lived much of his early life in Italy before moving to Whatcom County in 1925. He and his wife, Ann, started Joe's Garden about two years later.

For decades, retail customers pulled into the Berteros' small gravel parking lot at 3100 Taylor Ave. for fresh tomatoes, corn, carrots and other produce, as well as plant starts for their own gardens. And many local supermarkets stocked a portion of their produce aisles with vegetables under a simple sign proclaiming "Joe's."

After Carl and Karol Weston took over Joe's Garden in the 1980s, Joe and his wife continued to live in their home on the site and worked in the business.