In the middle of northern California, Sando could only find hothouse tomatoes from Holland. They were hard and pale pink instead of ripe and red. Sando's frustration with the lack of good ingredients led him to start growing his own vegetables, which led to beans, which led to Rancho Gordo. Sando travels throughout Mexico and Central America searching for unique and rare legumes and herbs that he brings back to his trial gardens in Napa, where he grows them out to see if they'd be suitable for production or just seed-saving. He shares seeds via the Seeds Savers Exchange. He works with four growers, all in California and brings in beans and quinoa from Central and South America. book Heirloom Beans: Recipes from Rancho Gordo, co-written with Vanessa Barrington, was published by Chronicle Books.