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June 19, 2018

Green Cabbage
Italian Basil
Broccoli
Fennel
Green Curly Kale
Red Little Gem Lettuce
Romaine Lettuce
Radicchio
Mint
Strawberries
Arugula
Read the rest

June 12, 2018

Harvest time is starting to gather steam as temperatures are really starting to warm up.  We are harvesting pallet loads of cilantro, fennel, radicchio, dill, lettuce, spinach and dandelion greens for our wholesale accounts with an even more diverse list of crops for our local retail and wholesale accounts. We are happy to see things finally warming up to the point where we are on the cusp of summertime abundance. It’s hard to believe we are less than 2 weeks away from the summer solstice!
 
We have what is likely our full crew both in the field and at the markets. The larger labor issues facing agriculture have become obvious to us.  We simply aren’t getting any new and qualified field workers coming by looking for work. By qualified, I mean reliable, capable and skilled farm workers; people who really know the work and have the skills to make the whole process work smoothly and efficiently. So, we are doing our best to hang on to the people we have and make the workplace satisfying, interesting and most of all worth it for them. We wish we could be even more productive but this is the limiting factor we face right now. Regardless, we are staying true to our principals and standards and thank everyone for supporting us while we do so.
 
It is hard not to be concerned these days. I am not going to sugarcoat the realities facing the future of food. It is something that is invisible to most because of our dependence on supermarkets to supply us with an abundance of everything at any time of the year. We may not be noticing it but California’s fresh food production, as we’ve known it, is in a slow motion collapse and moving elsewhere. There aren’t enough people and there isn’t the financial viability to keep it going without some kind of reset.
 
The vast majority of people have over the last 100 years, disconnected from our agricultural roots.  This is a choice made, whether consciously or unconsciously, as a result of technology moving us towards convenience and alternate priorities.… Read the rest

June 12, 2018

Arugula
Lemon Basil
Carrots
Cilantro
Fennel
Green Kale
Red Little Gem Lettuce
Curly Parsley
Pink Pearl New Potatoes
Strawberries
Rosemary… Read the rest

June 5, 2018

Arugula
Carrots
Rainbow Chard
Cilantro
Red Butter Lettuce
Red Little Gem Lettuce
Romaine Hearts Lettuce
Curly Parsley
Strawberries
Sage… Read the rest

May 29, 2018

Turning the corner from spring into summer has been a slow dance this year.  Here we are after Memorial Day weekend and I can honestly say it’s the coolest May I can remember.  I’d say most warm weather crops are a good 3-4 weeks behind schedule due to the cool daytime temperatures here on the Central Coast.  The cooler temperatures have kept the soil temperatures cooler as well, which is what really counts. Not to fret though, our warm weather crops will come into maturity and you will see summer squash, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, peppers, basil and much more in your CSA boxes and at the farmers markets!
 
A lot of farmers have resorted to using hoop houses to help get an early jump on the season but so far we have resisted due to the massive amounts of plastic involved. We are however starting more things in the greenhouse for transplanting, rather than direct seeding in the field, than we have in done in previous years.
 
A 25′ X 50′ greenhouse can hold 6 to 8 acres worth of transplants at a time. It’s a very efficient use of covered space when you need an early jump on the season. It also gives farmers the opportunity to still have a crop growing in the ground when the next successive crop has a 4-6 week head start. It’s not all gloomy though as the cool weather crops are doing really well.  For us this is our bread and butter, as our cool coastal growing niche stands out when the mercury soars further inland.

It looks like we are going to have an apricot crop as they are still hanging in and hanging on. No sign of the tree squirrels getting at them like we have seen in the past.
 
Even though there are still pockets of green grass up on the North Coast, the hills around here are showing hints of turning from green to a tanned blonde so we should start to see the deer becoming more and more interested in our irrigated field crops.  Not to worry though, pretty much all our fields are protected by fencing which, except on rare occasions, keeps the deer just looking in and onto our fields.

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May 29, 2018

Carrots
Cilantro
Red Dandelion Greens
Green Kale
Green Butter Lettuce
Red Butter Lettuce
Red Little Gem Lettuce
Strawberries
Mint
Meyer Lemons… Read the rest

May 22, 2018

Hass Avocado
Dill
Green Kale
Red Butter Lettuce
Green Butter Lettuce
Spinach
Smoked Cayenne Peppers
Thyme
Strawberries
Pink Variegated Eureka Lemons… Read the rest

May 15, 2018

With the growing season fully underway, the fields are starting to fill up. Our regular weekly plantings of this year’s crop mix are on schedule but the cool weather is delaying some early crops that are usually coming on strong by now. It’s been a pretty cool spring although that February heat wave was pretty bizarre. We continue to harvest cool loving crops like cilantro, lettuce, dandelions, dill, chard, kale, etc. The warm weather loving crops are longing for the warm days; the basil, tomato and summer squash are in a holding pattern until we get some heat. Winter squash plantings continue and we should have them all planted out by the end of May. Another thing that we need to get done by the end of May is to have all the citrus trees pruned back. Doing that early in the season enables the stimulated new growth to get plenty of strength and hardiness before the winter arrives. The lighter harvest load right now is giving us some time to take care of some of the peripheral chores, at least for the moment.

With reports of recent food related outbreaks of E.coli, we have had people asking us if it’s safe to eat romaine lettuce. The answer is yes, but it is a trust based decision for everyone. The best thing is if you actually know the farmer and can ask them questions. Ask yourself if  you know if it’s locally produced and from a farmer who has good growing and harvesting practices? This question really needs to be addressed because with some practices, both in the field and in processing facilities, there are inherent high risks.

Whole heads are much safer than lettuce that is cut and packaged into plastic bags. Other questions to ask are how many hands have actually touched the product, do employees wash their hands, etc.? Some of the cut salad product is actually cut and cored in the field. This particular outbreak has been traced to product out of Yuma, Arizona and processed in a factory where product gets cut, washed and mixed with items from many different sources, then packaged in plastic bags which tend to become little incubators for food-borne pathogens.… Read the rest

May 15, 2018

Artichokes
Rainbow Chard
Green Dandelions
Green Kale
Pink Variegated Eureka Lemons
Green Butter Lettuce
Red Little Gem Lettuce
Romaine Lettuce
Italian Parsley
Sage
Strawberries… Read the rest