grower

  • “A“mazing

    Late sum­mer to early fall is a per­fect time to pick and high­light bell pep­pers. They tend to thrive in the hot Cal­i­for­nia sun, so the recent heat wave was not a deter­rent to these col­or­ful beau­ties.

    The 2020 Wash­ing­ton state apple har­vest is just under­way. This season’s crop looks to be stel­lar and close to last year’s size in vol­ume.

    Apple farm­ers keep grow­ing larger crop sizes and more vari­eties to please the world­wide con­sumer demand of this favorite fruit.

    For the sec­ond straight year, Gala apples will be the high­est vol­ume vari­ety pro­duced at 23 per­cent. Red Deli­cious is pro­jected at 17 per­cent, fol­lowed by Fuji apples at 14 per­cent. Granny Smith and Hon­ey­crisp are at 13 per­cent each of total pro­duc­tion.

    This year, new­com­ers Cos­mic Crisp is fore­casted to come in at 1.2 per­cent of the total crop and Cripps Pink at 5 per­cent. Pretty good for the new­bies.

    Organic apple pro­duc­tion is on track to be about 16 per­cent of the total, or 21 mil­lion boxes. This is up from 15 mil­lion boxes in the 2019 apple crop. By the way, not all organic pro­duc­tion is ulti­mately packed, sold and mar­keted as organ­i­cally grown.
  • “Dam­as­cos“

    Dam­asco is the Por­tuguese name for apri­cot. The Wesley/​Patterson area of Cal­i­for­nia is con­sid­ered one of the prime apri­cot grow­ing regions in the entire coun­try.

    Once named the “Apri­cot Capi­tol of the World”, the Mediter­ranean cli­mate and well-​drained soils make this loca­tion an apri­cot par­adise.

    This arid land­scape is also still home to many Por­tuguese farm­ers and fam­i­lies who set­tled there to make farm­ing a way of life.

    Every sum­mer, the Pat­ter­son Apri­cot Fiesta cel­e­brates the stone fruit that has a rich Cal­i­for­nia his­tory. This year, the fes­ti­val will run June 2nd4th.

    Apri­cots debuted in Cal­i­for­nia in the orchards and gar­dens of the Span­ish mis­sions. Cal­i­for­nia farm­ers grow more than 95 per­cent of the nation’s apri­cots. In a typ­i­cal weather year, har­vest begins in Kern County and moves north­ward through the San Joaquin Val­ley to the Westley/​Patterson area.
  • “Vol­un­tary“

    In the realm of fresh food prod­ucts, either retail or food­ser­vice, prod­uct recalls are not par­tic­u­larly unusual.

    A recall is the action or method of remov­ing or cor­rect­ing prod­ucts that are in vio­la­tion of laws admin­is­tered by the Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion (FDA).

    A food recall occurs when there is rea­son to believe that a food may cause con­sumers to become ill. A food pro­ducer ini­ti­ates the recall to take foods off the mar­ket. In some sit­u­a­tions, food recalls are requested by gov­ern­ment agen­cies, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion (FDA) and the U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture (USDA). Obvi­ously, prod­uct can be recalled for many rea­sons. This can include (but not be lim­ited to), the dis­cov­ery of organ­isms such as bac­te­ria like Sal­mo­nella or for­eign objects like bro­ken glass or metal. It can be due to a major aller­gen (dairy or nuts) not being dis­closed on a label.

    Most prod­uct recalls are char­ac­ter­ized as being “vol­un­tary”. This term is some­what ambigu­ous and may lead indi­vid­u­als to believe that a vol­un­tary recall is optional. That is def­i­nitely not true.

    A vol­un­tary recall is an indi­ca­tion that the man­u­fac­turer, grower or ship­per of the poten­tially harm­ful pro­duce has been in com­mu­ni­ca­tion and coop­er­a­tion with the fed­eral agency.

  • A Cut Above

    There’s a rea­son why “pre-​cut” or “value-​added” pro­duce sales are on the rise. It’s some­times very intim­i­dat­ing or tricky for home cooks or even pro­fes­sional chefs to mas­ter the art of cut­ting, slic­ing or chop­ping.

    Knife skills are essen­tial for kitchen con­fi­dence, effi­ciency and safety. How to han­dle knives and mak­ing the best choice for cer­tain jobs comes with loads of prac­tice and expe­ri­ence.

    Cer­tain fresh pro­duce items, fruits in par­tic­u­lar, are eas­ier to approach than oth­ers. Apples and cit­rus might be intu­itive. Pineap­ple, mango, papaya and water­melon are a bit more com­pli­cated.

    There are sev­eral food hacks tout­ing the best ways to get to the heart of what we want to eat. Any fruit com­mis­sion web-​site (mango, straw­berry, water­melon, avo­cado, etc.) will show­case ter­rific knife skills via video or step-​by-​step photo images.

    To begin, learn to choose your fruits. Same day use requires ripeness. The Mama Bear “just right” approach to color, feel, and smell is a good start.

    Greener or harder fruit may not mature in a man­ner that works. Seek out pro­duce exper­tise to assist if your retailer is rep­utable for sell­ing qual­ity prod­uct and hav­ing trained and informed clerks.

    There are depend­able mar­ket clerks will­ing to share their pro­duce expe­ri­ence. The value in hav­ing trusted and informed staff to assist shop­pers is reflected in sales and cus­tomer loy­alty. A great clerk has the knowl­edge to help with prod­uct selec­tion, stor­age, care, han­dling and usage.
  • Bad News Bears

    Pro­cure­ment of fresh pro­duce is a noble pro­fes­sion. one that buy­ers are very hon­ored to be asso­ci­ated. They take their roles seri­ously with an inor­di­nate amount of ded­i­ca­tion and atten­tion to details.

    Through all sea­sons, they source prod­ucts of all kinds for every cus­tomer seg­ment. The num­ber of com­modi­ties and items that a pro­duce buyer takes respon­si­bil­ity for is mind-​boggling.

    It’s rel­a­tively easy to be a buyer in flush mar­kets. When there is plenty of broc­coli, straw­ber­ries and romaine let­tuce to be had, a buyer will give the “green light” sig­nal to “sell with con­fi­dence”. This means prod­uct is ample, qual­ity is excel­lent and prices are aggres­sive and rea­son­able.

    Weather events never allow a buyer to get too com­fort­able. Nei­ther does cur­rent sup­ply chain chal­lenges. Throw in the nor­mal sea­sonal tran­si­tion to fall/​winter grow­ing regions and we have our­selves one big migraine for any­one watch­ing and procur­ing fresh pro­duce.

    The “don’t kill the mes­sen­ger” mantra applies to indi­vid­u­als hear­ing daily mar­ket updates. As a sales per­son, chef or retail pro­duce clerk, we are oblig­ated to know what pre­vail­ing mar­ket con­di­tions dic­tate. Menus and pro­mo­tions rely on solid news.
  • Berry Good

    All along the cen­tral and south­ern coast­line, hun­dreds of Cal­i­for­nia straw­berry farm­ers are cul­ti­vat­ing the major­ity of all straw­ber­ries grown in the United States.

    Nearly ninety per­cent of all U.S. straw­berry pro­duc­tion hap­pens on less than one per­cent of the Golden State’s farm­land.

    The Cal­i­for­nia straw­berry story is about more than the effi­cient use of this prized land. It is also intrin­si­cally con­nected to the real story of Amer­i­can immi­grants and farm work­ers.

    Today, in many cases, sec­ond and third-​generation fam­ily farm­ers con­tinue to farm and pro­duce America’s favorite fruit.

    The agri­cul­ture boom hap­pened in Cal­i­for­nia right along­side the gold rush. Peo­ple were immi­grat­ing to Cal­i­for­nia to chase their dreams and find per­sonal suc­cess.

    Straw­ber­ries made it pos­si­ble for fam­i­lies to set­tle in a sin­gle loca­tion where they could live and work instead of fol­low­ing the in-​season crops around the state. Some of these immi­grant farm work­ers started in irri­ga­tion or pick­ing straw­ber­ries. Many went on to build their own straw­berry farms and busi­nesses.

    While con­sumers enjoy straw­ber­ries nearly year-​round, they may not rec­og­nize or fully appre­ci­ate the hard work and ded­i­ca­tion required to pro­duce them.
  • Blos­som Hill

    The Blos­som Hill orchards are located in Pat­ter­son, Cal­i­for­nia. Some sug­gest this loca­tion to be the world’s best apricot-​growing region.

    Lucich — San­tos Farms have been family-​owned for more than 90 years. For over 35 years, they’ve devel­oped exper­tise in grow­ing, pack­ing and ship­ping Cal­i­for­nia apri­cots and apri­ums under the Blos­som Hill Orchard name.

    Four gen­er­a­tions over­see the daily oper­a­tions. Their over­ar­ch­ing goal is to pro­vide cus­tomers with the best eat­ing, sweet­est, juicy apri­cots.

    Jim Lucich, sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Blos­som Hill, said the 2018 crop in Pat­ter­son is lighter than usual. Weather played a part with the crop set. Chill hours were lower than needed, and some cold and rain that came after the bloom had an effect on the crop.

    The com­pany grows its apri­cots in a sustainable-​minded envi­ron­ment. Lucich and San­tos Farms and Blos­som Hill Packing’s objec­tive is to pro­duce pre­mium deli­cious fruit with food safety in mind.
  • Brent­wood Dia­monds

    Nes­tled between Mount Dia­blo and the Sacramento-​San Joaquin Delta in the East Bay, Brent­wood, Cal­i­for­nia is renowned for grow­ing excep­tional fresh mar­ket pro­duce.

    In par­tic­u­lar, sum­mer cher­ries, peaches and delec­table sweet corn are what local mar­kets and chefs cel­e­brate.

    Hot Cen­tral Val­ley days and cool, off-​shore breezes at night make it the per­fect loca­tion for grow­ing sweet corn.

    The cobs are picked dur­ing the early milk stage of ker­nel matu­rity, when sugar con­tent and mois­ture lev­els are high. This is in con­trast to field corn, which is har­vested in the dry, starchy dent stage. Over the last cen­tury, sweet corn pro­duc­tion in the U.S. has increased as farm­ers and geneti­cists have devel­oped hardier and sweeter vari­eties.

    To clar­ify, most of the corn grown in the United States is the com­mod­ity crop known as field corn. It is used as ani­mal feed, ethanol, whiskey and goes into all kinds of processed foods and food ingre­di­ents. High-​fructose corn syrup, corn starch, and corn oil.

  • Bumper Crop

    There has been a resur­gence of Cal­i­for­nia gar­lic, both in con­sumer demand and also in pro­duc­tion. The 2018 Cal­i­for­nia gar­lic crop will heighten that trend.

    Christo­pher Ranch, California’s largest gar­lic sup­plier, reports fan­tas­tic pro­duc­tion lev­els this year, the likes of which have not been seen in years. Great news for gar­lic lovers.

    Ken Christo­pher, Exec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent for the com­pany, announced their fore­cast this sea­son to be about 100 mil­lion pounds of gar­lic.

    “Demand for organic gar­lic has been explo­sive and it is the fastest-​growing busi­ness seg­ment”, Ken Christo­pher said.

    The com­pany har­vested 5 mil­lion pounds of organic gar­lic last year and expect to har­vest 10 mil­lion pounds of organic gar­lic in 2018. By far, this is the biggest organic crop ever for Christo­pher Ranch. This will be the first year they are expected to have a 100 per­cent Cal­i­for­nia organic program.

  • Cal­i­for­nia Pears

    Cal­i­for­nia pear farm­ing areas are arguably in some of the most desir­able and beau­ti­ful places in the state.

    The beauty of his­toric pear orchards con­tributes sig­nif­i­cantly to the appeal of com­mu­ni­ties such as Court­land and Clarks­burg, located in the Sacra­mento River Delta grow­ing region.

    Lake­port and Kelseyville rep­re­sent the Lake County pear grow­ing dis­trict. Ukiah, in the Men­do­cino grow­ing dis­trict, rounds out the real estate.

    Together these grow­ing areas pro­duce approx­i­mately 150,000 tons of pears each year. The vol­ume of pears pro­duced in Cal­i­for­nia has declined in recent years, as has the num­ber of pear farm­ers.

    Even so, the Cal­i­for­nia pear indus­try remains a lead­ing sup­plier of pears to the world.

  • California’s Baby

    Straw­ber­ries thrive along California’s coast­line. Between the west­ern ocean expo­sure and the Pacific winds, fields are insu­lated from any extreme tem­per­a­tures and weather.

    In 2018, Cal­i­for­nia farm­ers grew more than 1.8 bil­lion pounds of straw­ber­ries. That’s nearly 90 per­cent of the nation’s crop.

    It takes a vast, com­pli­cated infra­struc­ture of advanced plan­ning, pick­ing, pack­ing and trans­porta­tion to antic­i­pate and meet world wide demand for straw­ber­ries.

    By this time of year, oper­a­tions are in full swing, with the peak of the sea­son start­ing in late April or early May, and run­ning for six to eight weeks.

    It is par­tic­u­larly impor­tant for farms, as straw­berry sea­son is peak­ing in the next few weeks, to have a game plan. Because coro­n­avirus is peak­ing at the same time, a large por­tion of the mar­ket for the fresh berries has dis­ap­peared.

    Restau­rants receive roughly 15 per­cent of California’s peak har­vest berry crop, accord­ing to the Cal­i­for­nia Straw­berry Com­mis­sion. Most all of them have stopped order­ing strawberries.
  • Cara Caras

    Jan­u­ary is the most suit­able month for cit­rus with a full thirty one days of winter’s wrath and chilly tem­per­a­tures.

    Cit­rus is eas­ily a super-​star among win­ter pro­duce. A most note­wor­thy ben­e­fit of cit­rus is its immunity-​boosting prop­er­ties. One serv­ing pro­vides nearly 100 per­cent of the daily vit­a­min C intake. This nutri­ent is known to shorten the dura­tion of an exist­ing cold.

    The bright lineup fea­tures oranges, tan­ger­ines, grape­fruits, pum­me­los, lemons and man­darins.

    These juicy fruits can be incor­po­rated into daily diets dur­ing National Cit­rus Month. Add slices of cit­rus to sal­ads and sides, drink­ing freshly squeezed cit­rus juice or adding a slice to water, tea and other hot bev­er­ages.

    A deli­cious snack food or addi­tion to entrees and baked goods, cit­rus fruits bring a bit of sun­shine to the party. Spe­cialty cit­rus delves into mul­ti­ple vari­ety types and includes Tan­ge­los, Blood and Cara Cara Oranges.

    What is the dif­fer­ence between Cara Cara Oranges and Navel Oranges? A Cara Cara Orange is the result of the cross-​pollination of a Wash­ing­ton Navel Orange and a Brazil­ian Bahia Navel Orange.

    These oranges were first dis­cov­ered in 1976 at Hacienda Cara Cara in Venezuela (where they get their name) and are now grown in Cal­i­for­nia. In sea­son from Decem­ber roughly until April, take advan­tage of this won­der­ful cit­rus fruit while at the peak of eat­ing good­ness.

    Once the orange blos­soms are pol­li­nated, medium-​sized oranges with red to pink flesh and an incred­i­bly sweet cit­rus fla­vor are cre­ated. It’s not just their beau­ti­ful color that makes them stand out — they have a remark­able taste that goes right along with their unique appearance.
  • Check­stand Chats

    Food brings peo­ple together in numer­ous ways. It allows us to learn and share our per­sonal sto­ries with friends, neigh­bors, fam­ily mem­bers and at times, per­fect strangers.

    We expect to have engage­ment at farm­ers mar­kets where local farm­ers and ven­dors exhibit their goods.

    Gro­cery stores are a dif­fer­ent ani­mal. Most retail shop­pers stay close to their lists and pre­fer an expe­dited excur­sion. Idle or extra­ne­ous con­ver­sa­tions are gen­er­ally dis­cour­aged. We try to get in and get out to save time.

    A recent shop­ping trip to a crowded neigh­bor­hood mar­ket inspired a lively check-​stand con­ver­sa­tion around a giant pome­gran­ate. It wasn’t ter­ri­ble.

    Hav­ing placed the extra­or­di­nar­ily large crim­son fruit on the con­veyer belt, the clerk was aston­ished by the sheer enor­mity. It started a “buzz” around the front end about the how beau­ti­ful this spec­i­men was.

    Out of no where, a gen­tle­man stranger came over to pick up the hefty pome­gran­ate. He com­mented on how this was the biggest one he’s ever seen. We both agreed about the mag­nif­i­cent size.

    His story began with “my grand­mother has five or six pome­gran­ate trees on her prop­erty”. Then he pro­ceeded to share more about his Grandma. While she was no longer able to care for her many fruit trees, her grown grand­chil­dren con­tinue to visit the fam­ily prop­erty to har­vest all of the fruits.
  • Chic Chicory

    A rel­a­tive of leafy let­tuces, chicories are made up of those hearty, bit­ter greens that stand up to rich dress­ings and part­ner well with sea­sonal fruits and funky cheeses.

    They are often used raw and can be roasted, braised, grilled or pan-​fried. These colder months get a menu boost to chase away the win­ter blues.

    Avail­able in a vari­ety of hues and shapes, chicories include pearly white or rus­tic red endive, vibrant red radic­chio and tre­viso, esca­role, frisée, puntarelle, and but­tery yel­low, Cor­ra­line and Castel­franco.

    Each vari­ety offers an appeal­ing hint bit­ter­ness, com­bined with a nice mouth­feel. Crunchy or soft tex­tures with curi­ous shapes hold dress­ings and sauces beau­ti­fully.

    Esca­role is a sig­na­ture ingre­di­ent in the Ital­ian Amer­i­can hol­i­day soup known as “Stra­ciatella”. Com­monly con­sumed at Christ­mas, New Years and occa­sion­ally on Easter, “strac­cia” trans­lates to mean “rags” in Ital­ian. Its name is a ref­er­ence to the raggedy appear­ance of the egg and esca­role strings float­ing in the broth.

    Both esca­role and endive are also a com­monly used in beans and greens recipes in favored Mediter­ranean dishes.

    Hardy and sturdy, the chicory leaves stand up well to warm or heavy dress­ings. Pair with meats, cheeses of all types, tree nuts and win­ter fruits.
  • Club Med

    A Mediter­ranean diet incor­po­rates the basics of healthy eat­ing — plus a splash of fla­vor­ful olive oil and per­haps a glass of red wine.

    Touted as one of the health­i­est ways to eat, this tra­di­tional cook­ing style of coun­tries bor­der­ing the Mediter­ranean Sea is more a way of life than pre­scrip­tion for a diet reg­i­men.

    Key com­po­nents on the Med menu are fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles, fish, whole grains, fresh herbs, beans and lim­its to any unhealthy fats.

    Red meat is more rarely con­sumed and poul­try, eggs, cheese, and yogurt only in mod­er­a­tion. Processed foods, refined grains and sug­ary bev­er­ages are avoided.

    What needs to be con­sid­ered is how inte­grated diet and lifestyle are woven together. Eat­ing any meal is an event. Meals are shared with fam­ily and friends and peo­ple take their time to enjoy every bite.

  • Cul­ti­vat­ing Change

    Giv­ing back is good. We believe in local farm­ing and we believe that sup­port­ing grow­ers in our com­mu­ni­ties is the best way to ensure a future for food.

    Cul­ti­vat­ing Change, the Greener Fields Together local farm grant pro­gram, aims to fund projects that will help local farm­ers do what they’re best at, farming.

    Grant amounts up to $30,000 will be funded on an annual basis to qual­i­fy­ing grow­ers through an online vot­ing plat­form and peer review panel.

    Cul­ti­vat­ing Change grants are open to all local farm­ers and aggre­ga­tors where pro­duce pro­duc­tion or aggre­ga­tion makes up at least fifty per­cent of their busi­ness. All appli­cants will be eli­gi­ble to par­tic­i­pate in the pop­u­lar vote por­tion of the con­test and only Greener Fields Together local farms will be eli­gi­ble to win by panel review.

    All appli­cants must use grant money for the pur­pose spec­i­fied on their appli­ca­tion, share project results, and if selected, agree to the usage of their name and like­ness in mar­ket­ing and pub­lic rela­tions collateral.

  • Cul­ti­vat­ing Change

    Cul­ti­vat­ing Change is a local farm grant pro­gram offered by Greener Fields Together.

    It aims to fund projects and pur­suits that will help local farm­ers do what they’re best at– farm­ing.

    Qual­i­fied grow­ers and aggre­ga­tors are able to win fund­ing based through an online vot­ing plat­form and peer review panel.

    As farm­ers applied for this cur­rent Jan­u­ary pro­gram, they were required to apply for a spe­cific fund­ing cat­e­gory to enhance an area of oper­a­tions. Demands for all farms and ranches requires a con­tin­u­ous state of improve­ment for sus­tain­abil­ity.

    Cer­ti­fi­ca­tions is one fund cat­e­gory that assists with organic, food safety, non-​GMO, fair trade, bio­dy­namic or other daunt­ing reg­u­la­tory require­ments. This is an avenue of com­pet­i­tive advan­tage for many growers.
  • Earth Days

    Every day is Earth Day in the demand­ing world of agri­cul­ture. Today’s farm­ers are keenly aware of the value of water, soil and clean air.

    These irre­place­able assets are essen­tial to pro­vid­ing for our food secu­rity. Sus­tain­able farm­ing prac­tices con­nect the dots for farm­ers and the land and sur­round­ing nat­ural habi­tats.

    The future of food and that of the planet are insep­a­ra­ble. What we choose to grow, how we grow it and what we want to eat in the future deeply influ­ence the nat­ural envi­ron­ment.

    It’s been sug­gested that adopt­ing one of three (Mediter­ranean, pescatar­ian or veg­e­tar­ian) dietary plans would not only improve human health fac­tors (Type 2 dia­betes, can­cer and heart dis­ease) but would also pos­i­tively affect envi­ron­men­tal impact.

    Data is stack­ing up to sup­port the links between diet-​health-​environmental challenges.

  • Esca­lated & Weak

    We all read the updates on weekly mar­ket con­di­tions. Weak, strong, up, down, esca­lated, Acts of God, legs, no legs. All pro­duce lingo to inform end users on the state of let­tuce, berries and veg­eta­bles.

    It all sounds fine in an update on paper. Real­ity sets in when we as con­sumers shop and take our fruits and veg­eta­bles home for meals pre­pared in our own kitchens.

    For the past sev­eral weeks, exces­sive and pro­longed heat (triple digit tem­per­a­tures) in our prime grow­ing areas is news­wor­thy. Next came the head­lines of mul­ti­ple fires through­out Cal­i­for­nia, Ore­gon and Wash­ing­ton. Smoke and ash con­tinue to push air qual­ity in to unhealthy ranges.

    Warn­ings of short sup­plies, higher prices and tight mar­kets are a direct result of those late sum­mer events. Har­vest dis­rup­tions due to lack of labor or min­i­mum time avail­able to pick, sort and pack have worked against grow­ers.

    Prod­uct alerts tell retail­ers and chefs to order tight or “truck to shelf or truck to plate”. Valen­cia oranges have suf­fered from heat stress. Romaine, ice­berg and leafy let­tuces are now show­ing the affects of insect dam­age and high tem­per­a­tures.

    Grow­ers do their best to mit­i­gate all qual­ity con­cerns in every crop. It makes good sense for the farmer to want to make the most of their sales. Still, unavoid­able cir­cum­stances have pre­vailed this sum­mer to give grow­ers more headaches than usual.

    Since most meals are now being made or con­sumed at home under COVID restric­tions, pro­duc­tion dis­rup­tions hit close to home on food waste and the wal­let. Fewer store trips for mar­ket­ing mean the per­ish­ables need to last and go farther.
  • Essen­tial Labor

    Labor Day 2020 comes in the midst of a global pan­demic and an era of essen­tial work­ers.

    Since early March, front-​line work­ers, across mul­ti­ple indus­tries, have faced unprece­dented con­di­tions to per­form our most cru­cial ser­vices.

    Typ­i­cally, Labor Day marks the offi­cial “end of sum­mer” fes­tiv­i­ties, vaca­tions and leisure pas­times. Kids go back to school and fam­i­lies set­tle in with more struc­tured rou­tines.

    Sport­ing events, con­certs and back­yard bar­be­cues are Amer­i­can high­lights from Labor Days past. Not this year. Card­board cutouts will suf­fice to enter­tain base­ball fans and online vir­tual con­certs intend to ser­e­nade lis­ten­ers.

    Back­yard grilling will be served to a restricted num­ber of peo­ple. No crowds or large par­ties allowed this year. Gath­er­ings will be lim­ited. Amaz­ingly, those respon­si­ble for feed­ing Amer­i­cans have shown remark­able resilience.

    Farm­ers in Cal­i­for­nia have bat­tled destruc­tive fires through­out major grow­ing regions this sea­son. Still, they con­tinue to har­vest, pack and ship.

    On the table, and with­out much inter­rup­tion, we con­tinue to eat our fresh pro­duce. Mel­ons, toma­toes, sweet corn, cook­ing veg­eta­bles and salad ingre­di­ents mag­i­cally find there way to the gro­cers and restaurants.