It feels like spring in Oxnard and the fields look great. Volume continues to increase each week as we get closer to Spring. In looking at the long term forecast, there is no rain in sight – great for our Oxnard strawberries, not great for California drought outlook.
The fruit is large, firm, flavorful, and with full red color for all those Valentine’s Day ads on the books. We are still a bit tight on volume, but with weekly increases forecasted, be sure to get your orders in for the weeks following the holiday.
As you can see from the photo below, we harvest every day for fresh and processing to keep our fields clean, to reduce pest pressure, and focus on Zero Waste by not throwing out of grade fruit into the furrow. We are proud of this culling program we have in place and are proud of our employees for their commitment to this process.
Coachella is also providing some excellent fruit thanks to the mild weather conditions. We expect those numbers to increase each week for the next several weeks peaking mid-February into March. This volume really helps to supplement fruit from our other regions supporting the early season demand.
This Springlike weather is also helping our Santa Maria fields as plants continue to grow and we begin an early harvest of Fronteras next month. We will be scratching fields with the short-day variety by mid-month with small volume, increasing each week as we get closer to spring. Our day neutral varieties are still on track for mid-March since those ranches are all on the west side and mimic Salinas-Watsonville timing.
Volume from this region should remain steady as long as weather and quality permits. Our team is focused on maintaining strict quality control at our receiving points as fruit crosses from central Mexico. Crossings from this region will continue to compliment our increasing numbers coming out of all regions in California that continue to ramp up.
We look forward to meeting with you at the upcoming Southeastern Produce Council convention in Orlando, FL this year. It has been quite a long time between conventions for us and we are happy to finally have a booth at the 2022 show. We hope you are able to attend and visit with us in person! Please visit with us at booth #317 at the SEPC Southern Exposure Event in early March.