Sustainability

Ocean Mist Farms takes numerous precautions at the production phase to reduce and conserve water. Some of the practices we execute year round are:

  • Drip irrigation, which increased between 2000 and 2008 from 15 percent to 81 percent, conserves water and nutrients, supplying them only where needed.
  • Careful management of irrigation activities to minimize water runoff.
  • Use of vegetated waterways to control sediments and improve water quality.
  • Water recycling in our processing and cooling facilities.

The proximity of our ranches to the ocean in California’s Monterey Bay makes water conservation a critical component of Ocean Mist Farms’ field management. Sea water intrusion is minimized through the most efficient use of water resources, making Ocean Mist Farms one of the leaders in water conservation for farming practices in the produce industry.

Soil health is the backbone of agriculture. At Ocean Mist Farms, we maintain our soil health and fertility by working crop residue back into the soil where the organic matter breaks down into valuable nutrients. These nutrients support a healthy microflora in the soil and also provide nutrients for the next crop, thereby reducing the need for added fertilizers.

The chart below shows, by commodity, the amount of three key nutrients added to the soil by the reincorporation of crop biomass.

By maintaining organic matter and managing soil pH, natural defenses in the soil are strengthened and make our soil less reliant on chemicals to fight diseases and pest pressures. We also rely on cover crop to protect and enhance the quality of our soil. Careful management of irrigation activities prevents nutrient runoff and keeps nutrients where they are needed, on the farm. GPS- (Global Positioning System) enabled, wider cultivation implements minimize passes through the field which reduces compaction and helps maintain soil integrity.

Ocean Mist Farms’, integrated pest management (IPM) means finding creative solutions for pest problems that protect our crops and our natural resources. The diversity of crops we grow allow for a robust crop rotation program that prevents pest problems by maintaining soil health. Healthy soil means less disease and fewer chemicals. Whenever possible, we employ biological controls such as lady bugs for aphid control and plant wildflower mixes that attract beneficial insects to our crops.

Before planting, each site is also evaluated for water and soil to match the appropriate crop with the natural elements. This IPM approach maximizes crop quality while, at the same time, maintains a natural balance in the environment.

Product packaging and researching eco-friendly options is a continuous area of focus for Ocean Mist Farms. To help determine the recyclable or compostable level of any OMF packaging, please find the code number printed on the packaging you purchased and click links below to learn about the SPI Material Container Coding System. Education is the first step to reducing our carbon footprints!

Select a recycle symbol to view its meaning

  • pete

    FOUND IN: Soft drink and water bottles, boil-in-bag containers, condiment containers

    RECYCLING: Most curbside recycling programs

    RECYCLED INTO: Fleece and other fibers, tote bags, furniture, carpet, paneling

  • hdpe

    FOUND IN: Milk jugs, personal care bottles, trash and shopping bags, butter/yogurt tubs, cereal box liners

    RECYCLING: Most curbside recycling programs

    RECYCLED INTO: Detergent bottles, pens, floor tile, pipe, lumber, outdoor furniture, fencing

  • v

    FOUND IN: Cleaning product bottles, cooking oil bottles, clear food packaging, medical equipment, siding, windows, piping

    RECYCLING: Rarely recycled but accepted by some plastic lumber makers

    RECYCLED INTO: Decks, paneling, mud flaps, gutters, flooring, cables, speed bumps, mats

  • ldpe

    FOUND IN: Grocery bags, dry cleaning bags, squeezable bottles, tote bags, clothing, furniture, carpet

    RECYCLING: Not often recycled through curbside programs; shopping bags can be recycled at many stores

    RECYCLED INTO: Trash cans/liners, compost bins, shipping envelopes, lumber, landscaping, tile

  • pp

    FOUND IN: Syrup/ketchup bottles, yogurt containers, drink lids, caps and straws, medicine bottles

    RECYCLING: Recycled through some curbside programs

    RECYCLED INTO: Streetlights, battery cables, brooms, rakes, auto battery cases, ice scrapers, landscape borders, bicycle racks, bins

  • ps

    FOUND IN: Disposable dishes, meat trays, egg cartons, carry-out containers, medicine bottles, CD cases

    RECYCLING: Recycled through some curbside programs

    RECYCLED INTO: Insulation, light-switch plates, egg cartons, rulers, foam packing, carry-out containers

  • other

    FOUND IN: “Bullet-proof” materials, sunglasses, DVDs, iPod/computer cases, signs and displays, food containers, nylon

    RECYCLING: Traditionally not recycled; some curbside programs now take them

    RECYCLED INTO: Plastic lumber, custom-made products

FOUND IN: Soft drink and water bottles, boil-in-bag containers, condiment containers

RECYCLING: Most curbside recycling programs

RECYCLED INTO: Fleece and other fibers, tote bags, furniture, carpet, paneling

FOUND IN: Milk jugs, personal care bottles, trash and shopping bags, butter/yogurt tubs, cereal box liners

RECYCLING: Most curbside recycling programs

RECYCLED INTO: Detergent bottles, pens, floor tile, pipe, lumber, outdoor furniture, fencing

FOUND IN: Cleaning product bottles, cooking oil bottles, clear food packaging, medical equipment, siding, windows, piping

RECYCLING: Rarely recycled but accepted by some plastic lumber makers

RECYCLED INTO: Decks, paneling, mud flaps, gutters, flooring, cables, speed bumps, mats

FOUND IN: Grocery bags, dry cleaning bags, squeezable bottles, tote bags, clothing, furniture, carpet

RECYCLING: Not often recycled through curbside programs; shopping bags can be recycled at many stores

RECYCLED INTO: Trash cans/liners, compost bins, shipping envelopes, lumber, landscaping, tile

FOUND IN: Syrup/ketchup bottles, yogurt containers, drink lids, caps and straws, medicine bottles

RECYCLING: Recycled through some curbside programs

RECYCLED INTO: Streetlights, battery cables, brooms, rakes, auto battery cases, ice scrapers, landscape borders, bicycle racks, bins

FOUND IN: Disposable dishes, meat trays, egg cartons, carry-out containers, medicine bottles, CD cases

RECYCLING: Recycled through some curbside programs

RECYCLED INTO: Insulation, light-switch plates, egg cartons, rulers, foam packing, carry-out containers

FOUND IN: “Bullet-proof” materials, sunglasses, DVDs, iPod/computer cases, signs and displays, food containers, nylon

RECYCLING: Traditionally not recycled; some curbside programs now take them

RECYCLED INTO: Plastic lumber, custom-made products

OUR SHIPPING CONTAINERS

At Ocean Mist Farms, our focus is not only on the packaging that the product is wrapped or enclosed in, but also the packaging that the product is shipped in through the distribution system to store level.

RPC’s (Reusable Plastic Containers) have been in use by the produce industry for more than 10 years for retail customers that can handle them properly (returning them to a warehouse for reuse). For smaller retail chains, fiber cartons are still a preferred shipping container.

 Other internet resources for recycling:

Ocean Mist Farms is taking steps to improve its carbon footprint by saving energy, reducing waste and preventing pollution at all levels of our business. Below are some examples of our recent efforts that are having a positive impact.

We use highly efficient variable speed motors on our refrigeration fans, ammonia condensers, farm sump pumps and irrigation booster pumps. Variable speed motors use 60 percent less energy to run than standard motors. We’ve also installed energy efficient LED lighting in our facilities. That saves 150 tons of CO2 annually. That’s the equivalent of removing 29 passenger cars from the road per year.

We conserve fuel by maintaining and servicing equipment efficiently to maximize life and by replacing older, less efficient equipment with new technologies that have less emission. GPS- (Global Positioning System) enabled equipment also conserves fuel and human energy by minimizing overlap. Our annual fuel savings is equivalent to removing 1,033 passenger cars from the road each year.

In 2013, we diverted 456 tons of materials to recycling, the equivalent of removing 200 passenger cars from the road each year!

Environmental impact estimates were made using the Environmental Paper Network Paper Calculator Version 3.2. For more information, visit www.papercalculator.org.

Ocean Mist Farms is committed to resource conservation and is currently engaged in several initiatives to protect our natural resources.

The Elkhorn Slough Restoration Project – Multifaceted project to restore wetlands and improve water quality entering the Monterey Bay. A strong collaboration is essential between researchers and growers for land acquisition and subsequent cooperation in management practices. Current data indicates remarkable reduction in Nitrate levels and other pollutants from runoff water. Click here to see Elkhorn Slough map.

Ocean Mist Farms was one of the driving forces behind the development and evaluation of the Castroville Seawater Intrusion Project (CSIP) in the late ’80s and early ’90s. The CSIP project has since served as a model, locally and worldwide. CSIP was completed in 1998 as a system to distribute water for agricultural use in an effort to slow down seawater intrusion into fresh water aquifers underground.

Major contributor of high quality foods to all local food banks through the nonprofit Ag Against Hunger. Between 2002 and 2011, Ocean Mist Farms has donated more than 5.2 million pounds of fresh produce to local food banks through Ag Against Hunger. Learn how you can help.