Ocean Mist Organic Field Tour- OPS Preview
Today marks day 1 of the Organic Produce Summit (OPS) in Monterey, CA, a two-day annual event that brings organic produce buyers and producers together. Not only is OPS the perfect opportunity to meet face-to-face with our retail partners, it's also a chance to see where our industry is headed and give our trade partners a glimpse into our operations on the Retailer and Buyer Field Tours.
Ocean Mist Organic is excited to sponsor the Retailer and Buyer Field Tours for the second year! Ahead of these tours, I met up with Dan Solomon, Production Manager of Ocean Mist Organic, to offer you a glimpse of what an Ocean Mist Organic field tour is all about!
During my OPS Field Tour Preview with Dan Solomon, I went by a recently-transplanted celery field!
First stop: Celery!
This past year, Ocean Mist Organic celery demand reached new heights thanks to the celery juice health trend. You can see our celery production is in full-swing!
Ocean Mist Organic celery field in Salinas, CA.
After our organic celery seedlings are transplanted from the greenhouses into our fields, they are fertilized and regularly watered. We use drip irrigation to ensure consistency in color, girth, length and weight. When the celery stalks and hearts are ready for harvest (about 70-80 days), they're trimmed by hand and field packed in a protective bag to maintain quality and freshness in transit.
Ocean Mist Organic cauliflower harvesting in-action.
Ocean Mist Organic cauliflower is next on our OPS Field Tour Preview.
The organic cauliflower fields you're looking at above were planted back in April and are projected to be harvested this month. Each head will be hand harvested in the field, trimmed, packed, and cooled within 4 hours, following our strict quality control standard for all of our crops.
When our harvesting teams go through cauliflower and broccoli fields, they "tent" the unharvested veggies with the plants' outer leaves to protect them from the elements. Dan showed me an example of what this looks like (above).
To harvest every cauliflower head at its peak readiness, our harvesting teams must go through each cauliflower field 2 to 3 times. Every time the harvesting team goes through the field, they must break off the outer leaves and "tent" them (above) over each unharvested cauliflower head to protect it from the elements. This same practice is done for broccoli.
Ocean Mist Organic broccoli field in Salinas, CA.
Last stop on today's OPS Field Tour Preview: Broccoli.
Like cauliflower, broccoli is also a member of the Brassica family so it shares many of the same growing characteristics and is hand-harvested just like cauliflower. Two key things to help you identify the difference between the two- 1) broccoli is planted in a double line whereas cauliflower is planted in a single line, and 2) broccoli leaves are a much darker green than cauliflower leaves.
I’ll admit, stomping through organic fields on an early summer morning is always a nice change of scene! Hope you enjoyed this virtual tour of Ocean Mist Organic crops and if you are at the OPS this week, stop by our booth #204 to say "Hello".