Transition Time - On the Road Again

Anyone in the agriculture industry – at least around these parts between the Salinas Valley in Northern California down to Oxnard and the Coachella Valley in Southern CA, and over into Yuma, AZ – know exactly what these sights typically mean. Especially in the fall or spring months…

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…that’s right, it’s “transition” time!




Field equipment, harvesters and icing machines are disassembled, loaded up onto big rigs and transported to their winter homes where they will be painstakingly reassembled and put right into action for the production and harvesting of our winter crops.

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Ocean Mist’s primary California growing regions include Castroville/Salinas Valley (in No. CA) in the spring/summer months, but when temperatures drop and the weather becomes wetter in the late fall and winter months, like most large growing operations, we head south for the winter growing season.

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The ability for growers to maintain a seasonal transition program essentially takes the seasonality out of once seasonal products in many parts of the country.





The majority of our winter growing season takes place on nearly 6,500 acres of prime agricultural land in the Coachella Valley – with its abundant water resources and perfect winter climate – where we have been cultivating our premium vegetables since 1988.

COA Romaine Hearts

COA Leaf Lettuces (1)



Growing in this lesser-farmed area is a strategic differentiator for Ocean Mist Farms and allows us to ensure a virtual year-round availability of the majority of our fresh vegetable products.







According to Ocean Mist’s VP of Production for our Coachella growing region, Jeff Percy, “The sandy soil is the real game-changer for us.” Continuing, “The higher sand content in the soil makes for lighter material that allows us to work faster and still be able to harvest after heavy rains.”





Because the land hasn’t been as heavily farmed as some other growing regions, it has less insect and disease pressure. Percy noted “We’ve been using drip and sprinkler irrigation for over twenty years now which means we’re utilizing the ground water more effectively. It also means we can farm virtually every square inch of the fields without the need for water basins.”

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COA Leaf Lettuces (2)

The products Ocean Mist Farms’ harvests from our pristine Coachella fields are second to none. Winter crops are staggered throughout our different growing regions going from Castroville, CA ➡️ Oxnard, CA ➡️ Yuma, AZ and ending in Coachella, CA where our winter crops are grown and harvested.


These winter crops include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, head and leaf lettuces and spinach, among other commodities.

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We purchased our Coachella cooler in 1994 and over the years expanded it to a 129,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility, adding cold room space, a large canopied receiving area and new truck docks. We can now load up to 24 trucks at a time.

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Ocean Mist has continued to grow and develop this premiere location and facility into our bustling winter growing region.

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Cold room addition

Once our winter season wraps, we’ll bid farewell to the Coachella Valley until the fall when the cycle will swing full circle with equipment and personnel returning to our corporate headquarters and Northern California facility in Castroville in early spring.

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For now, from the beautiful Coachella Valley in Southern California, we wish you all a great and abundant winter season!

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Lori Bigras
Having spent the majority of my career in agriculture and fresh produce, I’m continually fascinated by learning – and seeing – how produce is grown and harvested. And knowing what it takes to get a product developed, grown, harvested, packaged, shipped, and delivered to retailers and foodservice operators nationwide. Working for industry-leading companies, like Ocean Mist Farms, gives me an opportunity to be a conduit to the consumer to share these best practices.
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