The Salinas Valley region in California and the many fields, farmers and families that occupy it are being hit hard by sweeping fires following high temperatures. This will have impacts on the field crops we source from here – greatest concern will be seen on crops like romaine or leaf lettuce as it is impossible for the crew to clean out the ash due to the open shape of the crop. For iceberg lettuce, the ash is on the outer leaves that may be cut off at the time of harvest. Although Food Safety stresses that the ash itself does not pose a known food safety risk nor does the ash harm the viability of the plant, the increasing amount of smoke will most likely take its toll on the health of the valley in the coming weeks.
Impacts will be felt on:
- Iceberg (burn, discoloration possible)
- Green Leaf
- Strawberries (soft)
- Melons (quality, brix levels impacted by heat)
- Artisan Romaine
- Tender Leaf (Baby Spinach, Spring Mix)
Our fresh cut blends that contain the above items may have a shelf life that is shorter than usual as commodities do not have the strength we would see during ideal conditions. Harvests for strawberries in their peak time in the central California region have been damaged by abnormally high temperatures for over a week.
Our hearts are saddened as our shippers have had many employees forced to evacuate their homes – and many others that are under evacuation warnings. We appreciate you keeping those impacted in your mind and patience shown in the coming weeks. We will work to fill your orders with the best quality we can obtain, staying true to our core: exceptional produce with unmatched personal service.