California growers bet salads on game

12/26/2011 12:03:00 PM
Mike Hornick

Even though five Salinas, Calif., grower-shippers — among them Mayor Dennis Donohue, president of Royal Rose LLC — won a bet on a football game, they’ll be handing over the green stuff.
Salads, of course.
Donohue and Carmel Mayor Sue McCloud ventured a friendly wager on the Dec. 3 section championship game between Palma and Carmel high schools.
The loser would wear the rival’s jersey at a city council meeting and hoist the opposing flag over city hall. 
The stakes grew from there, most notably with an offer from Salinas to furnish every resident of Carmel — about 4,000 — a salad if Palma lost.
Ocean Mist Farms, Taylor Farms, The Nunes Co. and D’Arrigo Bros. Co. put their money, so to speak, where Donohue’s mouth was, backing the salad bet alongside Royal Rose.
Palma, a private school in Salinas, won 33-21.
Nevertheless, Donohue says salads will change hands, likely in January. 
Whether it goes to Carmel residents, to a food bank or another destination, is under discussion between the mayors and Rep. Sam Farr, who’s from Carmel.
“Our offer stands,” Donohue said. 
“The grower-shippers still want to do something fresh for Carmel. We’d like to give away some salads in support of Sam Farr’s hometown and make a statement on behalf of the good work of the MyPlate folks who went down in flames because the powers that be decided pizza is a vegetable. Salinas Valley growers actually know the difference between a pizza and a vegetable.”
The companies involved have Palma ties of one kind or another. 
Donohue is a graduate, as is Joe Pezzini, chief operating officer of Ocean Mist Farms. Bruce Taylor’s sons attended the school. The list goes on.
mhornick@thepacker.com
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