Santa Maria, Calif.-based Babe Farms has added several more items to its wide offering of specialty vegetables. ( Courtesy Babe Farms )

Babé Farms adds more specialty vegetables

Santa Maria, Calif.-based Babé Farms is developing a broader range of specialty vegetables by introducing baby purple Brussels sprouts, purple ninja radishes and variety of root vegetables, cole crops and specialty greens, said Ande Manos, marketing manager for business development for Babé Farms.

Babé Farms offers year-round supply of specialty vegetables, Manos said, growing over seventy varieties of gourmet vegetables.

Manos said the company sees rising foodservice demand for bulk field-packed specialty vegetables and processed gourmet salad blends.

“We see that chefs are embracing more vegetable-based dishes using colorful, high-flavored vegetables and other plant-sourced ingredients,” she said.

Organic interest remains strong, but Manos said buyers are more interested in gaining an understanding of the company’s sustainable farming practices.

In response to that need, she said the company is in the process of creating an informational page for the company’s customers and chefs describing the goals, techniques and practices used in Babé Farms fields.


Beachside Produce expects rising volume

Increasing volume of strawberries and vegetables crops is expected from Nipomo, Calif.-based Beachside Produce into mid- to late May.

Bob Montgomery, sales manager for the company, said freezing temperatures in early March affected the strawberry yields, leaving supply insufficient industry wide to promote heavily for the April 1 Easter holiday.

“Fruit is recovering and starting to look better and getting back on track,” he said.

The company’s broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce were also showing good quality, he said.


Better Produce adds organic berry acreage

Santa Maria, Calif.-based Better Produce is adding organic berry acreage this year, said Sal Barajas, salesman.

The company has about 100 acres of organic strawberries this year and has growing organic volume of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.

The company has about 40 acres of organic raspberries, about double last year’s total. Organic blackberry acreage totals about 40 acres this year, up from 30 acres a year ago, he said. The company also has 20 acres of organic blueberries, he said, also up from a year ago.


Gold Coast Packing sees volume increase

Santa Maria, Calif.-based Gold Coast Packing is seeing improving volume of strawberries and vegetables in April, said Dave Johnson, sales representative for the company.

While rain and cold held back volume of strawberries in March, better weather should allow for expanding volume in April, he said.

The 40-year old company offers a wide range of commodity and value-added offerings, including blends, cauliflower, celery, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cilantro and collard greens.


Main Street Produce adds organic strawberries

Santa Maria, Calif.-based Main Street Produce Inc. has added acreage of organic strawberries for 2018, said Paul Allen, sales director for the company. Also new for this year, the company has added raspberry production in the Santa Maria district. 

In order to adjust to tight labor conditions, Main Street Produce also added H-2A workers this year, Allen said.

After cold and rain limited strawberry volume in March, Allen said he is optimistic strawberries will feature good quality and strong demand this spring.

The company will ship Santa Maria berries into December. For the first time, Main Street will ship strawberries from central Mexico later this year, with shipments expected to begin in November and continue through February.