When do you first star thinking about making like a bird and heading south for the winter? Just a quick skip off to a balmy getaway? Is it as soon as the trees drop their leaves? Or are you good till February, when you just can’t put on those gloves one. more. time? Or maybe you love the cold and rejoice in its glory all winter long.
Our farmers follow the sun every fall when we transition our farming from California’s temperate Salinas Valley and surrounding areas down to the Sonoran desert, which includes southeastern California, southwestern Arizona, and northern Baja California, Mexico. Down in the desert, in the winter we get more minutes of sunlight and warmer temperatures, which are essential to continuing to produce our leafy greens and veggies during the cooler time of year.
We’re harvesting in the desert roughly from Thanksgiving to Easter (when it starts to get too hot), depending on the weather patterns in each place, each year. But we start preparing the fields and planting and all the other work that goes into organic farming much earlier in the fall. There will often be a few weeks where we’re still harvesting the last of our crops up north and also beginning to harvest in the desert. And vice versa when we transition back to the Salinas Valley.
All the same rigorous Earthbound Farm and organic standards apply to the crops we’re growing in the desert as in the Salinas Valley. Wherever we’re farming, it’s still true that the farmer’s footsteps are the best fertilizer. And in fact, most of the farmers are the same farmers who have learned to farm organically in a very different environment – developing nuanced understanding of the different climate, different soils, different pests, and, of course, the different scenic background. Where we have rolling “golden” hills in the Salinas Valley, we have more mesa-type mountains and date palm gardens on our horizons here in the desert.
Whether our farmers are doing their organic work in our home territory of the Salinas Valley’s “Salad Bowl of the World” or down in the starkly beautiful Sonoran desert, we’re doing it all because we believe in the goodness that organic farming brings to the land, to the farmers, to food, and to you – all of you who put it on your table year-round, every day.
Thank you for choosing organic!