After months of waiting, the 2017 harvest is set to begin. It’s been a busy winter on the farm and at our packinghouse. Months of planning, construction, planting, caring for millions of plants, and the list is far from complete, all comes together just in time for harvest. And, given we grow in the great outdoors, that first date of harvest is very much dependent upon the weather. Yes, it’s something of a challenge, but we’ve a great team that pulls everything together.
We’ve made some significant investments to move Live Oak Farms forward. Last year’s remodel of our packing operations added new cooling to benefit the many who work in our packinghouses and we’ve added even more this year. New stainless steel additions to our packing lines are designed to advance our food safety program. Those investments are on top of last year’s new Aweta Advanced Vision 3D Camera system in our pepper shed. No, our 3D system isn’t about the movies, it’s about using automation to help size and grade our peppers to an industry-leading standard. We’re not the biggest grower or shipper, but we’re determined that our quality always meets or exceeds the requirements of the most demanding customer. And, as always, Live Oak Peppers are always hand harvested, washed, and then sized for length and shape. Yes, that requires more work from us, but, when you’re all about quality, a little extra work comes with the commitment.
Some months back, we planted a number of new varieties of tomatoes and peppers. Commonly referred to as “trials”, these are experimental plantings of what we’re looking at for the future. In any given year, we’ll evaluate dozens of new varieties, and this year we’ve even more unique and flavorful varieties that may soon be added to Live Oak’s line-up of tomatoes and peppers. They’ve weeks left in the field before the evaluations begin.
Yes, it’s been a busy winter. We’re excited that the season is to begin. We’ve some great things planned for 2017 and hope you’ll join us through the journey that now becomes “This Summer at Live Oak Farms”.