HARVEST HAS BEGUN
November is the start of the winter vegetable season. We started out with some great markets, but the prices have fallen due to extremely warm weather for the month of November. On November 29th last year the high was 63 degrees...83 degrees this year! The weather will be changing soon, back to normal...63 for a high predicted for December 2nd. Back to normal and hopefully with cold weather the markets will strengthen.
In November we began harvesting: GREEN CABBAGE / BOK CHOY / NAPA / ROMAINE HEARTS / ESCOROLE / ENDIVE / SPINACH / GREEN LEAF / SRPING MIX / FRISEE / ROMAINE
Also...ORGANIC Spinach, Spring Mix, and Romaine Hearts!
These are the crops that will start in December: CELERY / ICEBERG LETTUCE / CAULIFLOWER / RED CABBAGE / BUTTER LETTUCE / RED LEAF
WHAT ARE THE RULES ON ORGANIC FARMING?
The IMPERIAL VALLEY PRESS published a question by a reader in their Nov. 10th edition. This apperated in PROBE section:
" I have nothing bad to say about VESSEY FARMS, but it just happens to be their field I see this being done to. VESSEY FARMS has a field on Meloland Road. That has big yellow signs on every corner that read "organic field no spraying". But at least once a week, if not more, a plane (crop duster) comes in and sprays the field. How can they call it an organic crop if it’s being sprayed? - FIELD WATCHER EL CENTRO.
The IV Press left the above message on Jack Vessey’s cell phone, and he promptly returned our call and gave us an answer. We apprciated that said the IV Press.
"The writer posed a great question about organic farming. Organic farming does not mean, "no spray"". Vessey wrote us in an e-mail. "We actually do spray materials. Organic farming uses fertilizers and pesticides but excludes or strictly limits the use of manufactured (synthetic) fertilizers, and pesticides. Therefore, there are materials that we use to spray by air or ground. But, those materials are organically certified for organic use". Vessey continued that the farming operation has actually discussed the signs referenced in the letter. He said a better thing to be on the signs would be "No Spraying Non-Organic Materials".
"The writer will notice in the next few weeks that the signs will be fixed appropriately. Jack Vessey said.
Current Organic Sign Soon to be New Organic Sign
Food safety is important to us. We are signatory to the CALIFORNIA LEAFY GREENS. Jack sits on the Board of the Califlornia Leafy Greens. Food Safety can be simplified by thinking of the 3 W’s WATER-WORKERS-WILDLIFE. Water samples are taken on all fields, Wildlife is monitored, and workers are conscious of contamination.
Thanksgiving is the time for family gatherings...sisters and brother-in-laws drive over from San Diego...Daughter from Denver and Phoenix. Not pictured is Hazel (Jack & Jamie’s 11 month old) it was nap time!
BLAST FROM THE PAST
Jackson E. Vessey Celery Harvest in the 1940s
1/2 pound cruly kale, ribs removed and leaves broken into 2-inch pieces (5-6 cups loosely packed)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon good olive oil
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Wash the greens, dry them well in a salad spinner or on paper towels. Toss them in a large bowl with the salt and olive oil. Place a wire cooking rach on a cookie sheet and spread the greens out in a single layer on the rack. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. The leaves should remain a bright deep green; if they begin to brown, they will taste slightly bitter. Store in a airtight container. If they become osft either toast them in a toaster oven for 1 minute or return them to a low-temp oven until crisp.
From the Farm,