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Archive for November, 2018

Winter Transition to the Desert

It is that time of year when many California growers transition their wet veg operation, think lettuces, leafy greens, broccoli and cauliflower, from the cooler areas of the Central Coast and Salinas Valley down to the warmer regions in the California desert, Imperial Valley and Yuma, Arizona. The desert regions include Coachella, Thermal and Mecca north of the Salton Sea and south of Palm Springs. The Imperial Valley extends from the southern area of Coachella, past the Salton Sea and all the way down to the border of Mexico. Warm veg is now mostly coming out of Baja California and northern Mexico, think zucchini, green beans, hot peppers, colored bells, cucumbers and tomatoes.


As we approach the winter solstice on December 21st it is getting colder and days are becoming shorter. Less hours of sun slows down the growth of everything which means there are less hours in the day to harvest which can lead to light volumes. Combined with the fact that during winter the entire United States is pulling vegetables from the same area which also limits the quantities available and can lead to higher prices.


Romaine Advisory Lifted For Certain Growing Regions

Earl’s Organic Produce will have Romaine and Romaine Hearts available this Friday for Saturday delivery.  The FDA has lifted the romaine advisory for certain growing regions.  Romaine items grown in the winter growing areas, including Arizona and the California desert and harvested after November 22nd are cleared. These growing regions were not yet at harvest maturity, and therefore not being harvested in September or early October, so they could not possibly have supplied the romaine that is suspected of causing this outbreak.

The FDA has also recommended, and the industry supports, that producers voluntarily stamp their product with the region sourced from and identify if the included romaine was harvested after 11/23. All of Earl’s Organic romaine lettuce, romaine hearts and salad mixes are now coming out of the California desert only and are compliant with the USDA guidelines to label each box with the harvest date and growing area.

Additionally organicgirl products are using only romaine from the winter growing regions and harvested after November 23rd.  Each clamshell will be labeled with the harvest area and date of harvest. This includes romaine for all of the below organicgirl products:

  • 50/50 Blend
  • Baby spring mix
  • I heart baby kale
  • True Hearts romaine leaves


Organic Produce Vendors Campfire Donation

A big thank you to our vendors who donated 10 pallets of organic fruits and vegetables to the North State Food Bank in Oroville, about 30 minutes south of Paradise. Thank you Tom Dearmore, Community Services Manager, for working tirelessly with the 52 local food pantries to distribute all donations to the victims, families and evacuees that have been displaced by the devastating Campfire in Butte County.

Cascade Crest Gala Apples
Cascade Crest Bartlett Pears
Coliman Bananas
Calo Yellow Onions
Nature’s Pride Gold Potatoes
Oh So Natural Garnet Sweet Potatoes

North Bank photo collage

Outbreak of E. coli Infections Linked to Romaine Lettuce

CDC is advising that U.S. consumers not eat any romaine lettuce, and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any, until we learn more about the outbreak. This investigation is ongoing and the advice will be updated as more information is available.

Earl’s Organic has temporarily discontinued the sale of Romaine lettuce.  No illness has been reported with our Romaine product, but out of caution and advice of the CDC we will not sell, hold or purchase Romaine until the CDC alert has been lifted, we have the assurances of our Food Safety Scientist and independent testing has cleared the product.

For further information please contact Robert Lichtenberg Director of Purchasing 650-219-1739, Drew Knobel Director of Sales and Marketing 415-699-3152 or Geoff Fletcher Food Safety Manager 831-212-0181.

Romaine Lettuce Food Safety Alert

Advice to Consumers, Restaurants, and Retailers

CDC is advising that U.S. consumers not eat any romaine lettuce, and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any, until we learn more about the outbreak. This investigation is ongoing and the advice will be updated as more information is available.

  • Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick.
    • This advice includes all types or uses of romaine lettuce, such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad.
    • If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix contains romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.
    • Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine was stored. Follow these five steps to clean your refrigerator.
  • Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing romaine.
  • Take action if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection:
    • Talk to your healthcare provider.
    • Write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick.
    • Report your illness to the health department.
    • Assist public health investigators by answering questions about your illness.

Find more information from the CDC here.


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