The iceberg and leaf market in general is super tight. Our season here in Pajaro Valley is winding down. We’ll be limited in supplies for another month and will transition down south and harvest in the beginning of December. Head lettuce especially across the board is very tight as well, and our yields are lighter than normal. But it’s not just Lakeside Organic Gardens, many leaf and head lettuce growers in the Pajaro and Salinas Valley are experiencing lower yields as well, and not so great quality. INSV (Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus), which is transmitted through Thrips (a small insect that transfers disease from plant to plant), is attributed to the problem. INSV causes necrotic tissue and stunting, so the plants that have the virus are not harvestable. Lettuce Pythium, soft rot, is also affecting iceberg quality and yield. The combination of the 2 problems will lead to the shortest supply in all leaf and iceberg in years.
Current losses are leaving 30-35% of all lettuce un-harvestable. This issue will definitely affect the rest of Northern California through November. Desert regions are reporting INSV in Southern California fields over 1 month before harvesting. The shortage could be with us throughout the winter season.
Lakeside Organic Gardens farms on 50 ranches which allows us to grow our 50+ commodities on different blocks on different ranches. When there is pest pressure on romaine for example, and we lose a partial crop, we can recover by harvesting romaine grown on the other ranches miles away from that problem. That way we don’t lose all our eggs from one basket.
About Lakeside Organic Gardens:
The Peixoto family began farming in the Pajaro Valley of California in the late 1800’s and perfected conventional growing throughout the 1900’s. As their passions for harvesting the riches of the soil grew and evolved, the family made a committed decision to convert all their farms to 100% organic. Today, Lakeside Organic Gardens celebrates 25 years of growing solely organic vegetables.
Lakeside Organic Gardens has now become the largest family-owned and operated solely organic vegetable grower/shipper in the USA. Producing over 45 commodities, they are 100% committed to being organically grown in California.