Babé Farms offers chervil for foodservice

Santa Maria, Calif.-based grower-shipper Babé Farms recently introduced foodservice packs of chervil, said Ande Manos, saleswoman.

It is shipped in cases of eight 8-ounce bags, four 1-pound bags, 10 1-pound bags, and six 1-kilogram bags. Babé Farms’ chervil is available year-round from Santa Maria.

Beachside increases romaine heart crop

Beachside Produce, Guadalupe, Calif., expects an increase of about 65% in its volume of romaine hearts this season as compared to last, said Steve Adlesh, director of sales and marketing.

A new partnership with Santa Maria, Calif.-based grower Innovative Produce is resulting in increased romaine acreage, he said.

Main Street’s broccoli program grows

Santa Maria, Calif.-based Main Street Produce is planting additional broccoli acreage on a newly leased ranch this season, said Paul Allen, owner and president. He said he expects a 20% increase in production volume of broccoli compared to last year.

Main Street’s broccoli exports to Taiwan and Japan

increased last year, and Allen said he expects the program to remain strong this year.

Main Street is expanding its 19,000-square-foot broccoli- and strawberry-cooling facility by 24,000 square feet, Allen said. The addition should be complete by mid-April. The company increased its strawberry acreage by about 30% this year.

Main Street updated its logo this year, Allen said. In late March, the company was transitioning to boxes sporting the new logo.

Pacific International plants fennel

Salinas, Calif.-based Pacific International Marketing Inc., plans to market a limited amount of fennel from the Santa Maria Valley this year, said Henry Dill, sales manager. Production should meet the demand from existing customers.

“That was the goal — to grow something our customers were already looking for,” Dill said. “We were buying it to supply our customers, so why not grow it ourselves?”

Pacific International’s 24-count cases of 1-pound consumer resealable bags of celery sticks are selling well, Dill said. It also offers them in a 2.5-pound bag. The company test-marketed celery sticks last year.

Vegetable exchange cuts energy use

Oceano, Calif.-based Pismo-Oceano Vegetable Exchange’s energy consumption decreased by about 50% during the past year as a result of cooling facility upgrades, said Dan Sutton, general manager. Among other technologies, the facility uses energy-saving electronic monitoring and variable drive motors to maintain optimal conditions.