John Chubbuck
John Chubbuck

SALINAS, Calif. — The cauliflower market heated up at the start of Salinas Valley’s spring production and Colorful Harvest LLC volumes were back up to speed after a brief slowdown.

The grower-shipper plans to offer more of its multicolored cauliflower this year.

“The company expects 2014 production of purple, orange, green and white cauliflowers to almost double that of previous years, and demand is good,” said Doug McFarland, marketing director for Salinas-based Colorful Harvest.

Cauliflower has been getting some added attention lately in online and print media from sources such as Christine Couvelier, an executive chef and food writer, who predicted it will succeed kale as the hottest vegetable trend in 2014.

The Omaha World-Herald, for one, followed up such publicity with use tips and recipes such as smoky cauliflower and Chicago-style hot giardiniera. addressed nutritional benefits and offered a curried cauliflower soup recipe.

New relationships

Colorful Harvest was acquired in October by Salinas-based Andrew Smith Co. and Jeffrey Sholl, CEO of Potanton Produce LLC. Beyond cauliflower, the shipper plans to use its new relationships with Andrew Smith and Eckhart Seed Co. to further expand and diversify its product line, McFarland said.

“We are very excited about what the new synergies in development, production and marketing can bring to our business,” chief executive officer Steffanie Smith said in a statement.

The company’s sweet red corn, perhaps its best known item, will be coming out of Brawley and Holtville, Calif., in mid-May.

Volume of Rainbow Crunch carrots have increased annually.

Colorful Harvest also plans to offer cantaloupes in mid-May, also from Brawley and Holtville. John Chubbuck was recently named business development manager for melons and is responsible for that program.

Lee Cobb, vice president of business development for blueberries, is exploring opportunities to expand California production.

Colorful Harvest has growing and cooling operations in Florida, Central Mexico and Northern California.