Did You Know: Leafy Greens and Organics Has a Pendulum Swing out West

This summer, your major farms that grow the majority of your leafy greens you like to eat, and certainly your organics, could be found mostly in central California. But now, the produce pendulum has swung to southern California and Yumaand parts of the Phoenix-area. Without these two western states, our families in the Midwest and east couldn’t enjoy their Romaine or iceberg lettuce salads in wintertime.

Field of spring mix on Duncan Family Farms in Goodyear, Arizona

One organic family farm is the perfect profile of this back-and-forth movement between these two amazing agriculture states.

Duncan Family Farms, a 100% organic grower specializing in baby lettuces and greens, kales, beets, chards and herbs, has successfully transitioned growing operations to Imperial Valley, CA as well as their Goodyear, AZ headquarters.

As fall settles in and the weather begins to cool in the Central Coast and Central Valley regions of California, Duncan Family Farms has moved their growing operations from that region to the Imperial Valley in southern California and Goodyear in the West Valley of Arizona near Phoenix. In order to continue supplying leafy greens to their customers year-round, they have transitioned organic green and red curly kale, lacinato kale and Italian parsley to Imperial Valley and organic baby spinach, spring mix, arugula, baby kale, dill, green curly kale, Salanova® lettuce and culinary herbs to Goodyear. In addition to the year-round crops that were transitioned, they are also now growing organic chards, beets, broccoli, cauliflower and herbs in Imperial Valley as well as carrots and strawberries in Goodyear. 

“The warmer weather this year has put us ahead of schedule by about a week, and all of our product quality is looking great with strong volumes,” said Pete Guerrero, vice president of operations. “Our ability to transition growing to different climates helps us fulfill our mission to produce healthy, life-giving food.”

While this farm family profile highlights what the Duncan family is doing, the same story resonates in Yuma where large-production is now occurring among several of our Yuma farm families to get a variety of leafy greens to the winter market throughout the United States. It’s estimated that 1,000 to 1,200 semi-truckloads of fresh produce is daily moving out of Yuma in the winter delivering perfectly- chilled, fresh vegetables to tables throughout America.  

Members of Arizona Farm Bureau, Duncan Family Farms is one of the leading organic growers in the United States providing raw product for some of the largest value-added processors in the world who use their products for bagged salads and more. In addition, their specialty bunched greens, herbs, root crops, broccoli, cauliflower and Salanova lettuce are available for both retail and food service distribution.

Duncan Family Farms is a family-owned, multi-regional grower of over 8,000 acres of certified organic produce, specializing in baby lettuces and greens, kales, beets, chards and herbs using sustainable, state-of-the-art farming practices. Founded in 1985 by Arnott and Kathleen Duncan, the company is one of the largest growers of organic produce, nationally recognized for their environmentally-sensitive farming techniques and premium-quality food for processors, retail and foodservice distributors. To learn more, visit duncanfamilyfarms.com.

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