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As you start the day’s prep, it’s easy to admire those perfect hearts of romaine destined for salads, sides and entrees, but their tender bounty in your walk-in doesn’t happen by accident. Produce companies don’t rely on luck, and we can’t work magic either. However, we can share a few of our trade secrets. Credit for our premium romaine hearts goes to years of accumulated knowledge and an unwavering commitment to quality and safety.
Across the Valley and the Desert
When our families decided to combine our shared passion for premium quality produce back in 1989, we understood that this part of California offered more than one growing season in one central location. We were determined to produce the highest quality romaine lettuce hearts in the region, so we expanded beyond our home base here in the Salinas Valley.
We plant as far north as Gilroy in Santa Clara County, and we grow romaine down south in King City. Our desert acreage in the Imperial Valley includes fertile, irrigated regions around Brawley where we grow our produce through the winter months. Each area features a special combination of temperatures and soils that support different romaine seed varieties, so we’re able to bring you a bountiful harvest year-round.
Precision Steps to a Premium Product
Over the years, we’ve learned that harvesting between 19,000 and 25,000 heads of romaine from one acre requires the correct match of seed and soil, precise field planning and balanced watering and fertilizing techniques. No detail is too small including soil particle size, so each of our fields is carefully designed to ensure the healthiest growing environment possible.
Closely monitored watering encourages germination within a few days, and then our romaine crops begin their two-month journey from seed to final harvest, packing and shipping. Our goal is to produce premium quality romaine that meets our highest standards and pleases your customer’s palates.
Superior Quality and Safety Standards
Here at Hitchcock Farms, sustainability isn’t a marketing buzzword. It’s something that we incorporate in all we do because we believe in nurturing the land that provides us with so much. Our best growing practices include crop rotation that keeps fallow ground fertile. Insects and disease are facts of agricultural life, but we control both with applications and techniques that meet and exceed standards set by the state’s Agricultural Commissioner.
Our watering, fertilizing, harvesting and packing operations are overseen by independent, third-party audits that certify the safety of our crops through every step in the process. You have our pledge to deliver the freshest, highest quality produce to your kitchen, and our teams work hard year-round to make it happen.
Careful planning, constant quality control and best growing practices produce the finest hearts of romaine available in California, but it also takes a very real human touch. Hitchcock Farms is proud of our dedicated farmers who make it possible, and we plan on introducing you to these remarkable individuals very soon.