Church Brothers Farms' John Patullo Discusses Spring Transition
- by Robert Schaulis
SALINAS, CA - This winter and spring saw growers in California and the Southwest exposed to adverse weather conditions, challenging even the most adept farming operations. But with the late spring and summer season on the horizon, things are shaping up nicely for Church Brothers/True Leaf Farms.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with John Patullo, Grower, Church Brothers Farms, to learn more about where the company is in the season and what retail and foodservice partners can expect as 2019 progresses. As a grower overseeing more than 4,000 acres and bringing over 20 years of experience to bear on the company’s operations, John was uniquely suited to assess the situation.
“We completed the spring transition from our winter growing region of the Yuma, AZ, and Imperial Valley, CA—along the Mexico border—back to the Salinas Valley. The winter weather caused us to improvise in our farming operations throughout the early Salinas growing season. The specialized, lightweight field equipment that we’ve developed allows us to get into our fields for bed prep, planting, and cultivation while fields are on the wet side. Yields and quality can be affected when we’re forced to do this,” explained John.
While the weather has continued to have an impact on harvest in the Salinas Valley, John tells me that Church Brothers/True Leaf Farms have weathered the storms and have processes in place to address quality and supplies during these more temperamental times.
“However, our goal is always maintaining the best quality possible as well as sufficient volumes for our customers. When Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, we can experience challenges to overcome. Church Brothers/True Leaf Farms are equipped with the experience and equipment to best handle these challenges, however, costs increase and weekly volumes can fluctuate.”
A year-round grower for field pack and value-added offerings, the Church Brothers/True Leaf Farms team continues to take pride in supplying high-quality vegetable staple items like iceberg, romaine, leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale—as well as tender leaf offerings like baby kales, chards, arugulas, spring mix, and spinach.
“Church Brothers/True Leaf Farms being a grower-owned processor/shipper means we take the utmost pride in every acre we grow and harvest,” John said.
It’s a commitment to the company’s product, people, and to providing the best possible customer service that propels Church Brothers/True Leaf Farms forward. It is onwards and upwards if you ask me!