Uesugi Farms’ 2016 northern California pepper harvest, which includes green, red and yellow bell peppers as well as mini-sweets and several varieties of hot peppers, started strong in early July. While green bell peppers and hot peppers were on time, mini-sweets, red bell peppers and yellow bell peppers were about a week late.
Heat ended the Bakersfield harvest early, while at the same time, unseasonably cool weather in Northern California pushed back the harvesting of reds, yellows and mini-sweets there by a week, resulting in a short-term gap.
“Even though the cooler weather last week slowed us down a bit, we’re expecting pepper production to speed up thanks to a warmer forecast this week,” said Pete Aiello, General Manager at Uesugi Farms.
Not only is northern California an important location for Uesugi Farms since it’s where the company is headquartered, it’s also ideal because of the moderate climate and long growing season. Uesugi has the most crop acreage, volume and variety supporting its year-round supply of peppers coming out of Northern California. Some of the northern locations in which Uesugi grows and harvests include Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Hollister, Brentwood and Lodi, California.
“It’s one thing to manage your production from various locations in and out of state, but when it’s right in your own backyard, you’ve got better control of the growing and harvest, and that’s one of the things we look forward to during the northern California season,” said Aiello.
Uesugi Farms also expects increased pepper production compared to last year due to expanded acreage, which means even more tasty and refreshing peppers for its customers.
The Northern California pepper harvest is expected to last through October or early November, at which time Uesugi Farms will move its operations down to the Coachella Valley to continue its production there. Uesugi Farms is a year-round supplier of a variety of peppers, sweet corn and Napa cabbage. It also produces pumpkins and beans on a seasonal basis.