Wednesday was a very busy day here on the farm; two TV crews and a Sacramento Bee Reporter came out for a visit. It is very important to get the word out that you must not bring fruits and vegetables into California as you could put farms like ours at risk. We are fully supporting the USDA and CDFA in their eradication efforts. The person(s) to blame here are the ones that brought the Med flies in on their smuggled fruit--not the agencies tasked with helping preserve our agricultural security.
Update on my questions to the CDFA/USDA...
These questions have been answered promptly, which is very much appreciated.
1. Can we dry fruit / tomatoes / peppers and then include it in our boxes? Answer: yes
2. Can we have a sauce party for our customers so long as they only take cooked tomatoes home with them? Answer: yes. More details to follow in a direct email to our box customers.
3. Upgrade of our pack house so that we can get fruit from farmers outside the quarantine area to fill our boxes? Answer: As long as we make our Pack House impermeable to Med flies, yes. We had a visit from the CDFA staff Wednesday 1 pm, and they advised on what we have to do. I think this is do-able. The crew went to work right away, and I went to buy supplies. We will work on this today so that we can have an inspection on Friday or Monday. We may be able to bring in fruit for next week's box.
Farmers Meeting Wednesday 7 pm Dixon Fire House.
This meeting was mainly for the tree growers in the area. The real news is that another larva has been found so they are still breeding, but it was still in the city of Dixon and not on or near any farm. The quarantine is going to make the Walnut harvest difficult and expensive for some growers, but the crop can be harvested. There are questions about moving grapes out of the quarantine area to be crushed in other places.
Thanks for your interest and support of Eatwell Farm during this time of difficulty. More updates as they become available... Nigel