Last Wednesday afternoon Senator Michael Machado held a meeting at Eatwell Farm to find out first hand how the Med Fly quarantine was affecting local farmers. From the discussions it seems that we at Eatwell Farm are alone in the fact that we have not been able to harvest our quarantined crops. Other farmers in the affected area grow tomatoes for processing. The tomatoes are cooked and any Med Fly larvae are killed. They have had to cut the amount of tomatoes that they carry in their trucks to avoid spilling any. Any culls that the cannery discards have to be cooked also. They have sold their crop unlike our tomatoes that could not move off the farm.
Mike Machado suggested we prepare a list of our losses and extra expenses and present it to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. We are taking the main hit for the quarantine and so should not bare the expense of it alone.
Next Wednesday I have a meeting with the head of the eradication project to find out what steps we will have to take to be able to sell our tomatoes next summer. The quarantine will not end until the end of July of 2008. There will be extra expenses involved and we need to know these to be able to plan our crops accordingly.