Green Beans: The Perfect Summer Crop
By Jeff Sommers
Wysocki Produce Farm
Green beans are a wonderful summer crop – they’re resilient. I enjoy walking into a growing field of green beans, smelling them and watching them grow into maturity.
Maturity is gauged on the actual size of the bean. We use a specific sieve size, an industry standard, referring to the size of the bean. The larger the green bean, the more tough and fibrous it becomes.
Therefore, we look for slender, crisp beans with a nice seed in it and not too over mature.
Our goal is to produce a bean that when Del Monte seals it into the can that same bean flavor and quality is experienced can after can after can.
Del Monte is a leader in consistently producing these specific kinds of beans as they developed proprietary seed varieties that help deliver these kinds of qualities to the marketplace. Del Monte passes the seeds onto the growers where we embrace those varieties and help them grow.
We plant the seeds and monitor their growth by continually making adjustments to our fertility program. We want the crop to feel like it’s on vacation and not at work. In doing that, we try to control all the controllables—not overdoing it—so that our crop becomes reproductive and not vegetative. We know how beans will respond in a specific set of conditions and inputs. We manage our water aggressively so that we can minimize any stress on our crop. We also “spoon feed” our fertilizer so that the nutrients are there for the crop when it needs them. It’s a finite process, even though, in the end, mother nature rules the roost as the weather can be our best friend or our worst enemy.
For me, farming is a labor of love. The passion can oftentimes be compared to insanity. You live and breathe farming every day—365 days a year. Where the passion runs the deepest, it also must be sustainable. Sustainability means that we can pass it on to the next generation.
Wysocki Produce Farms is part of the Wysocki Family of Companies, a second-generation family farm, who prides itself on maintaining a high level of business integrity that includes commitments to environmental sustainability, as well as category innovation and retail solutions. We’ve been a Del Monte grower since the early 1970s.
READ "GREEN BEANS: FROM FARM TO TABLE" HERE
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