Their trip took them to Salinas Valley in California, the “Salad Bowl of the world”; known for its numerous micro-climates and rich soils which make it the ideal growing area for a large variety of crops. Here, at New Star Fresh Foods, is where Yard House gets the first cuts of Spring Mix for our appetizer salads; the first cuts are the freshest and least bitter. Once the first cuts are made in the field, they are put into crates and taken to the facility for processing. The mix is then put through quality control inspections and many rigorous rinse, wash, and repeat cycles. It is then spin dried, similar to a large salad spinner you would use at home. After the lettuce is dried, it is packaged and delivered to produce companies where we purchase the Spring Mix for our stores.
Our Supply Chain team also let us know, in some cases, for the Spring Mix to get from the farm to the stores, it can take as little as 48 hours. From there, the lettuce is chilled in our walk-in freezers and kept fresh to be placed on your next delicious Yard House salad. WOW! That’s some fresh lettuce we are eating…YUM!
• Broccoli is used as a rotational crop in between lettuce plantings because it helps clean the soil of pathogens while adding beneficial nutrients, mainly nitrogen.
• Flower beds can often be found on and/or surrounding produce fields because they attract lady bugs and other beneficial insects which help prevent other harmful insects from damaging produce.
• In the summer months, farmers will often harvest spinach and spring mix crops during the overnight hours to keep the moisture on the plants. This also helps get the product into the facility before the heat of the day, which will protect the product before it is packed.
• Salinas Valley, the “Salad Bowl of the World”, is responsible for growing roughly 70% of the nation’s lettuce
• Artichoke is an interesting plant; it will stay in the ground and produce year after year for 10+ years as opposed to a row crop such as lettuce which comes out of the ground at the end of the season.