Theme: heat

News From the Farm | July 12, 2021

We are having some very hot days here at the farm, an experience that we share with other inland Californians. The heat is bringing on the produce. Trucks and trailers full of melons, eggplants, peppers, beans and other delicious summer treats are driving along the farm’s dirt roads, from the fields and to the packing shed, in a parade that reaches a crescendo at the end of the day as the harvest is completed. It is ‘all hands on deck’ in the packing shed then, when several dozen people finish the last packaging, put produce in the coolers and load trucks.  Each day is incredibly detail laden, full of troubleshooting, decision making and continuous attempts to balance multiple needs.


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News From the Farm | May 31, 2021

This crew is weeding flowers – they’ve got long sleeves and pants for sun protection and water containers close at hand.

Have you seen the weather forecast for Guinda this week? At the time of writing this (Sunday) the National Weather Service is forecasting 107 Monday, 102 on Tuesday and then “cooling down” after that to 99, 96, and a cool 95 on Friday. Last week we were in the high 80s, so this is quite the jump. 
What does this kind of heat mean for us?
First – as always, we follow California laws. The US Department of Labor does not set heat laws for agriculture or any other industry. Absent Federal leadership, several states have created laws addressing heat. California passed the nations most stringent heat laws in 2005 after four farmworkers died from heat exposure. California farms must (1) allow time for workers to acclimate to high temperatures (2) provide at least one quart of cool water per hour per worker (3) provide rest and shade whenever temperatures exceed 80°F with mandatory breaks every 2 hours when temperatures exceed 95°F and (4) respond promptly to symptoms of possible heat illness and take immediate action to protect workers, including obtaining emergency medical care. The California regulations also require heat training for all workers and the farm must prepare a Heat Illness Prevention Plan. At Full Belly all supervisors have insulated water dispensers and disposable cups on their trucks and each employee is offered a half gallon personal insulated water container and a reusable water bottle.

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News From the Farm | August 17, 2020

Lightning in the hills south of the farm on Monday morning  —  

It has been some time since I have taken time to write a Beet. In the middle of August, on a quiet Sunday, it seems a good time to change that. Yesterday, Saturday the 15th, we had temperatures reach 112º by early afternoon. Temperatures experienced by those picking in the rows of tomato plants were probably many degrees higher.  We get our crews out of the fields when we experience those high temperatures, an environment in which it can be dangerous to work.  This next week, we will be starting earlier, drinking more water, taking more frequent breaks, getting the pick done as early as possible and bringing crew inside to pack in the shade while watching one another for signs of heat stress. [Read more…]

News From the Farm | Week of July 1, 2013

The rainy days of last week have been replaced with one of the widest temperature swings in memory. The 42°difference between 70° and 112° has been mind numbing without the gradual swing that allows a body to acclimate. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are forecast to be 116° at the farm. This high has extended throughout California and into the deserts of Arizona where farm fields were closer to 120°.

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