general info on sprouts, from san mateo

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general info on sprouts, from san mateo - who cull the and consideration council and the...
who cull the and consideration council and the Sprouts Sprout OnSMCoastside By JOHN CURRY Times Photo By Jim Ervine San Mateo County's main agricultural crop. Brussels sprouts, is in the peak of its harvest season now, with some 7500 tons expected to bring in more than $2 million. Virtually the entire California crop and 90 per cent of the nation's crop of this sophisticated little cousin of the common cabbage is grown within a half-mile of the coast in San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. This county will produce more, than a fourtn of the estimated 28,000 tons this, year on 5600 acres, 1500 of them San Mateo County .Coastside from Half Moon Bay south. Frank Scuoteguazza, general manager of the Half Moon Bay Growers Association, a Coastside growers' co-op, said ·the" San Mateo County acreage in Brussels sprouts is slightly above that of last year and that this season has been one the best -- cool and dry and free of aphis, their main Around half of the county's Brussels sprouts, coming from its 25 member growers, will pass_ through the Association's warehouse on south Main Street in Half Moon Bay, enroute to wholesalers for the fresh vegetable market and freezers for packing as frozen foods. The harvest season generally is from August 1 to March 1 with the peak from November 1 to December when some two-thirds of the crop comes in, Scuoteguazza said. The Association grades for size and quality before shipment, done by a small corps of women on the sorting line the warehouse. Income and farm employment are part of the benefits the Brussels sprouts crop, of course, but today's problems are also from the marketplace-rather than from nature. This year's crop of Brussels sprouts is about half what it was IS years ago when he first came to the Coastside, Scnoteguazia said. The encroachment of civilization, with its subdivisions, industry and highways has cut deeply into the usable land for growing, he went on. Prices are falling and it appears no one knows why. including Scuoteguazza. The Brussels sprouts brought $250 · ton from the freezers last year but are getting just ?210 a ton.'this year, despite the usual inflationary increase in growers' production costs, and less production he stated. Legislators at every level, the State Department ef Agriculture and its Brussels Sprouts Marketing Program, in which the growers participate, "are trying to get to the bottom of it," but there aren't any answers yet, the general manager said. "We just can't put our finger on it," he The sprouts themselves are so named because they're supposed to have been grown in the' vicinity of Brussels, . Belgium, since the Middle Ages. Their cultivation spread France, England and America between 1500 and 1850 and came to California about 60 years ago. This small vegetable, which can be speared by a fork is less messy and much easier to wrestle with at polite company dinners than is a flop-eared slab of cabbage, is relatively "new" form of cabbage, according to the Slate Department of Agriculture. It's a tall stemmed cabbage with many liny heads of sprouts forming above the base and hybridizes very easily with other relatives such as cabbage, kohlrabi and cauliflower, the botanists point out. .' But here again is another of the difficulties local growers have faced in recent years. Brussels sprouts is . -"stoop crop," needing "stoop labor" for harvesting by hand close to the ground. With the cutoff of the Mexican bracero program is 1963 the supply of available labor been reduced sharply and mechanization has taken over to where the majority of harvesting is now mechanized, but it's still an expensive proposition. The market is there. Agriculture officials say Brussels sprouts is one of the most popular vegetables in England. North America the hot spots for sprouts are New York, Chicago, Detroit and various Canadian cities, the Department says. Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin C and contain useful nutrients. They may be served boiled, baked, steamed, French-fried, au gratin, Creole or almondine, or combined with sweet potatoes'and mushrooms for a gourmet vegetable plate. " They contain no fat and are recommended for low-calorie menus. - . · · · - of

Clipped from
  1. The Times,
  2. 05 Dec 1969, Fri,
  3. Page 36

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  • general info on sprouts, from san mateo

    sierralp – 27 Dec 2013

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