While diving and Mexican politics are interesting topics, occasionally this blog does need to return to topics dealing with Seagate’s farming, fishing and factory activities. Seagate operates several farms in northern Baja California, near their Ensenada factory. Two of these farms are used for growing tomatoes, which Seagate processes and sells under the name Lycopene-15. The interior of Baja California has a very dry desert climate, which is ideal because of the unlimited sunshine and year-round growing season. This is also a region with people who lead hard lives, living off the land. The photo below shows some of the land next to the farm, with a local cowboy passing by for a visit.
Seagate grows “Roma” tomatoes. This is a very hardy variety which has an excellent lycopene concentration, and contains a lower percentage of water than other tomatoes. The photo below shows the tomato field approximately one month after planting the seeds.
It is difficult to see in the above photo, but more visible in the next photo below that there are a series of plastic drip irrigation lines running along each row. Water is very scarce is this region and must be conserved. The water used on Seagate’s farms is well-water, supplied by runoff from the nearby Sierra mountain. The prevailing westerly winds carry moisture from the Pacific Ocean which condenses as the air rises over the western slope of these mountains.
Eventually, the tomato field fills in with larger plants.
After a couple of months, the green Roma tomatoes begin to appear. Keep in mind that Seagate started out as a fishing company. Fishermen are hunters. When they need some fish, they go out and find and catch the fish .. usually on the same day. In contrast to fishing, there is farming. You plant some seeds, add some fertilizer … and wait and wait and wait. Once some tomatoes begin to appear on the vine, everything begins to accelerate. Tomatoes do what they are supposed to do with plenty of sunlight and enough water … they grow. Very soon, there is an entire field of tomatoes
There is also an entire field of weeds. Organic farming does not allow the use of any herbicides to control the weeds. Everything that is not a tomato plant must be cleared by hand. Most of the work is not growing the tomatoes, it is keeping the tomato field cleared of weeds.
Eventually, the tomatoes ripen and are harvested by hand. Since the farm is located near the factory and both are controlled by Seagate, the tomatoes are picked in coordination with the plant’s production schedule after they have reached their peak color and ripeness. The tomatoes are processed on the same day that they are picked.
Thank you for being so patient to last through this entire blog entry and watch tomatoes growing. As a reward, here is the fish photo of the week, the Banded Butterfly Fish. Ideally, a photographer tries not to take the shot of a colorful fish against the background of a colorful reef. The reef can be a bit distracting. However, fish do not always cooperate with the camera.
Underwater Sound button[audio:http://www.seagateworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/underwater.mp3|titles=underwater|loop=yes]