Best burger place in the world - they are everywhere in California, but only there I think
They set up a table in the field with many of the tomatoes they are growing or testing. There are 4000 new varieties of Tomatoes introduced each year - all unique. 10 varieties account for 70% of seed sales, however.
Grape tomatoes! Awesome - could eat just like grapes
This is the boat where we had dinner one evening on the Sacramento river. The boat's owner is a multimillionaire named Chris Rufer - who made his money by starting tomato processing plants with Heinz as a customer
Tomatoes being unloaded at Escalon - a Heinz owned facility & company. Water is used to flush the tomatoes from the trucks.
Inside Escalon - the tomatoes enter the factory, being cleaned and sorted one of many times.
Papa John's pizza sauce being filled in #10 cans
More Heinz products in the warehouse at Escalon
At the San Luis reservoir in Merced County of central CA. Water is the obvious key to unlocking the perfect farming conditions in California. It takes 3 foot of water per acre to grow tomatoes for a season. Nearly all the watering of the plants is done underground - straight to the roots. This is more efficient and gives bugs & disease less chance to grow without wet plant tops.
San Luis reservoir
Nick Doris goofs around
In the Heinz trials field - pulling up a tomato plant. We ate tomatoes right off the vine, as they are perfectly clean with a wipe on the shirt.
On the tomato machine in the field. More videos on this later
At the sorting station with tomatoes flying by - and me not doing my job while posing for a picture
A view in front of the tomato machine. It picks up the whole plant and then sorts out the leaves, mud, plant, and bad tomatoes before shooting them to a truck driving alongside to the left. Literally, when the truck is full, they drive straight to the tomato processing plant. Super fresh.
Tomatoes shooting from the machine into the tomato truck
Some coworkers on the tomato machine
An odd shaped tomato I found . . .
Tomatoes coming up the "elevator" as they enter the Los Gatos Tomato Plant, fresh off the trucks and from the field earlier this morning.
I wore more hairnets this week than you can imagine. Must have one on at all times in factories.
Julie Simonetti with 4 month old Gina
Uncle Elliot with Gina Simonetti
Tomatoes leaving the truck at Morningstar - Williams plant. Water is used to flush the tomatoes out of the trucks and then a water stream pushes them into the sorters & eventually inside the plant.
Tomatoes unloaded at Escalon. Also using water, but a bit different.
Tomatoes enter the escalon facility from outside. They are cleaned and sorted.
At Escalon, tomato workers sort what the machines have missed. Tomatoes in the center aisles are discarded from good red ripe tomatoes. Discard is ground down and dried, then sold for cattle feed.
Here the tomatoes exit a super hot tumbler and enters a grater type deal. The tomatoes are now peeled.
Diced tomatoes enter into #10 cans for sale to restaurants and food service companies. Tomatoes that are good for dicing must be thick and hold up thru the process - but are very different tomatoes than the ideal ketchup tomatoes.
In the field on tomato machine thats moving. Tomatoes are sorted from the plants and mud, and here another sorting process is occurring.
The final sorting on the machine is aided by a few workers - which we became for this ride. I am supposed to pull out as many white or very light colored tomatoes or other debris as possible.
I'm driving the tomato machine in the field! Very easy, just steering really.
Talking about the machine in the field, from the front (with narration)
At Los Gatos - another view of tomatoes being flushed out of trucks with water, then streamed into the factory.