Owyhee Produce is proud to announce that we have installed a new state-of-the-art automatic asparagus line for the 2017 season!
This automatic line from Germany is a high-quality, top-of-the-line system with incredible benefits for both our company and our customers. We are excited to see the affects in our upcoming asparagus season.
We have been growing asparagus in the Treasure Valley since the 1990s, deciding in the early 2000s to start fresh packing our Ida-Spears. Most asparagus lovers aren’t aware of how labor-intensive the crop is. With every acre needing to be picked every day, sometimes twice, Robin Froerer, who heads our asparagus operation, has an average of 85-100 people picking and 65 people packing daily.
With labor becoming more and more difficult to find, we began searching for a way to reduce our labor needs. The installation of our new line will drastically cut our labor needs, while still giving our customers the best produce and service.
The line includes a built in camera that takes 360 degree images of each spear on the line, which aides the system in determining which category to place each spear based on length and thickness. The machine will organize each bundle with exact preciseness and then band each one. Each bundle will be more accurate, and the line will also allow us to put together special orders for customers who want a specific count in each bundle.
With a line made completely of stainless steel we will see increased benefits in terms of food safety. The line will be easy to clean, maintain, and monitor.
"We are really excited about this big step for our asparagus operations," Robin said. "We know that this installation will be to our benefit and growth as a company."
Owyhee Produce picks and packs asparagus from April to mid-June, and has fresh asparagus available for purchase directly at the packing shed. With our packing shed also recovering from the affects of our winter in the Treasure Valley, the location of the asparagus for purchase will likely be different than it has been in years past, so please be very cautious and aware of the new set up. Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with all of the changes we have going on (and the flash sales we will offer on our produce!)