Califonia Bountiful

Sweet standby

Digging up the facts about California carrots!

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Carrots—that old standby you can always count on at your grocery store—are enjoying newfound admiration: by chefs who love their adaptability and by consumers who appreciate their dependability. Carrots are a year-round crop, thanks to growers and processors throughout the state, including Kern Ridge Growers in Kern County. In business since the 1970s, they're now the third-largest carrot processor in the country. Whether diced, sliced, chopped, grated or whole, this is your place to go to pack the perfect carrot.

Farmers in the Golden State grow more carrots than any other state, and Kern County is home to about 75 percent of California's crop. An even larger percentage is processed in Kern County, making the area America's unofficial carrot capital. It's easy to see why: Terrific soil and weather make this practically a "carrot utopia." With mechanized harvesters, growers here harvest upwards of 1 million carrots each hour.

The carrots are then trucked to Kern Ridge Growers' state-of-the-art processing facility. This is where carrots are washed, sorted, trimmed and packaged—in a clean, efficient process that may look like a sea of orange to us, but to the folks here, it's a well-orchestrated dance.

The carrot business is all about consistent quality, which is what Kern Ridge has delivered for decades—and you don't have to dig too deep to see why.

"We provide a lot of food for the world," said Bob Giragosian, Kern Ridge general manager. "How can you have a better job than that?"

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