Archive for February, 2011
Tune into Green960AM this Saturday February 26th at 10am for An Organic Conversation! Listen as Earl continues to converse with inspirational speaker and author; Helge Hellberg and produce expert; Mark Mulcahy about what’s in season, what’s good to eat and what to look out for.
The widespread freezing temperatures in the south western desert growing regions continues to affect the availability of product. This very large swath of cold temperatures has impacted the region from California’s Coachella Valley down into Northern Mexico and the Yuma Valley. Nogales temperatures were in the low teens last Thursday and Friday nights. Northwest Mexico has not experienced weather such as this in more than 55 years! Hard freeze conditions were recorded (below 28 degrees for 3+ hours) in many areas. Young seedlings and plants are especially vulnerable in these conditions. The effects of this late season freeze will continue to impact yields and quality. What will be affected most significantly this coming week? Zucchini, Cucumbers, Bulk Spring Mix and Baby Spinach. Expect some frost burn on Lettuces and prices of Mexican Vegetables to be higher and more limited across the board.
Why not concentrate on our delicious Local Asparagus which thrives in cooler temperatures and rain instead? New crop potatoes have also started arriving, take advantage of their fresh dug flavor. Price of Cucumbers got you down? Go ahead and substitute with our Euro Cucumbers from Tricar, the price will remain steady as well as the supply. On the fruit front, we continue to have excellent apples from Cuyama that are California Grown and still eating very well. Grapefruit has been the consistent star of the citrus scene thus far with Ruby’s in steady supply. Have you tried our Blueberries yet? We’ve got an excellent deal on Awe Sum Blueberries from Chile, stock up! We’re also proud to showcase Forbidden Fruit’s Blueberries out of Lompoc, CA. These highbrush blueberries are available in the off season when California Berries tend to be scarce. They are large, firm and delicious! Market these local delights to your customers and watch them fly off the shelves!
In recent years, consumers and retailers alike have put more and more of an emphasis on locally grown produce. At Earl’s we are very aware of the change in seasons and growing regions and the health benefits of eating seasonally. At the same time, we also recognize that the #1 fruit in this country is the banana – never local and never in season in California. As a wholesaler and distributor, we respond to the demand for both local and non-local product.
I remember Earl telling me a few years ago that he never ate tomatoes when not in season. However, each year tomato growers in California and Mexico get better and better at producing an off season tomato. Cedar Mills Eco Farm, located in the Sierra Foothills uses a glass greenhouse to produce cluster tomatoes in winter. These juicy, delicious tomatoes hardly resemble the light color, low flavor tomatoes many people associate with a winter tomato. In addition, growers in Mexico grower better and better tasting romas and heirlooms each year.
When you combine the increased quality, with strong supply and historic low pricing on roma, red grape and heirloom tomatoes, the obvious value is hard to ignore. For these reasons, we are currently promoting tomatoes on our Earl’s Weekly Specials. Let your taste buds be your guide – let us know what you think – a great opportunity or a grave miscalculation by the veg buyer?