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Archive for January, 2019

Ice in the California Desert Brings Frost Damage

Weather can be rough in the California desert growing regions. Last week the Coachella and Imperial Valleys experienced 3 days of ice with temperatures dipping into the low 30’s. This is at a point in the season where warm weather veg has already been planted in the California desert. We are seeing frost damage mainly on romaine and leaf lettuce. Epidermal peel occurs when the outside ribs of the lettuce freeze, bubble, pop and finally oxidize. Fringe burn damage happens when the edges of the lettuce turn brown from the cold. This is more evident on leaf lettuce because it is not as coarse as romaine leaves. The damage shows up more easily on green leaf lettuce while the darker color of the red leaf lettuce makes it much harder to see. An overall “rough” appearance is to be expected on lettuce for the next 2-3 weeks.

Frost damage occurs as a result of a combination of things; the actual temperature, the duration of that temperature, the soil moisture and the age of the plants. Some crops, like kale, can freeze solid, thaw out and be fine; this process can happen multiple times and the kale will actually become sweeter. For other crops, one event below 32 degrees is basically a killing frost for that item. Summer squash and tomatoes are very good examples of cold sensitive crops.

The California desert and Yuma wet veg crops are just in the beginning of harvesting from the first plantings and supply still seems strong. February is only a few days away and for those of us living in California we are very spoiled with most produce only a 1-2 day ride away. In a few weeks Salinas will be coming on briefly with Cauliflower and Broccoli planted back in November during a break in the weather. There will be a short period where two growing regions will overlap with each other. Read Earl’s Weekly Buyer’s Notes for all your produce updates. If you are not on the mailing list talk to your Earl’s Sales Rep or follow us on social media.

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Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes January 20th

Learn how to enhance the shelf-life of bananas with Equal Exchange Banana Handling Tips for temperature, storage and display!

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Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes January 13, 2019

Covilli Brand Organics is celebrating the official inauguration of the Health Clinic Nuchi Sansekan in Guaymas, Sonora Mexico. The clinic was funded by Fair Trade Premium Funds with a mission to deliver comprehensive, culturally competent, high-quality health care services, compassionate practitioners and state of the art equipment to the farmworkers, their families and the surrounding communities.  Read about the vision for the clinic and learn more about the community of farmworkers and their families and what this clinic means to them.

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Cold Weather Delays Harvesting Time- Earl’s Buyer’s Notes January 6th

Plants can be severely damaged if harvested before they thaw out so growers will need to wait to harvest until late morning. Most of the wet vegetable items that are grown in the desert can take quite low temperatures and will recover even when frozen. The cold weather reduces the number of hours they can harvest a day. The cold weather is preventing many farm workers from getting out in the fields early to pick. They are waiting until the weather warms up later in the morning which is affecting the amount of produce harvested. Due to the recent cold weather some growers in Coachella couldn’t even go into the fields to pick, losing a day of harvesting. Read the full weather update below. 

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Seasonal Eats

Page Mandarin’s are a cross between a Minneola tangelo and a Clementine mandarin. They are very small to medium sized with an orange red color. They are often seedless and considered one of the best tasting mandarins. They can be found as early as December through May.

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