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Carrot Shortage Continues

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A message from Grimmway Farms

Dear Valued Customer,

I would like to give you an update with regard to the organic fresh carrot category (cellos, tables) for fall 2017.

This summer, Kern County experienced 68 days above 100 degree temperatures- over double the yearly average of 33 days.  Unseasonably warm summer days produced its share of challenges, but thankfully we were able to finish the season on time without the need to pro-rate orders.  As we transition to fall, however, we find ourselves facing another challenging time. Planting during a season of extreme heat has made it difficult to obtain normal stand counts, and above-average soil temperatures have essentially shut down carrot growth.

While we have been sampling product for weeks leading into the fall season, our organic fresh carrot crop has not progressed to meet our standards.  Currently, weather is optimal and we expect to gain tonnage and size, however we do not believe that we will have normal tonnage for at least 3-4 weeks.

Pro-rates will begin on October 16 for organic cell and table carrots and will continue until further notice- we expect this period to last four weeks.  Organic baby carrots will not be pro-rated at this time, however we do not have additional pounds available.

We planted on time with the correct acreage projected, however the weather has not cooperated with our carrots this summer. We truly appreciate the partnership we have shared with you over the years and will continue to closely monitor this situation to keep you informed.  Please feel free to contact your Earl’s sales representative for more information.

Thank you for your understanding.

Seasonal Transition: Summer Into Fall

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Earl’s Organic Produce Buyer’s Notes Week of September 4th

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California Hit by Extreme Heat Wave

Earls_ThermA heat wave continues to sweep through California this week with temperatures reaching well over 100 degrees in many growing regions.  Higher than average temperatures are expected to disrupt production and harvest. Some summer produce such as tomatoes like the heat but if it gets past 110 degrees for an extended period of time, the plants become stressed, interrupting its production cycle, leading to the opportunity for disease and pests and preventing necessary nutrients from reaching the plant.

Not only do these high temperatures effect crop production, this heat also limits the hours that field workers are able to labor. Workers are being sent home before noon because it is too hot to be in the field picking.  Hot days and less hours to pick will affect supply and quality across various commodities. The extent of these weather related problems has yet to be determined but you can expect possible supply issues on tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and cool season crops like lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and bunched greens, and assume prices will rise. On the fruit side, strawberry growers in Watsonville and Salinas are stripping plants this week after the weekend heat to remove stressed fruit. This will result in less fruit in the market and a rise in prices.

This reminds us to be mindful of the fluctuations in weather when shopping for produce throughout the season and to recognize the hard work and effort of our farmers.

Earl’s Produce Buyer’s Notes Week of August 28th


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August is Peak California Tomato Season

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Earl’s Produce Buyer’s Notes Week of August 21st

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Hatch Chiles from the Chile Capital of New Mexico

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Earl’s Produce Buyer’s Notes Week of August 14th

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Green is the New Gold

We are feeling the squeeze in California avocados as the season is coming to a close and inventory is extremely tight. Some growers are essentially done and we are bringing in all that we can. Prices have gone as high as $100 a case (that’s $4 a pound!) as supply becomes slim. Traceland out of Morro Bay in central California will be picking a small amount this week. Inventory is so light that we will not have any pre-conditioned avocados this week.

On the import side fruit out of Mexico is essentially non-existent. The Flora Loca, or first crop, is so light that almost none of the crop is making it to the west coast. We will see some Peruvian fruit this week but expect prices on avocados from all growing regions to remain high as fruit is limited and all areas of the country are pulling from the same areas. We anticipate that the avocado supply will be stay tight over the next 2-4 weeks.

We were thrilled to add Equal Exchange Fair Trade avocados to our program last year. Grown in Michoacán, Mexico this is the highest quality Mexican avocado we carry here at Earl’s. Expect to see it mid to late September. Overall avocado supplies should improve as we get into October. We hope to see some price relief in October/November as the Mexican volume ramps up. Stay tuned as this story develops!

Avocado pic Jennifer bought

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