WEEKLY SPECIALS | SEASONAL CALENDAR | GROWER MAP

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California Avocado Prices Continue to Rise

California avocado prices continue to slowly rise even after the Cinco de Mayo holiday.  The demand continues to be strong but the California crop is 30%-40% less than 2016 due to numerous factors.  A heat event in June 2016 damaged a good portion of this year’s set. Additionally avocados are alternate bearing and this is a lower volume year due to the natural rhythm of crop cycles. Let’s also not forget the last 5 years of drought. All of these events are leading to an early finish to the California season.

Avocado harvest varies based off of location and also by each season and year. Typically the season will begin in February/March in San Diego County regions, followed by harvest moving north into Santa Barbara in June/July and ending further up the coast in Cayucos later in the summer and fall. Harvest volume varies each season, along with different start and end dates by region. In past years, the California avocado season has gone as late into the year as November/December, but this year we expect California production and harvest to end within the next few months, expecting supply to decrease as early as July.

It is the standard practice every season to size pick early on to relieve pressure/burden on the trees. The largest fruit also gets the best price and most small sized fruit continues to grow and becomes larger. At this time of the year with the season ending sooner than normal, all of the sizes are being picked. Therefore we are seeing more 84ct avocados this year than in year’s past. Don’t miss out on our great price on Hass Avocado 84ct on Earl’s Weekly Specials. 

The good news is that there is a high chance we will have a shot at avocados from Central California at the end of the summer. According to one of our growers in the Cayucos region, they expect to have avocados from August to October or until they run out of fruit. They are attributing more water this winter as one of the reasons for a healthy crop. Stay tuned for updates throughout the summer.

Challenge your avocado knowledge!

How many weeks does it take to for an avocado to grow to the next size? (Check for answer below the photo)

Jesse from Traceland Avocados

Jesse from Traceland Organic Avocados

 

6 weeks

Earl’s Produce Buyer’s Notes Week of May 22nd

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Earl’s Produce Buyer’s Notes Week of May 15th

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Earl’s Produce Buyer’s Notes Week of May 8th

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Earl’s Produce Buyer’s Notes Week of May 1st

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Earl’s Produce Buyer’s Notes Week of April 17, 2017

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Rhubarb is a Harbinger of Spring

The arrival of shiny crimson red rhubarb is yet another sign that spring has arrived. It is a hearty vegetable that thrives in cooler climates and originally came by way of China, Russia and Mongolia where it was first used as a medicinal herb to treat a variety of illnesses. Rhubarb made its debut in the United States in the late 18th century when Luther Burbank, a world-renowned horticulturist, developed a deep red variety that thrived in much of California’s climate.

Rhubarb is a perennial herb grown from a crown, similar to asparagus, and will continue to produce up to 15 years. Rhubarb is very weather dependent and needs a summer temperature of 75° or below for maximum production. Once the temperatures reach 90° or above the plant will start to wilt.

Rhubarb grows best in the northern regions of the United States.  It can be found grown on a commercial level in Oregon, Washington and Michigan. Rhubarb from the Pacific Northwest is all field grown and the season runs from late March until the end of June. The Michigan season begins in April with hothouse grown rhubarb and later moves to field grown.

Warning!
Only eat the leaf stalks or petioles. This is one vegetable where you do not want to use the whole plant. The leaves can grow to be extremely large and due to their high levels of oxalic acid they are considered poisonous.

How to buy
Look for bright red stalks which have a sweet rich flavor. The size of the stalk is not an indicator of tenderness!

Storage and Cooking
Wrap loosely in plastic and store in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Do not keep for more than a few days or it will start to dry out. Rhubarb is very tart and acidic and needs honey or sugar to transform it into a delicious dessert or savory dish

Earl’s Produce Buyer’s Notes Week of April 10, 2017

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Earl’s Produce Buyer’s Notes Week of April 5, 2017

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Blueberries from Forbidden Fruit Orchards Are Back!

Sandy Newman’s blueberry bushes have been loaded with fruit all winter just waiting to ripen and color up. The cooler weather and a wet winter in Lompoc,near Santa Barbara, delayed her off season harvest, which is why we didn’t see them in January and February.

Blueberries are completely dependent on the weather.

With the cooler weather last week we are off to a slow and steady start but we will begin to see good supplies as we move into early spring and warmer weather.

Forbidden Blues (1)

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