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Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes July 5, 2020

Earl’s Exclusive! La Granjita from Gonzales starts their season with  Serranos, Poblanos and Anaheim Peppers and the much awaited Watermelon Gherkins! Also known as Mexican Sour Gherkins, they are the size of haba beans, look like watermelons, but are sour on the inside. Great for salads, salsas and pickling!

Comanche Creek in Chico was founded as an organic operation by father-and-son team Jim and Brandon Miller in 1997. Earl’s Organic carries a gorgeous line of Comanche Creek vegetables including Burgundy and Green Okra, Mixed Squash, Lemon Cucumbers and Caprese, Heirloom, Sweet 100 and Red Cherry Tomatoes. Burgundy Okra adds a pop of color!  It is best eaten raw or even better, try pickling it!  It’s never to early to think about holiday gifts. The beautiful red color disappears when cooked and the pods turn green.  Okra is a good source of vitamin C, A, magnesium, potassium, calcium and a good source of dietary fiber. See what other delicious organic fruits and vegetables are in store for you in our Weekly Buyer’s Notes.

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes June 28, 2020

NEW! Terra Bella Yellow Gypsy Pepper-Ideal for stuffing, the thinner skin cooks more evenly. Riverdog Yellow Fin Potatoes-Golden yellow with a creamy texture, great for roasting. Candy Heart grapes- Red seedless grapes-Sweet and delicious with a muscat flavor and new crop Honeycrisp Apples from Chile. Rain in the Pacific Northwest  is slowing down the cherry harvest.  We will have another land of Rainier cherries on the front side of the week. Burkart, Earl’s exclusive,  had a surprise picking of delicious Patterson Apricots. Cloverleaf Farm, an 8 acre organic orchard and farm outside of Davis, is picking delectable Blenheim Apricots. Check out the wonderful varieties of stone fruit below that we can look forward to this week! Don’t miss an update on our Weekly Buyer’s Notes

What is the Secret to Dwelley’s Organic Corn?

Growing in Brentwood since 1921, Dwelley Family Farms has taken great pride in offering a large variety of premium fruits and vegetables.  Brentwood’s unique microclimate of hot valley days combined with the cool coastal evening breezes creates a perfect condition for growing produce. Sustainability farming practices and how they impact the environment, has allowed the Dwelley’s, generations of producing the healthiest and best tasting produce.  It is said that for the entire Dwelley family, farming has never been just an occupation.  It is a way of life!

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Robert Lichtenberg, Director of Purchasing for Earl’s with Patrick Johnston of Dwelley Farms

Dwelley Farms in Brentwood will have a good supply of Blue Lake Beans and Zucchini throughout the season. Also look for their gorgeous French beans, Romano beans, Yellow wax beans, Gold Bar, Sunburst and Yellow Crookneck Summer Squash and sweet Corn.

Organic corn is difficult to grow because of a major pest, the corn earworm. Patrick Johnston, owner of Dwelley Farms, shares their secret for keeping the corn earworm away!

 How to choose corn without peeling back the husk

  • Feel for plump kernels through the husk
  • Look for brown and sticky tassels sticking out of the top of the ear.  Black or dry tassels mean the corn is old
  • A bright green husk is a sign of fresh corn

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes June 21, 2020

NEW! Dwelley Corn from Brentwood, Calo Russets and delicious creamy Reed Avocados! Summer is time for pickling and canning! Local pickling cucumbers from Comanche Creek in Chico are gorgeous! Lion’s Mane mushrooms on a preorder basis! Sun Valley family farms out of the Pajaro Valley is rocking on local raspberries. Sun Valley is an Earl’s exclusive! Read about the Ponce family in our latest buyer’s notes.

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes June 14, 2020

NEW! Cotton Candy grapes are very limited but we should see them this week along with the excellent Sweet Sapphire.  Red, Green and Black California grapes are all available this week! We are starting to see the first of the California breba fig crop rolling in, also known as the first crop. Nopales, also known as the prickly pear cactus are packed full of antioxidants, can regulate blood sugar levels and help lower cholesterol. Learn how to prepare nopales step by step and make a delicious salad in our latest buyer’s notes.

First Crop of California Figs

We are starting to see the first of the California breba fig crop rolling in, also known as the first crop. The breba crop grows on last year’s tree shoots and harvest is usually around the end of May or beginning of June.  The breba crop lasts for a few weeks and hasn’t yet developed the honey sweetness we associate with figs.  We will experience a short gap before the second, more flavorful crop starts up in July. The first land of Black Mission Figs is coming from Madera in the central San Joaquin Valley.

The large fruit is the Breba or “first crop”, while the small fruit is the second crop.

Figs love the hot days and warm nights and are grown mainly in the central valley around the Fresno/Madera area to up north of Sacramento in Corning.  Maywood Farms in Corning, CA, Stellar in Madera, CA and Susie Bee farms from Chowchilla, in the central Joaquin Valley, bring you some of the best organic figs. California ranks #1 in US production of figs and produces 100 % of the USA’s dried figs and 98 % of fresh figs.

There are hundreds of varieties of figs but the most popular are the Kadota with light green skin and sweet white flesh, the Brown Turkey ranges in color from brown to copper with a very fragrant flavor and the Black Mission has a deep purple to black skin with sweet pink flesh.

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes June 7, 2020

Exciting new things arriving this week! Cotton Candy grapes from Mexico, Green California Grapes join the Red Flames from Anthony’s Vineyard, Dwelley and Tutti Frutti specialty beans are top notch, the first crop, or Breba crop, of Turkey and Mission figs will start trickling in and Burkart peaches (an Earl’s exclusive) are in abundance. Summer is one of our favorite times of the year. Discover all the delicious produce in season in our weekly Buyer’s Note and download Earl’s California Stone Fruit calendar to help track the varieties throughout the season.

California Heat Wave

The second heat wave to hit California over a period of two weeks affected several crops. Some summer fruits such as watermelon, tomatoes and melons like the heat but if it gets past 110 degrees for an extended period of time, the plants become stressed, interrupting its production cycle and preventing necessary nutrients from reaching the plant. One of the most affected were Meyer lemons and we will see them  gapping for about 2 weeks. Cantaloupes and Watermelons are showing a higher percentage of condition defects directly related to heat stress and will be tight as we head into the week. 

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.We will continue to update you on our weekly buyer’s notes and social media pages.

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes May 31, 2020

NEW! New crop  Honeycrisp from Chile are now on hand! Fruit is peaking in bigger sizes and they are as crunchy and flavorful as the ones from the Pacific Northwest. California seedless red Flame grapes, Mixed squash and Pickling Cucumbers from Comanche in Chico , Tutti Frutti Capitano Yellow Romano Beans and Red Torpedo Spring Onion and California Seeded and Seedless watermelons and Stone Fruit are just a few of the wonderful seasonal produce items starting up. Don’t miss a beet! Download our weekly buyer’s notes and Stone Fruit Variety Calendars!

California Organic Corn

The California organic corn season starts in May in Thermal, just 25 miles southeast of Palm Springs where the average high in May is 95.7°. In June, production begins to move north to Coalinga, just off Hwy 5, and continues up to Brentwood and Stockton in the Central San Joaquin Valley. Towards the end of the summer we may see some smaller growers north of Sacramento with inconsistent production.

Organic corn is difficult to grow because of a major pest, the corn earworm. We have seen very little evidence of worms this season but if you happen to find a one hiding beneath the corn silk, usually near the top of the ear, it is easy to remove.

 How to choose corn without peeling back the husk

  • Feel for plump kernels through the husk
  • Look for brown and sticky tassels sticking out of the top of the ear.  Black or dry tassels mean the corn is old
  • A bright green husk is a sign of fresh corn

Check out social media pages for updates on corn throughout the season. A local favorite, Dwelley corn from Brentwood is set to start June 20th!

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