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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

California Tomato Season Flyer jpeg

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

Earl’s Organic Produce Buyer’s Notes Week of August 7th

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Summer Lemons Tend To Be Greener

During the summer lemons tend to be greener but that does not affect the amount of juice or the flavor. The fluctuation in temperature during the day and night is what brings in the beautiful yellow color. The differential in color is lower because the growing regions have warmer nights during the summer. Many people believe that a green lemon is not ripe but this is not necessarily true, often there is little difference in terms of juice and acidity levels (taste) of green and yellow fruit.

Green Lemons

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