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Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes June 23, 2019

Earl’s Organic visits Dwelley Farms in Brentwood, California. Join us as Patrick Johnston picks the first of the organic corn and shares how they organically deal with worms.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuUhGpoBWOo

Breba Fig Crop

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 16, 2019

Cotton Candy grapes, Washington Dark Sweet and Rainier cherries coming this week! Breba fig crop has started up out of the Central Valley. California Heat Wave affects some crops availability and prices going up. Read the full blog here.

Dwelley Farms

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!

Dwelley Farms in Brentwood will have a good supply of Blue Lake Beans and Zucchini throughout the season. The week of June 10th we will see limited quantities of French beans, Romano beans, Yellow wax beans, Gold Bar, Sunburst and Yellow Crookneck Summer Squash and Coral Cherries. Sweet Dwelley corn is just a few weeks away!

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

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes June 9, 2019

Dwelley Farms in Brentwood will have a good supply of Blue Lake Beans and Zucchini throughout the season. This week we will see limited quantities of French beans, Romano beans, Yellow wax beans, Gold Bar, Sunburst and Yellow Crookneck Summer Squash and Coral Cherries. Sweet Dwelley corn is just a few weeks away!

Whitney Ranch Blueberries

Ralph Whitney is our first grower to participate in the 1964 Olympics for water polo! Ralph and Rachel Whitney moved to California 25 years ago because his fellow water polo friend had property in Santa Barbara.  They partnered with their friend and a few other investors to begin growing lemons and avocados in Carpinteria. The ranch is located about 1 mile inland from the ocean in a small valley with very few pests. They have never needed to use any pesticides which made their move to becoming certified organic that much easier. In 1999 they disbanded, took their 10 acres and begin working with a farm advisor to started experimenting with blueberry varieties. Originally they planted 5,000 blueberry bushes on 2.5 acres and now they have 10,000 bushes on 3 acres with some of the original 2001 varieties still producing.

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Rachel and Ralph Whitney

In order to grow blueberries there must be bees. Whitney Ranch has a symbiotic relationship with the almond growers from the central San Joaquin Valley. The almond growers need a place to store their bees during the winter and the Whitney’s need the bees to pollinate their blueberries.  Whitney Ranch was abuzz with so many bees that the ranch is now covered in a blanket of blossoms and fruit. The mild weather in Carpinteria allows their blueberries to ripen over a longer period of time and to develop a more complex flavor.  When Ralph and Rachel are not growing blueberries they can be found “driving off into the sunset” on their motorcycles or in their motor home.

Buying and storing tips: 
Look for firm, dry, plump and smooth skinned berries. The silvery bloom on the outside of the berry is a sign of freshness!

Fun Fact: 
California produced 7,112,515 pounds of organic blueberries in 2014

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes June 2, 2019

Beautiful California Cherries, yellow wax beans, romano beans and French Beans just in from Dwelley Farms in Brentwood!

California Cherry Crop Battered By The Rain

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS Radio) — What was looking like a bumper crop for California cherry growers is now looking like a victim of this week’s late-season rain.

The rain causes cherries to split open, leading to the likelihood of mold and fungus damage. The rain has hit every cherry-growing region from the southern Santa Clara Valley to Brentwood to Lodi to points farther south in the San Joaquin Valley.

Just a few weeks ago, growers were predicting a record harvest of 10-million boxes of cherries. Then the weather forecasts started to change and growers hustled to get as many cherries off the trees as they could.

Unlike some other fruit, cherries don’t ripen once they’re picked–so whatever’s still on the trees is getting hit by the rain.

Cherries are notoriously susceptible to the vagaries of nature. “I don’t recommend that anyone grow cherries,” joked produce distributor Earl Herrick, owner of Earl’s Organics. 

Other crops are being affected–or will be affected–by the rain. Asparagus harvesting has slowed. “When you have heavy rain like this, you can’t go out in the fields,” said Herrick.

The rain has also slowed planting for other crops that would normally be ready for harvest months from now, meaning there will be shortages and higher prices for many produce items later this summer.
 

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes May 26, 2019

Extended period of time with below normal temperatures are keeping grapes very limited out of Mexico while Coachella is delayed about 2 weeks. We expect a gradual increase of supplies by the end of next week and promotable volume and prices by mid June.

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes May 19, 2019

The very first domestic Fair Trade Stone Fruit has arrived from Homegrown Organics!

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