California Winter Produce Supply Affected
Heavy rain in California over the last week has completely shut down all local growing regions tightening the supply of many fruits and vegetables. There were some rains down in the desert but not as intense. The rain not only makes it difficult for workers and tractors to get out on the muddy ground to harvest but it can delay the planting of the next crop. We could see a shortage of some items down the road when they would have been ready to harvest.
As we mentioned in our last blog we are currently sourcing most of our winter season veg out of the Coachella Valley, down into the Imperial Valley and Yuma, Arizona. This is the time of year where it can be quite cold in the desert and winter veg can be susceptible to frost, limiting supply. The weather has been surprisingly warm but we are still seeing very limited supply on some items such as lettuces and kales. Though it is difficult to determine all factors of supply challenges, these are ones that are most obvious. One of the biggest reasons is that the whole country is pulling from California and there is just not enough product to go around. We can also look to shorter daylight hours during winter, limiting the number of harvest hours and a two day ride from the desert up to the Bay Area. Expect prices to increase on some items as supply stays low and demand is high.
Rancho Don Antonio Berry Update:
Tony Chavez, owner of Rancho Don Antonio, sent us pictures yesterday of his farm in Nipomo, an hour north of Santa Barbara, flooded by the recent rains. There will be limited supply of raspberries and blueberries over the next month. The blackberry hoop houses have been pulled out so the land can soak up the rain, making supply very limited over the next few months. Stay tuned for updates.