Off Season Berries
It has been an interesting off season for berries on the West Coast. Usually the cold winter weather knocks out the berries around November but this year there was no interruption due to the mild coastal temperatures and low rainfall in Mexico’s Baja region and Oxnard, Ca. This year’s drought produced the largest “off” early season ever.
Strawberries hardly stopped production and continue to be in good supply. Raspberries don’t have much acreage planted so that supply is always tight and imports are scarce.
Blueberries had some drama as the Chilean blueberries had certain growing areas affected by the European Grapevine Moth and required fumigation, eliminating those berries from being sold as organic. The moth is considered a threat to the U.S. crops and all efforts are being made to prevent it from spreading. Typically the Chilean blueberry crop ends at the end of March but we anticipate it ending a month early this year.
The domestic blueberry crop has grown in winter and early spring as hoop tunnel cultivation in micro-climates has expanded. There were a sufficient supply of blueberries that survived the early December freeze with reasonable prices. That winter production is waning now but late April will herald the next summer crop.
Catch Earl’s “What’s In Season” this weekend on An Organic Conversation with a full update on off season berries. The main topic of the show is “Camino de Santiago: A Walk to Remember”. If you miss the weekend radio show you can always download the podcast.