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Archive for 2020

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes September 20, 2020

Organic Girl is debuting two new salads this week! Baby Kale Spring Mix: Tender Baby Kale with Sweet Baby Spring Mix Greens–Available in 6/5oz clamshells; Butter Plus: Now with 100% Whole Red Butter Leaves with MORE iron than Spinach! Available in 6/4oz clamshells. Download the Buyer’s Notes each week for the latest organic fruit and vegetable news and updates.

Kiwi Berries

If you like Kiwi’s then you will fall in love with the Kiwi Berry. Kiwi Berries taste exactly like a Kiwi but they are the size of a grape, fuzzless and completely edible.  Cut one in half and the inside flesh looks just like a Kiwi. This no mess snack is fun to eat and perfect for the whole family. Learn more about the delicious Kiwi Berries.

How to eat – Just pop them in your mouth!

Kiwi Berries Are A Nutritional Powerhouse!

It is Kiwi Berry time again! The season is very short, mid September through the beginning of October, so you don’t want to miss out. Kiwi berries are a member of the Actinidia genus family, the same as a regular kiwi and have been described as a cousin of the kiwi we all know.  Kiwi berries are also known by the name hardy kiwi, artic kiwi or baby kiwi. They taste exactly like a kiwi but they are about the size of a grape, fuzzless, with edible seeds and you just pop them whole into your mouth. Like kiwis, they are acidic until ripe.

POP THEM IN YOUR MOUTH AND ENJOY!

Kiwi berries are native to China, Korea, and Russian Siberia, much like the kiwifruit.  It is a fast-growing, hardy, perennial vine, in need of a frost-free season of 150 days. Each vine can grow up to 20 feet in a single season! Because of their seasonal requirements, they are well suited for areas of the North East and North West, and in fact, have become somewhat of an invasive weed in certain areas because of their rapid growth. Earl’s kiwi berries are now coming out of Wilsonville, Oregon about 30 minutes south of Portland. In October they will transition south to Oakland, Oregon about an hour south of Eugene.

Kiwi Berries are a nutritional powerhouse and a healthy food source containing over 20 nutrients. Each 6 oz portion contains twice the amount of Vitamin E of an avocado but with only 60% of the calories, 5 times the Vitamin C of an orange and more potassium than bananas.  Kiwi Berries are also high in fiber and rich in folic acid.

RIPENING AND STORAGE TIPS

Kiwis Berries are picked hard and ripened off the vine. They ripen at room temperature and are ready to eat when the skin turns a darker green, wrinkles and gently yields to touch. Similar to a kiwi they will be slightly acidic until ripe when they will be very sweet. You can store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks but we doubt that will last that long.

Kiwi Berries can be used in a variety of ways, from being preserved as jam to being used as a marinade (kiwi berries are an excellent meat tenderizer). Try them in a salad, on a tart or cake, muddle them in a cocktail or just pop them in your mouth as a delicious sweet snack!

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes September 13, 2020

New this week! Sweet Carnival grapes– We are thrilled to have this super tasty grape grown in the Central Valley by Sunview.  The flavor is similar to Cotton Candy and sure to be a hit. Seckel Pears, or sugar pears are super sweet cute tiny pears that are only a few inches long with a round body and a small stem.  Their skin is an olive green with a dark maroon blush that sometimes covers the entire pear with a pale white to yellow flesh. Comice Pears are extremely juicy with sweet buttery flesh.  They are best eaten fresh out of hand or paired with a cheese plate. Habanada Peppers – Sweet! Not spicy, with all of the floral habanero flavors.  Similar in size to a Habanero. Jack O’ Lanterns, Sugar Pie and Mixed Winter Squash Bins. Download the Buyer’s Notes each week for the latest organic fruit and vegetable news and updates.

Labor Day Heat Wave Affects Quality and Supply

Last week we braced ourselves for an intense heat wave over the weekend and into Labor Day week. Temperatures reached over 110 degrees in many growing regions including Salinas Valley and Bakersfield. The heat affects our food production, putting not only the plants and fruit at risk but the people harvesting our food. Once the temperature reaches 90-95 degrees it is too hot to be in the field picking and workers need to be sent home. Hot days and fewer hours to pick will affect supply and quality across various commodities.

Some summer fruits such as watermelon, tomatoes and melons like the heat, however if it gets too hot for an extended period of time the plants become stressed, interrupting its production cycle, slowing down the ripening process and preventing necessary nutrients from reaching the plant. For many plants like tomatoes, new fruit will not set in high heat conditions.  The flowers will not pollinate leading to gaps in production down the road. 

What can you expect?

*Expect to see a little sunburn on some lettuce varieties.  Romaine and Butter lettuce will show the worst damage with browning around the top of the leaves.  Prices will continue to rise on lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, iceberg, sweet baby broccoli amongst others. 

*Seedless watermelons bins are almost finished for the season until Mexico starts by mid- October.  The mini seedless were another victim of the excessive heat with 6ct to 9ct affected the most by the heat, leaving 11ct fruit in good supply.

* We are not sure to what extent strawberries were cooked by the heat. Volume will most likely tighten up this week.

* Excessive heat over the last month has stressed out the valencia orange trees and caused the fruit to re-green and develop a green cast.  In order to protect themselves, the fruit trees begin the photosynthesis process and transfer energy in the form of nutrients from the fruit back into the tree.  The condition of the fruit is also affected making the oranges weaker and shortening their shelf life.  Re-greening is a common physiological process that has affected our central valley growers harder than anticipated. We will be very tight on valencias and will see more choice than fancy.

* Several herb growers are reporting severe damage to crops, in particular basil, from the heat. The plants need a recovery period of at least 7-10 days, depending on crop damage it could be longer. 

*Snap Peas gapping for a week to two weeks as they recover from the heat and sunburn.

*Artichokes open to flower in the heat.  Production has been reduced 50%. 

*Zucchini grew too fast because of the heat and had to be pulled off the plant. Supply will tighten up.

* Growers are reporting sunburn on hot pepper plants as well as tomato plants. Habaneros and cayenne will hopefully be back in a week. The tomatoes that were cooked will need to be pulled off the vine and composted.  The good news is that the sunburned pepper and tomato plants will recover.

It is unknown the extent of the damage from the heat but there is a good chance we will see shortages in production down the road.  We will continue to update you as we know more.

Burnt Romaine Lettuce Salinas Valley
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