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Archive for April, 2020

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes April 26, 2020

NEW!  Watermelon season has started out of Mexico!! Mostly mini seedless with regular seedless bins expected to start next week. Great item to promote for Cinco de Mayo! Honeydews are now available with Cantaloupes expected but the end of next week. Durondeau Pear has a golden exterior with streaks of red blush and is covered all over in a soft russet. The Durondeau is not a long term storage pear but it is amazing for fresh eating and cooking.  The light granular texture is similar to the Bosc Pear which is often used in desserts.  The Durondeau might ripen similar to the Bosc which gives less than other pears when you apply gentle pressure at the neck. Download the buyer’s notes here.

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes April 19, 2020

Purple sprouting broccoli offers a nutty, peppery flavor with the subtle sweetness and bitterness common to all Brassica vegetables. Purple broccoli makes a delicious raw salad to highlight the purple color. Try other fun recipes. Alta Kirsty peaches from Mexico have beautiful color and good flavor. California peaches are about a month off. Durondeau Pears have a beautiful red blush and are amazing for eating out of hand and cooking. Download the complete Buyer’s Notes each week.

Rhubarb A Sign Of Spring

The arrival of shiny crimson red rhubarb is yet another sign that spring has arrived. It is a hearty vegetable that thrives in cooler climates and originally came by way of China, Russia and Mongolia where it was first used as a medicinal herb to treat a variety of illnesses. Rhubarb made its debut in the United States in the late 18th century when Luther Burbank, a world-renowned horticulturist, developed a deep red variety that thrived in much of California’s climate.  Rhubarb grows best in the northern regions of the United States.  It can be found grown on a commercial level in Oregon, Washington and Michigan. Rhubarb from the Pacific Northwest is all field grown and the season runs from late March until the end of June.  The Michigan season begins in April with hothouse grown rhubarb and later moves to field grown.

Rhubarb is very weather dependent and needs a summer temperature of 75° or below for maximum production. Once the temperatures reach 90° or above the plant will start to wilt. Rhubarb is a perennial herb grown from a crown, similar to asparagus, and will continue to produce up to 15 years.

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Only eat the leaf stalks or petioles. This is one vegetable where you do not want to use the whole plant. The leaves can be considered poisonous due to their high levels of oxalic acid.

How to buy

Look for bright red stalks which have a sweet rich flavor. The size of the stalk is not an indicator of tenderness!

Fun Fact

Rhubarb is 95% water and high in potassium and vitamin c.

Storage and Cooking

Wrap loosely in plastic and store in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Do not keep for more than a few days or it will start to dry out. Place the stalks in cold water for about an hour to refresh them before cooking.

Rhubarb is very tart and acidic and needs honey or sugar to transform it into a delicious dessert or savory dish. It goes great with seafood, chicken or pork. Everyone has heard of strawberry rhubarb pie but how about a rhubarb shake topped with chopped pistachios? My favorite recipe is from the NY Times. Cook down 2 cups of rhubarb with 5 tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of water and let cool. Blend with 1 1/2 cups greek yogurt and cups of ice. Mix in rose water to taste. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and share with your friends!

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Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes April 12, 2020

Earl’s Organic is dedicated to doing our part to help people in need. Gazzali’s supermarket in East Oakland hands out bags of fresh produce to seniors, customers in need and firefighters on the front line. Alameda Food Bank is committed to serving healthy, nutritious food to those in need in their community. Record rains hit California and delay harvesting. Read what crops are affected by the rain in our latest buyer’s notes .

Record Rain in Southern California Slows Harvesting

Many days of record rain, as much as 4.5 inches in one day, have prevented  growers from getting their pickers and equipment into the field.  Compound the rain with the Easter holiday weekend that is affecting labor and we have a perfect storm.  We will be tight on Cara Cara’s, lemons and avocados from some of our growers early in the week.

Los Angeles Times Friday April 10thA cold storm that’s been lingering over Southern California for most of the week will continue to drop rain and mountain snow on the area for another day. Showers are expected to fall over Los Angeles and portions of Ventura counties for most of Friday. Heavier rain is forecast for Orange and San Diego Counties. Six days of rain in a row in downtown Los Angeles breaks a record for the number of consecutive days of rain in April since 1983. Read the full article.

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