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Archive for May, 2020

California Organic Corn

The California organic corn season starts in May in Thermal, just 25 miles southeast of Palm Springs where the average high in May is 95.7°. In June, production begins to move north to Coalinga, just off Hwy 5, and continues up to Brentwood and Stockton in the Central San Joaquin Valley. Towards the end of the summer we may see some smaller growers north of Sacramento with inconsistent production.

Organic corn is difficult to grow because of a major pest, the corn earworm. We have seen very little evidence of worms this season but if you happen to find a one hiding beneath the corn silk, usually near the top of the ear, it is easy to remove.

 How to choose corn without peeling back the husk

  • Feel for plump kernels through the husk
  • Look for brown and sticky tassels sticking out of the top of the ear.  Black or dry tassels mean the corn is old
  • A bright green husk is a sign of fresh corn

Check out social media pages for updates on corn throughout the season. A local favorite, Dwelley corn from Brentwood is set to start June 20th!

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes May 24, 2020

New! Romano beans and cherries from Dwelley Farm in Brentwood, Gold Kiwis from New Zealand and Purple Garlic from Mexico. Coming soon: California grapes out of Coachella has been pushed back to the first week in June. California melons season expected to start by the end of the week with small numbers of Cantaloupes, Honeydews and Galias. Cotton Candy grapes first week of June. Catch the latest in organic fruit and veg updates each week in Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes.

Veg Supply Chain Returning to Normal

Organic Produce Network May 14, 2020. For organic produce, the transition to spring/summer production has concluded for most of the vegetables, with summer fruit starting to ramp up. Consequently, there is a plethora of opportunities for retailers from coast to coast to start promoting organics again as the nation starts its slow climb back to normalcy.

Organic Produce Network May 14, 2020

“For the most part, the supply chains are working well,” said Robert Lichtenberg, director of purchasing for Earl’s Organic Produce, San Francisco, speaking of the impact of coronavirus. “What is mostly affected are the products coming from production plants such as salad mixes and pre-cut vegetables.”

He said those operations have had to adjust their schedules and reduce the number of employees in the plant at any one time as they practice social distancing.  This has led to a reduction in supplies just as consumers are purchasing more produce in bags and other formats with less chance for human contamination. 

This also impacted organic onions and potatoes creating a shortage in the first month of COVID-19, but Lichtenberg said the advent of new crops of those two items has filled the supply situation. “Except for organic russets.  There are no russets on the market right now,” he said.

Lichtenberg has noticed retailers starting to return to a sense of normalcy, which means they are looking for items to promote.  He added that in the organic aisle there are many different items that currently offer promotional opportunities.  “All the wet vegetables are plentiful and there are lots of berries,” he said this week.  “Broccoli and sweet broccoli are promotable; and cauliflower has come way down.  Leaf lettuces are very affordable. There is a lot of asparagus on the market also.”

Lichtenberg said all the traditional organic production areas along California’s Central Coast are in full production creating few supply issues for vegetable commodities.  And the production of organic stone fruit is ramping up in the San Joaquin Valley. Read the full story on the Organic Produce Network.

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes May 17, 2020

NEW! Sweet California B-Color Corn from Calo.  The Memorial Day holiday is only a week away. Now is the time to start thinking about promoting items for a backyard celebration. New crop New Zealand Dazzle are now available. They have a beautiful high blush with super crunchy texture and outstanding flavor. They are cross between Sweetie and New Zealand Queen. Coming Soon California Seeded and Seedless watermelons will start by mid week, just in time for Memorial Day promotions! Fruit is absolutely fantastic with very high sugars and beautiful internal colors. Download the weekly buyer’s notes.

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes May 10, 2020

Coming soon! California corn this week, California grapes week of May 18th and figs the first week of June. California Stone Fruit season is here and Earl’s always sells by the variety. Check out the latest cherry, apricot and white and yellow peach varieties each week in our weekly buyer’s notes. Download the notes each week.


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