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Archive for August, 2020

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes August 30, 2020

We are seeing great color and flavor in the new crop Honeycrisp apples right from the beginning of the season. We expect to have the first promotable opportunities next week once more volume becomes available and prices decrease.  Local California Fuji are starting this week. Color will improve as season progresses. Green & Hemly Gala and Granny Smith are in promotable quantities now. This is the last week to enjoy new Zealand Fuji. The high color fruit has a fully developed sweet flavor and the price is also better. We expect a smooth transition to domestic early Fuji. Cripps Pink from Chile and Argentina are approaching the end of the season. These apples convert starch into sugar at a very slow rate so they reach the peak of flavor very late in the season. Biodynamic apples from Mt Hood Organics are expect by mid September. Download the Buyer’s Notes each week for the latest organic fruit and vegetable news and updates.

California Keitt Mango

The California Keitt mango season is finally here!  This unique domestic mango does not have to travel far and is left on the tree until it has developed a high level of maturity and sweet flavor. Organic California Keitts are grown in the Coachella Valley, which runs for about 45 miles in Riverside County from Palm Springs to the northern part of the Salton Sea.

California Keitt mangoes are super juicy and sweet with almost no stringy fibers and a small pit which means more fruit to eat. Deemed as one of the best tasting mangos by many people, this domestic tropical fruit is impressive in both its strikingly large size and beautiful green color. One bite of the delicious smooth flesh and you will be back for more! Don’t shy away from these green mangos because Keitts stay green even when ripe.

Keitts are also extra special because they are not subjected to the stress of a hot water bath, as most imported mangos are, contributing to a delicious eating experience.  Almost all imported mangos are hot water treated to eliminate fruit flies and fruit fly larvae. The mangoes are put into a hot water bath (115-118 F) anywhere from 5-10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 80-85 degrees.

Ripening Tips

*Don’t be deterred by the Keitt’s green skin which stays green even when ripe. 

*Ripen your mangos up on your counter at room temperature. Mangos do not like the cold and can develop chill damage if stored in the refrigerator.

*You will know they are ready to eat when they yield slightly to gentle pressure.

The season is very short and lasts only about 4-6 weeks. This California grown tropical fruit is not to be missed!

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes August 23, 2020

Please welcome our new grower Kabeela Farms! Growing delicious beets, heirloom tomatoes and snap peas in Gilroy. The term “Kabeela” means community, tribe or clan. This is a journey started by an engineer who has seen how the Silicon Valley where workers with ownership in the enterprises have transformed the world and their own lives. It is not a story of one person or one farmer, it’s a story of a community. Preserving the environment and sustainability is the key. Kabeela seeks nature’s blessings not only for produce but also for energy and hope that their community can enjoy amazing gifts of nature while providing a good  life for the people who work with them. Download the Buyer’s Notes each week.

Ash Fallout from Wildfires

To our valued customers,

As the state experiences multiple fires our growers are reporting ash on their crops. This is being reported in all the main California row crop and fruit growing areas. Growers are actively engaged in the fields and packing houses to minimize the ash. Earl’s Organic Produce does reserve the right to reject product with excessive ash.

Unfortunately there are no guidelines or metrics that exist from health and food safety professionals about this. Washing produce seems to be the best remedy and we encourage that message to be spread to your customers. If more info is needed please contact the health department or your food safety manager.

Earl’s Organic Team

Update on Crops Affected by Extreme Heat Wave

We are well into our second week of temperatures reaching well over 100 degrees in many California growing regions.  We start to see quality issues when temperatures remain high 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. 

The heat affects our food production, putting not only the plants and fruit at risk but the people harvesting our food. Once the temperatures reach 90-95 degrees it is too hot to be in the field picking and workers will be sent home.  Hot days and fewer hours to pick will affect supply and quality across various commodities. Here is the latest update from our growers.

Sonoma County Gravenstein apple season is ending sooner than expected. The heat wave stressed the trees to the point that they started to drop their fruit.

Homegrown and Glacier Fed blueberries are experiencing post harvest issues this week from the extreme heat, some of which do not show up until after packing.  Our next land of Pacific Northwest blueberries will be on Monday, August 24th.  The good news is that we will have a surprise small land of Forbidden Fruit out of Santa Maria arriving Friday.

Dosner, Jacobs and Bay Area Herbs  are reporting severe damage to crops from the heat. The weather forecast is not offering much relief for the next 5-7 days in most West Coast growing regions.  The plants need a recovery period of at least 7-10 days, depending on crop damage it could be longer.  Tomatero is experiencing up to 101 degrees less than 1 mile from the California Central Coast where they grow basil and strawberries. Basil will be very limited for at least a couple of weeks.

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.

Romaine Lettuce Showing Sunburn

We will continue to share crop and production gap updates as the effects of the heat wave become more apparent. This is a reminder to be mindful of the changes in the weather when shopping for produce throughout the season and to recognize the hard work and effort of our farmers.

If you missed the blog earlier this week on the Heat Wave https://bit.ly/californiaextremeheatwaveandrainstorm


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