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Archive for 2020

Cumulative Effects of Forgotten Weather Events

We have been seeing the effects of previous forgotten weather events. Think back to the scorching temperatures over 110 degrees back in August and again in September in many growing regions, including Salinas Valley and Bakersfield.  At any one time in vegetable row crop production there are multiple succession plantings in the ground. It is not only the plantings harvested during the heat wave that suffer, but also plantings harvested 60-90 days down the road, think October to December.

The final veg plantings in the Bakersfield and Central Coast regions, before the annual Fall transition down to the desert, were all hit hard by record heat. Those plants were in the field but small at that time and were adversely affected. Some fields were completely lost, while others suffered damage leading to lower yields. Growers also saw widespread disease issues like pin rot showing up on broccoli. These areas have ended early or have reduced volumes.  

The aim each Fall is to have the northern regions winding down as the desert and Mexico regions are ramping up with some overlap.  This did not happen this year because of the lasting effects of the heat wave and the desert regions and Mexico experiencing unseasonably cool weather leading to slower growth. Last year at this time Tutti Frutti was still going strong on Heirloom tomatoes and now they are already coming to an end.  Dwelley’s final zucchini plantings were wrecked from the heat, ending their season abruptly.  Covill green beans from Mexico are harvested each year in time for Thanksgiving but this year the cold weather slowed production down dramatically.  Now add Covid-19 into the equation. Growers are having labor issues and harvesting in the fields that does happen is going slower because of social distancing requirement in the fields and in the production facilities.

What can you expect?
Quality and availability issues along with price increases on many veg items including green beans, baby bok choy, broccoli, baby sweet broccoli, broccoli crowns, brussels sprouts carrots, lettuce, colored bell peppers, heirloom tomatoes and cluster tomatoes.

The good news is that in the next few weeks we will see increasing availability of product from the California and Arizona desert growing regions relieving some of our pain. Stay tuned for updates in our weekly Buyer’s Notes.


If you missed our blogs on the August and September heat waves you can read them here:
Labor Day Heat Wave Affects Quality and Supply

Update on Crops Affected by Extreme Heat Wave

Extreme Heat Wave and Rain Storms Sweep Through California

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes November 15, 2020

New apples this week include the intense and honeyed Rubinette. The Rubinette has superb flavor with hints of pear, simultaneously sweet and sharp. The Swiss Gourmet (also known as the Arlet in Europe) is pleasant and juicy, reasonably well balanced between sharp and sweet, but essentially mild. It is great for baking! The Juici apple has a  wonderful balance of sweet and tart flavors, with a texture similar to Honeycrisp and a long shelf life. Read on to learn the parentage of some of your favorite apples. Download this weeks organic fruit and veg updates here.

Roasting Chestnuts

Tips on roasting chestnuts: Cut an “X” shape into the flat side of each chestnut. Use a sharp knife to do this. This will make the chestnuts roast faster, allowing the steam to escape from the chestnuts. Place them on a baking sheet with the cut side up. Roast 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees, keeping an eye on them so they don’t burn. Let them cool slightly before easily removing the shell. We enjoy added them to Japanese rice for a fall favorite. https://www.justonecookbook.com/chestnut-rice-kurigohan/


Satsuma Mandarins

Satsumas have a loose peel that slips off effortlessly like a glove, with no mess and no seeds to deal with.  Satsumas are a perfect snack size that you can eat anywhere without the difficult peeling and complication that comes with eating a valencia or navel orange.

Health Benefits:

A 2008 U.S. Department of Agriculture study said Satsumas have six to seven times as much synephrine, a natural decongestant, as other citrus. Four or five Satsumas have enough synephrine to equal the effect of a Sudafed tablet, the study said. Satsumas are also naturally low in calories and a single fruit contains 34 percent of the USDA daily recommendation for vitamin C.

Buying Satsumas:

Look for fruit with an aromatic smell, firm tight peel, no dented spots and a heavier fruit means they are juicier. They can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator, but not for too long because prolonged storage can dry them out.

Hiring Forklift Operator


Earl’s Organic Produce, Inc., a leading distributor of organic produce throughout Northern California, seeks a skilled and safe Forklift Operator for our San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market headquarters.

The forklift operator position assists in organizing and rotating product into coolers, applying traceability stickers, forklift and pallet-jack operation, and use of warehouse management software while assuring products meet premium quality standards at all times.

Shifts available:

4am – 2pm

Responsibilities Include:

  • Use of Warehouse Management System software to perform product movements;
  • Move product from receiving dock to appropriate cooler storage areas where product is then placed in designated and corresponding cooler slots/racks as dictated by Warehouse Management System software;
  • Properly rotate all Incoming Product with current stock at all times;
  • Continuously create open pallet slots to ensure all Incoming Product has available space in appropriate cooler;
  • Maintain orderliness throughout the warehouse and cooler work areas;
  • Wrap palletized product, affix proper signage and rack accordingly in cooler slots;
  • Ensure work is performed safely at all times;
  • Wear proper safety equipment at all times;
  • Working and communicating as team and following up with questions and concerns with the Lead Forklift Operator and Management;
  • Meet productivity standards assosiacted with position as determined by Management;

Punctuality and regular and reliable attendance.

Position requirements include:

  • Forklift experience is required
  • Ability to read and understand information presented in writing
  • Ability to arrange things in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules
  • Ability to lift a minimum of 50 lbs. on a regular basis
  • Requires being reliable, responsible, dependable, and fulfilling obligations
  • Requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks
  • Requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-nature
  • Requires supporting other team members and provide service to others
  • Requires knowledge of conducting inspections of products


Earl’s Organic Produce provides a highly competitive compensation package, including medical, dental, vision, LTD and voluntary life, plus a company-sponsored retirement program and paid meal breaks. After one year of employment, we pay 100% of medical benefits for employee only.

Earl’s Organic Produce works to embrace diversity in all its forms; it strives to be an inclusive community that fosters an open, enlightened and productive environment.

  • Interested candidates are encouraged to submit a cover letter, resume, and three references via email or come directly to:

Earls Organic Produce 2101 Jerrold Ave. San Francisco, CA 94124

Earl’s Organic Produce is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance. We will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. M/F/D/V.

Job Type: Full-time


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