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Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes January 24, 2021

New this week!  Kishus are tiny bright and sweet mandarins with a kick of acid. Tango  Mandarins are a seedless Murcott. Their rind is rich with citrus oil and aromatic when pierced. Meiwa Kumquats have a sweet rind and flesh with a good spicy flavor.  They are delicious eaten out of hand, seeds and all.  Melogold Grapefruit is a cross between a pummelo and a grapefruit . The outstanding flavor is sweet and low in acidity, similar to an Oroblanco. Crespo Mexican Atualfo Mangos are back! Earl’s is now carrying a full line of California grown Far West Fungi Dried Mushrooms. Don’t miss an update on our favorite organic fruits and vegetables, download the buyer’s notes and the FWF Mushroom Chart here. 

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes January 17, 2021

NEW!  Devine Mexican sweet corn  from Culiacan, Sinaola, Covilli Fair Trade Brussels Sprouts, Salad Mix from New Natives with Micro and baby greens: Sunflower Greens, Pea Shoots, and Micro Arugula, and tender Mei Qing Baby Bok Choy from Sun Valley Farms can be eaten raw and is delicious in a stir fry.  Download the Weekly Buyer’s notes and don’t miss an update! 

Earl’s Organic Produce Buyer’s Notes January 10, 2021

New! Chandler Pummelo-Large fruit with a smooth thick rind and pretty pink flesh.  See our Instagram post for step by step directions on how to peel a pummelo. https://www.instagram.com/earlsorganic.  Buddha Hands from Rainbow Valley Orchard in Fallbrook, CA are delicious made into candied citrus or infused in your favorite spirit! The Buck Citrus line up this week includes: 

  • Heirloom Navel- Classic citrus flavor!
  • Lou Lou Navel- Sweet and tends to be low in acid
  • Lemon T’ Orange-Large citrus with a similar flavor to a lemon but with less tartness.
  • Kumquats- Nagami is the first variety to start up. Oval shaped, sweet skin and tart pulp. Gently rub between your palms to release the fragrant oil. Pop them whole in your mouth, seeds and all!
  • Finger Limes also known as Caviar Limes- Squeeze gently! Finger Limes add a tangy effervescent flavor to sushi, drinks, salads, seafood and more!
  • Sweet Limes have a sweet flavor with low acid.

Download our weekly Buyer’s Notes each week and don’t miss an update on your favorite organic fruits and vegetables.

January Market Disruptions

Historically December and January see disruptions in organic markets due to various factors such as frosts, winter storms, less daylight hours and holidays.  2020 brought even more challenges with Covid-19. Unfortunately many workers have been hit hard by Covid-19 with many packing sheds having challenges. Consequently field laborers and trucking companies are experiencing challenges due to the lack of workers, tightening up an already challenged labor force. Trucking issues have caused numerous challenges around the holidays and beyond. Covid-19 has thinned the volume of available trucks leading to loads that do not have a way to get to us, limiting supply on many items. Imports are limited as well, mostly due to extreme back ups in the Southern California ports.

Prices and availability are the most unstable often in these months. Prices will continue to stay high until the supply side stabilizes. The thing to remember is that most of the US is pulling produce from the same area that we do at this point in the season.  Demand is great – supply isn’t. Price and quality do not track side by side. Often higher prices reflect difficult growing conditions and veg has more cosmetic challenges than we are used to.  We are hoping that this disruption will resolve itself in the coming weeks. 

We feel immense gratitude for our resilient growers who keep their workers safe while continuing to harvest and ship quality organic produce to sustain our communities during these adverse conditions. 

If you missed our blog “Cold Weather Challenges” read the online blog and know what to expect in terms of prices and veg quality as we work through this difficult time. https://bit.ly/shortdaysgrowingchallenges

Hiring Warehouse Associate


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

Shifts available:

3pm – 11:30pm

Responsibilities include:

  • Operate all scanning devices and associated software used in the order selecting process;
  • Obtain merchandise from bins, shelves, and coolers;
    • Build (palletize) orders with caution so as to not damage product;
  • Examine products to verify quality standards;
  • Count finished products to determine if product orders are completed;
  • Pallet wrap, mark and tag identification for the palletized merchandise;
  • Operate machinery used in the order picking process, or assist machine operators;
  • Load trucks per Company Standard Operating Procedures, as needed;
  • Maintain equipment per Company SOP;
  • Perform to 80 pieces per hour minimum average;
  • Maintain 98% accuracy as measured by transaction;
  • Perform to all other company standards;
  • Observe equipment operations so that malfunctions can be detected, and notify management as necessary;
  • Ensure work is performed safely at all times;
  • Wear proper safety equipment at all times;
  • Punctuality and regular and reliable attendance.

Position requirements include:

  • Pallet jack 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




Vibrant Moro Blood Oranges

Moro Blood Oranges grown in the Central San Joaquin Valley are just a few of the wonderful types of citrus in season.  The red flesh of the Blood Orange varies in intensity depending on the variety, location where the trees are grown and the degree of fruit maturity. Brought to America in the 1930’s by Italian and Spanish immigrants they are now grown commercially in Southern California, Texas and Florida. Hot days and cold nights are needed to bring out the best flavors in blood oranges.

Blood Oranges are packed with vitamin C, carotenoids and are high in potent antioxidant properties. The red flesh color varies in intensity depending on the variety, location where the trees are grown and the degree of fruit maturity. Hot days and cold nights are needed to bring out the best flavors in blood oranges. The red blush on the outside of the fruit is because of the sun and not related to the red color of the flesh. Fruit that is exposed more to the sun on one part of the tree will have more of a blush color on the skin which will become darker later in the season if left on the tree longer. Choose a blood orange the same as you would any citrus, look for the heaviest fruit which means more juice.  Eat them out of hand or juice for a healthy beverage.

Earl’s Buyers Notes January 3, 2021

New this week: California Ettinger Avocados, thin skinned light green avocado with a mild flavor, Peruvian Seedless Green Sweet Globe Grapes, Santina Cherries from Chile have black lustrous skin with a flattened heart shape, California Jumbo Kiwis and Kishu Mandarins. Don’t miss the exciting citrus line up from Buck! Heirloom Navels have a classic citrus flavor, Lou Lou Navels are sweet and tends to be low in acid and Nagami Kumquats are sweet and tart! Download our buyer’s notes each week!

Shortest Days of the Year and Cold Weather Present Challenges

The Winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, when the sun appears at its most southerly position. This time of year brings some of the hardest weeks traditionally to keep everything in house due to availability issues.  Shorter days mean less sunlight hours for plants to grow and short harvest time in the fields.  Cold weather is also now affecting most of the agricultural areas in California, Arizona and Northern Mexico, hindering the growth and harvest of all produce.This is the low point in the season for wet veg with short days and frost in the morning in the desert. 

Plants can be severely damaged if harvested before they thaw out so growers will need to wait to harvest until late morning losing precious harvesting hours. Where a grower might typically start harvesting at 6am, they have to wait until 10am when the weather has warmed up. We can expect availability to be tight, prices to go up and to see quality defects on leafy items. Though it is going to slowly warm up there are some long term effects worth consideration:

Prices will continue to stay high until the supply side stabilizes. The thing to remember is that most of the US is pulling produce from the same area that we do at this point in the season. Demand is great – supply isn’t.  To see one of the last true examples of a supply and demand economic model look no further than the fruit and veg industry. There are no price supports, no subsidies and you can charge as little as you want or as much as you want. It either sells or it doesn’t so to speak.  Organics is a smaller industry so prices are even more reactive in a time like this. We can expect to see high prices for at least a few more weeks on all cool season wet veg.  Warm weather crops will also be high but because many of these are greenhouse/hothouse grown the supply side has not been affected as much as the field grown crops.

Price and quality do not track side by side. Often higher prices reflect difficult growing conditions and veg has more cosmetic challenges than we are used to. Most vegetables are comprised mainly of water and water expands when it freezes causing various types of defects. Leafy greens can tolerate the frost up to a point or they can tolerate a few frosts but then damage shows up.   Epidural peel occurs when the outer layer of the leaf freezes, partially dies and then begins to peel. The leaf will have a translucent look. Tip burn happens when the leaf cells break down from extreme temperature causing the outer edges of the leaves to turn black. Cracking can be seen along the stem or ribs and slight frost damage is noticeable on outside leaves.  Blistering causing the epidermis on the outside leaves to begin to fall apart.

Planting, transplanting and germination of seeds can be very hard or delayed when the ground becomes real cold or freezes.  Down the line in about 40-60 days we will start to see the gaps in supply caused by the planting challenges of today.

Let us not forget the essential agricultural workers. Unfortunately many workers have been hit hard by Covid-19 with many packing sheds having challenges. Consequently field laborers and trucking companies are experiencing challenges due to the lack of workers. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this difficult time. We wish you and your family Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.

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

NEW!  California Bacon Avocados from the Temecula region have a thinner skin and a smooth texture. They have a subtle light flavor and they do not turn black like a Hass when ripe.  New Citrus from Buck this week!

  • Limequat (read more under Citrus)
  • Algerian Mandarin- Also known as a Clementine. Small to medium size with sweet, rich, aromatic flavor. It is very juicy with bright red-orange color skin..
  • Buddha Hand
  • Finger lime- Squeeze gently for an effervescent tangy flavor. Wonderful in cocktails.
  • Pink Variegated lemons
  • Mango Orange- Lightly sweet with hints of vanilla

Download our buyer’s notes each week here!

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

Earl’s has a full line of Club Apples.  Look for our new Club Apple Category on our price list! Club apples are varieties that are not just patented, but also trademarked and controlled in such a way that only a select “club” of farmers can sell them.  Learn more about Club Apples on our Weekly Buyers Notes.  Download them here.

  • Ambrosia: Mildly sweet and tart with tropical notes. Very refreshing, crisp and juicy. Resists browning.
  • Autumn Glory: Crunchy, sweet with hints of cinnamon and subtle notes of cinnamon.
  • Cosmic Crisp: Crisp, juicy, sweet-tart. The large, juicy apple has a remarkably firm and crisp texture. Some say it snaps when you bite into it!
  • Envy: Smooth, sweet, aromatic with dense creamy yellow flesh that doesn’t turn brown.
  • Jazz: A crisp hard apple and the butter yellow flesh has an excellent strong sweet-sharp flavor with a pronounced fruity pear drop note.
  • Juici: Dense and sweet with a hint of tart. Crisp and juicy. Texture is similar to Honeycrisp but not as sweet.
  • Koru: Crisp, juicy, sweet flesh with notes of honey, orange juice, spice and vanilla.
  • Opal: Visually it resembles the Topaz with a ruby and orange blush, and an attractive golden yellow flush
  • Pinata: Tropical, crisp and very sweet, so much that you don’t notice the tartness, but it’s there keeping things refreshing. There’s a little banana and coconut and a lot of carrot juice. It is also known as Pinova, Sonata and Corail.
  • Rockit (New this week!) : Naturally bred to be a small apple with a high red blush color. Perfect snack apple.
  • Sugarbee: High sugar levels at harvest. Nice snap in every bite. Flesh is creamy white. It is a good keeper.
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