WEEKLY SPECIALS | SEASONAL CALENDAR | GROWER MAP

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Kiwi Berries Are A Nutritional Powerhouse!

It is Kiwi Berry time again! The season is very short, mid September through the beginning of October, so you don’t want to miss out. Kiwi berries are a member of the Actinidia genus family, the same as a regular kiwi and have been described as a cousin of the kiwi we all know.  Kiwi berries are also known by the name hardy kiwi, arctic kiwi or baby kiwi. They taste exactly like a kiwi but they are about the size of a grape, fuzzless, with edible seeds and you just pop them whole into your mouth. Like kiwis, they are acidic until ripe.

POP THEM IN YOUR MOUTH AND ENJOY!

Kiwi berries are native to China, Korea, and Russian Siberia, much like the kiwifruit.  It is a fast-growing, hardy, perennial vine, in need of a frost-free season of 150 days. Each vine can grow up to 20 feet in a single season! Because of their seasonal requirements, they are well suited for areas of the North East and North West, and in fact, have become somewhat of an invasive weed in certain areas because of their rapid growth. Earl’s kiwi berries are now coming out of Wilsonville, Oregon about 30 minutes south of Portland. In October they will transition south to Oakland, Oregon about an hour south of Eugene.

Kiwi Berries are a nutritional powerhouse and a healthy food source containing over 20 nutrients. Each 6 oz portion contains twice the amount of Vitamin E of an avocado but with only 60% of the calories, 5 times the Vitamin C of an orange and more potassium than bananas.  Kiwi Berries are also high in fiber and rich in folic acid.

RIPENING AND STORAGE TIPS

Kiwis Berries are picked hard and ripened off the vine. They ripen at room temperature and are ready to eat when the skin turns a darker green, wrinkles and gently yields to touch. Similar to a kiwi they will be slightly acidic until ripe when they will be very sweet. You can store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks but we doubt that will last that long.

Kiwi Berries can be used in a variety of ways, from being preserved as jam to being used as a marinade (kiwi berries are an excellent meat tenderizer). Try them in a salad, on a tart or cake, muddle them in a cocktail or just pop them in your mouth as a delicious sweet snack!

Rock Front Ranch Jujubes

Just Jujubes from Rock Front Ranch are California Grown! Located just 40 miles from the Pacific Ocean, in Santa Barbara County near Santa Maria, Rock Front Jujubes are grown on 320-acres, which sits at the gateway of the Cuyama Valley, surrounded by miles of chaparral and oak forests. This unique landscape is strewn with wildflowers, coastal plants, and towering desert rock formations.

Famous for its rich soil, the Cuyama Valley is heated by the sun each day and cooled by the western sea breeze each evening. These swings in temperature are important for your taste buds, as they encourage the maximum production of sugars for optimum flavor of the tree-ripened fruit.  Rock Front Ranch jujubes are extremely drought resistant, sipping—rather than gulping—precious water. This zero-waste crop thrives in their sandy, loam soil, which is enhanced with their own compost deliberately cultivated to sequester carbon from the air and encourage the growth of good fungi and bacteria.

Alisha Taff Grower Rock Front Ranch

Crisp and refreshing, with a delicate fig-and-caramel flavor, fresh jujubes provide more vitamin C than your average citrus fruit. Toss into a weeknight salad, swap out added sugar in baked goods for the subtle sweetness, or simply remove the pit and whir into a healthy fruit smoothie to go. Jujubes are refreshingly versatile—Tuck a handful of the fruit into a variety of recipes from breakfast to dessert and see how they transform any dish into a nutrient-packed meal.

Fresh Jujubes are now available in 6/clamshell pints and dried jujubes in 12/2.5oz pouches

Traceland Avocados Morro Bay

We are into our second week of delicious California avocados from Traceland in Morro Bay.  Traceland is located in Cayucos near the ocean on the central coast and about 20 miles northwest of San Luis Obispo where the unique geography and climate allows year round growing conditions without high heat or killing frosts.  Cayucos sits in a small area of coastal land defined by the Santa Lucia mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The ocean cools the hot summers and warms the cold winters.  The land is bisected at various places along its length by wild creeks that flow unimpeded from the coast range to the ocean providing the copious amounts of water avocado trees need to fruit.       

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Ron Trace-In the middle, Jesse Trace-On the right

Ron, Gail and their twin sons moved to Cayucos in 1998 from Chicago.  In 2005 they planted their 6 acre avocado orchard with a goal to grow organic avocados as sustainably as possible.  The avocado trees are planted on natural slopes and not man made terraces, which affects the drainage.  He also puts down composted manures, organic minerals and wood chip mulches to fertilize the trees.  Cover crops of native grasses are used to produce natural nitrogen, honey bees are used for fruit production and predator insects for biological disease control.  Weeds are pulled by hand and they even trap gophers by hand.

Traceland is also unique because they hand pick all of the avocados and deliver them to Earl’s within 24 hours of picking! The flavor is very creamy and rich in oil content. We feel it is the best eating avocado of the season.

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Jesse from Traceland Avocados

Remember that a California avocado will be very mature, high in oil and needs to be eaten firm. Mexican avocados are now starting to show up in your grocery store. Buyer beware! Mexican avocados are the first of the season and will eat differently. They will not be as flavorful as a California avocado and can ripen unevenly.

Buttery Smooth 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 22, 2021

Watermelon bins will be available for Labor Day weekend! We highly suggest you put in your pre-orders with your Earl’s Sales rep early. The Pacific Northwest Stone Fruit season is wrapping up for the most part. We may see a sporadic land here and there. California white peaches and nectarines are done. California yellow peaches and nectarines will push through October. We will see a small hit of dapple dandy and flavor pluots. Maywood Figs have slowed down as heavy smoke surrounds the orchards and limits harvesting time. Calo is experiencing low yields and small sizing on carrots due to the excessive summer heat.  Expect cellos, table, cliptops and baby peeled carrots to be tight for the next 2-3 months until the Fall/Winter carrot fields start up in November. Broccoli quality is improving, and prices are historically higher than usual. Celery continues to be an excellent deal from multiple growers.  Sun Valley continues to have good supply on Purple and Orange Cauliflower. La Granjita Organica has started their season with Serranos, Poblanos and Anaheim Peppers, Indigo Rose Cherry Tomatoes and the much awaited Watermelon Gherkins in sustainable 100% recyclable Readycycle packaging! Also known as Mexican Sour Gherkins, they are the size of haba beans, look like watermelons, but are sour on the inside.

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes August 15, 2021

California stone fruit is winding down and eating firmer. Enjoy local stone fruit for a few more weeks. It’s time to say goodbye to the Pacific Northwest cherries and apricots. They were sure delicious! Forbidden Fruit Orchards is back with their Fall crop out of Santa Maria and will go through December, weather dependent. Sun Valley as promised is harvesting a wealth of their proprietary deep red raspberries. The flavor will knock your socks off! Find out who won the Crespo Summer Mango Mania contest in this week’s buyer’s notes. Steady asparagus out of Mexico through September. Supplies will tighten up in October. Artichokes are starting to get into a rising market as volumes tighten up going into late summer. We will see the Fall flush at the end of September. Sun Valley continues to have beautiful orange and purple cauliflower, bunched beets, chards and kales.

Gravenstein Apples, A Local Favorite

Gravenstein Apples are a local favorite out of Sebastopol grown by Johnny Appleseed from Solana Gold. It is the first California apple to be harvested and hints of fall around the corner. There are not many organic Gravenstein apple growers left so don’t miss this employee favorite!

Russian settlers brought the Gravenstein to California in the mid-19th century. The Gravenstein is loved for its sweet tart flavor and berry fragrance. It makes a gorgeous cider and an excellent pie.

Did you know that the Gravenstein is on the Slow Food USA Ark of Taste? https://bit.ly/gravensteinslowfoodarkoftaste

Johnny Appleseed Solana Gold

Subtropical Kiwano Horned Melon

Kiwano Horned Melon taste like a mix of cucumber, kiwis and bananas when ripe.  The fruit will have an orange rind and give slightly to gentle pressure when ripe. Cut in half like a kiwi fruit and scoop out the fruit or squeeze the cut fruit from the bottom and tilt the loosened fruit into your mouth. The seeds are edible but the real flavor is in the green flesh!  Grown by Sunrise Farms(Buellton).

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes August 8, 2021

Sun Valley Raspberries are now peaking with promotable volume. The California Gravenstein, a local favorite, is the first California apple on the scene. Makes an incredible pie and awesome for juicing. California Stone Fruit season is on the last month with fruit out of the Pacific Northwest making more of an appearance. The Air Chief grape contest starts August 16th. Sun Valley is enjoying gorgeous weather in their new Slough Farm in Watsonville, bringing a bounty of red, green and rainbow chard and green and lacinato kale as well as purple and orange cauliflower. Tomatero Bunched Basil is improving as the weather warms up. Plenty of Mexican Asparagus. Brussel Sprouts are back in bulk. Sun Valley is enjoying gorgeous weather in their new Slough Farm in Watsonville, bringing a bounty of red, green and rainbow chard and green and lacinato kale as well as purple and orange cauliflower. Tomatero Bunched Basil is improving as the weather warms up. Plenty of Mexican Asparagus. Brussel Sprouts are back in bulk.https://secureservercdn.net/50.62.89.79/1vt.9c4.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Earls_BuyersNotes_070421.pdf

La Granjita Watermelon Gherkin Aqua Fresca

Watermelon Gherkin cucumbers are shaped like baby watermelons. They are about the size of your thumb and are good in salads or pickled. They taste similar to a cucumber with a hint of lemon. Victor and Veronica from La Granjita served this refreshing drink to Earl’s Organic on their farm tour. Antonieta Solorzano, Buyer Assistant put her personal touch on the recipe. Enjoy!

To make 1 large pitcher of 56oz use:

  • 6x8oz – Watermelon Gherkins
  • 56oz of cold water
  • Juice from 3 Limes – or more if you like
  • Add sugar to taste
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