12.15 blogg

Owner Bonus Buys  Owner Price Regular Price
Organic Navel Orange Bags $3.99/ea $9.99/ea
Organic Kent Mangos $1.99/ea $3.99/ea
Organic Blueberries $3.99/ea $7.99/ea
Organic Pink Lady Apple Bags $5.99/ea $9.99/ea
Organic Yukon Gold Potato Bags $4.99/ea $7.99/ea
Organic Braeburn Apple Bags $5.99/ea $9.99/ea
Organic Hass Avocados $1.39/ea $1.69/ea
Organic Bananas $0.99/lb $1.19/lb
Organic Garlic $3.99/lb $6.99/lb
Natural Colby Jack Cheese $3.99/lb $4.99/lb


El Nino’s Effect on Produce Selection

It’s one of those years again, and this particular El Nino weather pattern is much stronger than usual, which has both good and bad aspects to it. This weather event “is the warming of surface ocean temperatures about 1,000 to 2,000 miles south of California that fuels atmospheric disturbances worldwide. It’s 2.5 times the size of the continental United States.”* Some of those disturbances definitely occur in California, where the majority of fresh organic produce is grown. This year, weather experts are predicting that this will be as huge as the El Ninos from the early 1980s and mid 1990s, and that California stands a chance to rebuild some of its aquifers and snow pack.

The much needed rains won’t bring us all the way back to the previous water table for growing crops out west, but it definitely will help. The rain, though, does hinder and sometimes wreck plantings and harvests as well as negatively impact cosmetic or surface appeal of fruits and veggies. This is why strawberries have been hit or miss right now as we’ve had to reject deliveries due to poor quality from increased rain. In a message from Albert’s Organics, our large produce distributor and largest organic produce distributor in American, they warned us about the weather impact this way: “El Nino brings winter storms to California: The strongest El Nino cycle in decades is bringing severe weather to California. Record rains will affect availability in row crop growing regions near Yuma, strawberry growing regions, and citrus growing areas. There will be shortages on product ranging from row crops to oranges and quality issues including blister, bruising, and red ribs.”

The row crops mentioned in this sentence sound innocuous enough here, but that actually describes a large amount of produce that one typically expects in a grocery store: kale, head lettuce, celery, and broccoli, to name a few. This is why pricing on celery, cauliflower, and broccoli in particular has been noticeably higher and led to demand outpacing supply. Our sales representative also let us know to expect gaps in supply during this late winter/early spring on packaged baby salad mixes like the baby romaine, baby spinach, baby arugula, baby kale, etc. as there is a new piece of legislation in effect concerning approved re-planting times after a field has been flooded by rain. Commercial farms now have to wait over 30 days to replant! Most crops for packaged salad take some 60 days to harvest, which would mean that we can see tight markets and gaps on those items for 2-3 months, much like the carrot crisis that is still ongoing.

This all sounds a little rough for the produce world as we are also heading into the spring transition where many large farms based in California move harvests and plantings to northern fields ahead of summertime temperatures. The spring transition is always marked by rains and this year I would say that we can expect a little more delay and gaps in supply than usual with the El Nino trend. Though again, the rain is much needed in California as their aquifers are at staggeringly low levels.

A little gloomy news update this week, but to perk you right back up, here’s the current list of all of our local produce from our P6 farms, available right now on our shelves:

Red & Green Mustard Greens
Purple Top Turnips
Green Kale
Turmeric & Ginger Root
Garnet Sweet Potatoes
Premium & Baby Shiitakes
Red & Green Leaf Lettuce
Green Cabbage
Watermelon & Black Radishes
Daikon Radishes
Sweet Japanese Baby Turnips
Roasted Peanuts
Dehydrated Shiitake Powder
Hemp Tonic Salad Dressing
Ozark Tonic Infused Vinegar
Pea Shoot Sprouts
Sunflower Sprouts

~Pauline, Fresh Manager