COLORADO COLD – POTATO PROTECTION
The San Luis Valley in Colorado has very low humidity but it gets very very cold. At 7500 feet above sea level, the reflection of the sun on the snow is just short of blinding. When the temps are single digit you can wear a sweater because of the low humidity, but if you are a potato (you know who you are) being out in the -2 degree temperatures is immediately fatal. During these periods the transportation of potatoes from storage to pack house is limited. The temperature has to reach at least 32 degrees to load and deliver. Most days there is a “window” of opportunity where we can load from storage and deliver to the pack house during a safe temperature. When the mercury drops below zero, it’s game over. Now to the point. Temperatures in the San Luis Valley currently range from -2 to 10. The next time the temps are expected to be over 30 degrees is Tuesday 1-8-2019. Needless to say (but we will anyway) we will not be shipping out of the San Luis Valley until next week. Sorry, this happens about two weeks a season. If you are wondering why someone has not developed warm trucks with lined walls, it’s the unheated docks that also capture the cold and it is usually about two weeks. Just think brief hibernation.
ANDY’S IN THE WINTER- SOMETHING SPECIAL THIS WAY COMES
If you are a regular reader of Market Notes, you will remember we teased about this in late fall, but now it’s the real thing. Andy’s is now has a citrus program that is ready for fresh market. As expected with Andy’s crops, perfection is preferred over volume so the offerings are small, but now through February the Morgan Hill acreage will yield numerous varieties of specialty citrus. The season begins with mandarins and finishes up with some triple cross tangerines. Tomorrow we will receive our first sample of Kishu mandarins. These are tiny, seedless zipper skin fruits with a brix reported as high as 16%. We will have an opportunity to test these ourselves and report back next week. If you are interested in purchasing the fruit, pack size and FOB pricing will be available Monday 1-7-2019 along with a full menu of available citrus for the season. We have become quite amazed and never let down at Andy’s “hand” in growing stone fruit, melons and persimmons. We are just short of drooling with excitement to sample the citrus. Hopefully you will be too.
NEW PRODUCE QUIZ – – WHAT AM I??
There is evidence that the Assyrians and ancient Persians ate me, but the Greeks were probably the first to cultivate me. The Romans even referred to me as the “Greek Nut”. I do know that I originated in parts of Western Asian, and from there spread to the Mediterranean. Now I also grow in California, Australia and South America. I require warm weather to grow, and take up to five years to reach my fruit baring age. People who cultivate me now often use honey bees because I am genetically self-incompatible and need the assistance of bees for my pollination. The Hebrews used me as a symbol for haste because I blossom suddenly, but the Greeks and Spaniards used me as a symbol for good luck. Medieval Europeans used me instead of cow’s milk in order to avoid the rules of fasting days. Pliny, Plutarch and the Englishman, Gerard, thought that I was a reliable cure for drunkenness. My culinary value is unmatched. I can be used in anything from salads or chicken dishes, to Danishes and syrups. I can be fuzzy, green, and liquid, or I can be fuzzy green and solid, or I can be brownish and solid. Some of my varieties are considered toxic because I contain prussic acid when raw, and so my bitter form is banned from sale in the United States, but my sweet side provides a nutritional powerhouse because I am packed full of calcium, fiber, folic acid, potassium and Vitamin E.
Answer to this weeks quiz next week!
Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015