Market Notes June 15th, 2023



    The Organic Produce Summit is less than a month away. Monterey, California will be the host city for this event scheduled for the 12th and 13th of July. Alongside all  the discussions there will also be a trade show that many of our friends will attend. Not being exclusively organic, we did not see this show as a place for us. However, our California offices are a mere 45 minutes north in beautiful Corralitos, between Santa Cruz and Watsonville.  It is a beautiful time of year for berries and stone fruits, and the local produce shines. Andy’s at Morgan Hill is a short ride away and worth a stop if you have time and want to taste the best stone fruit in the world, yes world! Lots of other local farms and a few national ones are in our back yard, so if you are looking for a personal tour, it’s our backyard and we would love to be your guide.  There’s also beach, boardwalk, and bars for a break from the suits and boots.  Hopefully there will be much talk about the new organic standards. While we remain feeling this is a useless requirement for non-handling brokers, it is still a requirement, and we have succumbed to the pay to play extortion.  All that remains is for an auditor to visit and look at several sheets of paper and we are certified.  For all others going through this process, whether you believe in it or not, there is a slight bonus for early birds.  For those who complete their certification before October, there is a $750.00 refund from some branch of the USDA. As we strongly believe in all the tenants of what is now labeled as regenerative farming, will we all need to be certified in order to non-handle that as well?  Only greed will tell. Finally, we wanted to let you know that the yellow fingerlings we are now marketing out of Central California are organic, labeled that way on the box and can be marketed that way. Only three weeks left on that program so if you want to get your organic spud on, now’s the time.  Hope to see you in July.  


   Hothouse growing is a very cool thing. It has all the benefits of outdoor growing while eliminating many of the issues caused by open field growing.  It can use less water and chemicals, control temperature and light as well as provide better environmental conditions for harvest and post-harvest. There is one major requirement that hothouses need to thrive and that is sun. Not so much for temperature as that can be controlled, but simply as a source of light.  For our greenhouses in Mexico that has not been available for weeks.  The gloom that has covered much of the central and southern coast of California is in California as well. Cherry tomatoes should be thriving right now, and unfortunately, due to the lack of heat and light, they are now a very hot market. Baby lettuces, peppers, and potatoes have all been affected by this unseasonable condition as well.   Clear, sunny skies are now in the forecast, just in time for summer, so maybe that season won’t be so weird. But El Nino is coming so that will keep us challenged.  


  A native of the New World, I was introduced to Europe at the beginning of the sixteenth century and am now also naturalized in parts of the Mediterranean, Africa, Asia, and Australia.  My plant produces a fruit and me, a vegetable.  You may call me by my Spanish name, but I am usually sold under a botanically incorrect term, as I am actually the tender oval pads or new growth joints of my plant’s stem.  I’m crisp, with slipperiness like okra and a flavor like green pepper, string beans and asparagus, with a tangy edge. I’m around from early spring to late fall, but I peak in mid-spring.  Buy me bright and firm, and then remove any prickers or eyes before you chop, dice or slice me.  Serve me raw or cooked — steam, sauté, or add me to soup or stew.  My plant was named the state fruit/vegetable by Texas in 1995 and I’m a favorite food of the kangaroo rat. Acitrones are me, candied, packed in sugar syrup, and available in cans or jars. I have large amounts of vitamins A and C, as well as B and iron and my mucilage is valued by the cosmetics and medical industries.  

The answer to last weeks quiz was….JABOTICABA… Congrats to all winners.

Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702 Visit us at “like” us @ Culinary Specialty Produce on Facebook© Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2020