Market Notes March 9th, 2023



    Easter weekend is early this year, and it is traditionally the beginning of the transition up north for greens and row crop growers in the Salinas Valley. While the equipment will move, and the facilities will restart the fields will most likely not be ready.  Its simple math. Baby greens are a thirty-to-forty-day cycle. Moving date is thirty days away. Okay, so you stretch out Yuma a bit more to cover the gap.  Easy, right? It would be if it were not for the rain predicted for ten of the next twelve days. That would not be so bad if it weren’t for the fields too wet to currently plant.  While we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we see a potential two-week gap late April and early May for baby greens and row crops harvested in the Salinas Valley. Same is likely for berries in Watsonville. Shortages from this area could be abundant.  It’s just not gonna be good.   On a positive, note and down the road, it should be a fabulous apple season.  


   Morel mushrooms from the Himalayas in March is not only exciting, but further evidence that the  morel mushroom is well on its way to becoming a year-round mushroom. Then, as propagation flourishes throughout the planet, supply will meet or exceed demand and price will drop. A chicken in every pot and a morel mushroom in every pan!  Give it five years. As we welcome the early arrival of the morels, we sadly say goodbye to the black winter truffle. This is the last week of availability and as such the price has just short of doubled. Foraged bluefoots, black trumpets and yellowfoot chanterelles round out the mushroom category. With the weird weather we are be told by our soil starrers the ramps could begin in as early as the weeks. It is going to be a unique forage season with the different weather patterns everywhere.  


    Yellow fingerlings and assorted fingerlings remain strong from Colorado and Oregon. Product and price should remain steady through May.  The five-hundred-acre loss from a central California grower will create shortages with the next harvest in mid-April. New crop red and yellow rounds expected mid-April and new crop fingerlings are expected to hit the market mid to late May.  Organic russets remain very tight while yellows and reds from Colorado are shipping well.  Marble potatoes for both retail and wholesale are very tight due to the crop failure from the excessive and unexpected storms.  


   In Ancient Greece, when Daphne begged the gods to protect her from the amorous Apollo, they turned her into my tree — sweet, noble and true. Indigenous to the Mediterranean basin, but originally from Asia Minor, my tender perennial evergreen is a member of the avocado family and grows to 10-20 feet with clusters of tiny greenish yellow flowers that produce shiny blue-black berries. I am oval, smooth, firm, glossy dark and about 2-4 inches long. Recently seen fresh,  but usually dried, you love my strong flavor and aroma, but only if you drop me in, then pull me out, before you eat whatever I’m flavoring — sauces, soups, stews, meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, legumes, pates, marinades. My volatile oil is cineole and is popular in liquors, colognes, and aftershaves. An indispensable seasoning since the 1st century AD, I am antiseptic, digestive, expectorant, and anti-rheumatic.  I’m good for stress reduction, wound disinfectant, and for varicose veins.   I’ll live for a long time, sealed and hidden in the dark, but when I get old and impotent, please be kind and discard me.  You may not know that when crushed, I repel cockroaches; whole, I will keep weevils out of your dried goods.  Without me, you wouldn’t have bouquet garnish, an Old shellfish boil, a Nobel or poet laureate.

The answer to last weeks quiz was….DANDELION… 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