Market Notes May 5th, 2023



    Markets continue to tighten as potato sheds in Washington state shut down, growers spend twice the amount of time and product to get the right pack.  Here is our outlook. Purple A potatoes are out until the first week of June. Organic rounds are available and pricey.  Conventional rounds are also available and a bit less but still pricey. These are new crop museum quality. Fingerlings from Oregon are winding down.  We will have one maybe two more loads east and that will end that program.  Oregon to LA will last a little longer as it does not have to move in load volume. New grower should begin by June 1st, keeping everything rolling without a bump.  Our orders are on the books, let’s hope they get filled. Prices on fingerlings will be up about $2.50 per case on both coasts. Mixed fingerlings will be available but not in great volume and they will be pricey as well. We have a deal on the yellow fingerlings, not on the mix.  We will also be able to offer FOB pick up in the Bakersfield area along with our loading dock and forward distribution facility in LA.


   So, we are a bit late on the chanterelle mushrooms and no little pockets of porcini yet, but the Eastern fiddlehead AKA ostrich fiddlehead fern are now available for shipping. Product comes out of Maine while her cousin, the lady fiddlehead fern is still shipping out of the Pacific Northwest. The Pacific Northwest is also boasting, morel mushrooms, nettles, mines lettuce, and wild spring onions. Morel mushrooms are also available from Turkey and China as this mighty fungus marches toward year-round availability. Ramps are not in abundance but the small amounts harvested are moving steadily.  They will be done in about three weeks.  Hearts of palm from Hawaii are just starting up, while black trumpet mushrooms are still looking sharp. Finger limes are sill a few weeks away.


    From the way things look today, supply is good. Beautiful specialty produce coming out of Santa Maria including baby squash, red and yellow teardrop tomatoes, mixed medley tomatoes, and a full range of color on carrots and beets.  Baby lettuce is in good supply as are red potatoes and fingerlings.  Edible roses are ready to ship along with a stunning array of edible flowers and micro mixes., Orchids are in good supply, all our specialty  herbs are available, and let’s not forget the petal confetti to dazzle everything with a rainbow of color.  What remains the busiest restaurant day of the year when it’s the first year in three with no infectious fear, the food service industry stands ready, and so are we!


  Utilized as a food by the North American Indians for thousands of years, I probably originated in the southwestern part of North America.  My cultivation dates back to 900 B.C.  Europeans learned of me in the 16th century, and I was developed as a commercial oilseed by 19th century Russians.  Today my most popular growing regions are Argentina, China, France, Russia, Spain, and the United States.  Summer is definitely my season, and in a way I am named after it.  My thick hairy stem can be anywhere from 3 to 20 feet tall and my flower, a flat round brown disk edged with yellow petals, can grow to be 20 inches in diameter.  Every part of me is useful.  My seeds are edible raw, roasted, chopped, ground, or sprouted.  The oil from my seeds is very popular, as it is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids.  This oil is used in salad and cooking oils, margarine, and shortenings, and has even proven useful as a diesel fuel additive.  My flowers are the source of a substance used to treat malaria, while my petals are used for making dye.  Bee colonies are often placed in my fields for pollination and the production of honey.  As a pharmafood I am an excellent source of potassium which promotes the reduction of sodium by means of urination.  I am also considered to be an expectorant, relieving the symptoms of coughs, colds, and asthma.  I am known to help poor vision.  If planted accordingly, I can make a great summer fence.      

The answer to last weeks quiz was….CHERRIES… 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