August 9, 2018

  Market Notes
August 9, 2018


We made a big mistake. We brought in a load of fingerlings that were not actually fingerlings. We were shown pictures and they looked a bit wide but we were told they were fingerlings so we figured they would be OK. We sent out several orders and they all came back. Worse than that for the first time we got editorials. The nice ones were, “nice try but no thank you” and the more expressive ones were “is this some kind of a joke”. We have since found homes for these lovely but not fingerling spuds, but the sad news is we were out for a week. The variety is called Annabelle and here is nothing in its taste or shape profile that resembles a fingerling. If you check its heritage back two generations there are no fingerlings in its family. So why is it called a fingerling? Because there is no federal marketing order to define what a fingerling is, you can call a carrot a fingerling and get away with it. The Annabelle potato is an early variety and is available when fingerlings are not. We have heard them called modern fingerlings and faux fingerlings and while they are excellent potatoes, a fingerling they are not. Not to get political but for those of you who watch CNN they had a commercial showing the picture of an apple and told you that some might call it a banana. If they call it a banana often enough people will start to believe it’s and banana, but really it is an apple. Same with the Annabelle. Buyers beware. We do have real fingerlings arriving for east coast distribution on Sunday including colors and mixes. Sorry for our error, we are now back on track.


While our major concerns are with people, property and livestock we thought we would take a moment to update the AG effects of the northern flames and southern heat. Mendicino cannabis along with Sonoma and Napa grapes have been slight affected, while the lingering smoke will determine the future of the existing crops. Late grapes (Cabernet) could be seriously damaged. Over 30,000 livestock have had to be relocated and several homes burned to the ground. Many growers of grapes and weed are not allowed back to their farms due to lack of access dangers of fire. At the southern end of the state the intense heat has slowed the production of baby lettuce and damaged the tops of root vegetables from Santa Maria and points south. Baby squash is breaking down quickly due to excessive heat, and many specialty greens are wilting. Harvest is now done in the dark under lights in order to harvest before the sun rises. Squash blossoms are very limited. Chives and dill are super tight.


As a member of the Labiatae family I am related to mint, thyme, sage and oregano, but the similarity stops there. Although there is a town named after me in France (where I was once grown on a large scale), my origins are Chinese and Japanese. My good friend, Dr. E. Bretschneider, was so enthralled when he discovered us in a Peking garden, he rushed us off to M. Pailleux, his friend who was vice-president of the Société d’ Acclimatisation. Not very popular in North America, I am still quite common throughout Asia. My plant grows as high as 16 inches and my oval dull-green leaves a puffy rough and useless. You will have to dig to enjoy me, and enjoy me you will. With my thin edible skin, a quick boil and butter, or cooled with a vinaigrette will reveal my slightly sweet flavor, which is reminiscent of salsify or artichoke. I can be steamed, baked, or sautéed in a wok but not for too long. Slight overcooking renders me mushy. Keep me away from aluminum surfaces to avoid oxidation. I am rich in carbohydrates and a small source of protein.


Answer To Last Week’s Quiz:…PEACH…Congrats To All Winners

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