February 9, 2017

  Market Notes
February 9, 2017


Other than mesclun and some baby kale organics are over for a good month. Without treatment they mold very quickly. That continues to increase demand on the conventional product and for the most part we can cover, but there are exceptions. The biggest exception is baby lettuce. Individual varieties and obviously BMX are just too small to harvest. The soonest we could expect any product would be February 21st, but more than likely the baby head program won’t be in full swing until early March. Unlike the rest of the country, conditions are great. 70 degree days and 50 degree nights with very low humidity is the perfect recipe for premium product; just need the time to grow. Stay patient, it’s worth it.


While Boston, Long Island and points north are getting hammered as this is being written we can’t report on the final result but for the mid-Atlantic states, it looks like the worst of the storm has passed. While three roads were passable for professional drivers, the airports were all but shut down with thousands of flights cancelled and hundreds of flights diverted. Bad day for cargo from D.C. to Boston and this will remain for the next three days. Numerous closures will back up the thousands of deliveries and it will be a cluster through the weekend. Oddly enough the major arteries in the D.C./NYC corridor are passable, but many vehicles are unintentionally dug in on the side streets. This is when it pays off to have a California office.


While the green and the roots got hurt, much of the winter citrus program survived the deluge. Fields are now dry enough so equipment won’t sink and we are in prime sweet season. Awesome offerings currently include Pixie Mandarins, Minneola Tangelos, Gold Nugget Mandarins and Lemonade Lemons. Heirloom Navels are at peak and there is a good supply of organic product available. Cara-Cara and Blood oranges (two varieties) are abundant and we are winding down on Melogold and Oroblanco. Chandler Pumelo is available in four sizes. Italian Lemons for Lemoncello are all but done and we complete our selection with remaining sours including Bergamot and Seville Oranges. Finger Limes out until March.


My “b” became a “v” for no particular reason, and we have always suspected the Romans who wanted to change everything and make it their own. Originating in the Mediterranean region and South West Asia, today you will find me thriving in the fields of over fifty countries, which is no surprise as I am one of the oldest food plants. My earliest remains on record date back to the Neolithic period (6800-6500 BC). China remains my largest region of cultivation. My erect, hardy, annual plant has created terror and joy throughout the centuries. While Egyptian leaders used me as offerings to the gods, Egyptian priests feared my hollow stems. I remain a reminder of rebirth and new life and take great pride in being a global staple from early civilizations to the present. Only the potato can rival my popularity, and that has been very recent, say, the last 200 years. I am a pulse in the vetch family. My thick green skin reveals a white pith-like interior, which provide protection for my green, brown or sometimes red seeds. Dried or fresh, we have numerous uses, but other than our very young, don’t eat us raw, it’s a hard way to discover my potential toxins. I am broad and am named Horse, Tick or Windsor. I’m not all good: I am responsible for an haemolytic anaemia “ism” that affects over 100 million people with inborn metabolic enzyme deficiency that creates a great challenge in dealing with my digestion. You will find me ground into flours, steamed, or sautéed fresh with bacon or ham, cassoulets, dried in soups, or as Hannibal likes them, eaten with liver and Chianti. I am a good source of protein and carbohydrates while being low in fat. I also contain carotenes and vitamin C.

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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

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