January 18, 2018

  Market Notes
January 18, 2018


We are witnessing the dying of an industry at worst or a huge transition at best. It may not be the perfect storm but to date it is a least a double whammy. There are significantly less trucks available for hire. This is due to the electronic enforcement of trucker’s hours. Traditionally this would welcome in a new breed of truckers, trucking, timing and compensation and the industry would “evolve.” But with driverless vehicles around the corner there is no logic in humans making truck driving a career. Budweiser has already tested driverless deliveries and we will see an 80% transition over the next decade. Until that time trucks will remain scarce and expensive. As to how much price will drop and where the profits will go in the robotic driving era we offer the old Chinese proverb, “we’ll see.”


Just as the yellow tomato market was opening up, we are hit with the first freeze of the season in an area that does not usually freeze. After screaming, begging, holding our breath and crying, we finally got a reasonable tutorial on freezing and yellow tomatoes. Herewith we forward this wisdom. It’s all about the hours. If the plants experience freezing temperatures for one to three hours there is a good chance they will survive. If it is four hours or more, there will be blood. The true assessment will occur in warmer weather which is Saturday. Cool temps for the next two nights but not low enough to be dangerous. So come Monday we will know if we have a program or not. This is yet another example of extreme weather which changes the harvest landscape.


All of our baby greens woes are gone. The cooler nights is the desert warmed up and the daylight temps are perfect. When you are growing baby greens the cycle is short so a few days can make a major difference. And in Yuma, they did. Teen spinach is in good supply and the leaves are sturdy and perfect color. Baby green kale is abundant both organically and conventionally. Baby arugula is the same way. Our baby lettuce program is in full function which means lots more varieties and four pound plus box weights. No more allocations, no more long load times, and best of all, starting Monday all pricing is back to normal.


am never alone. Wanting to be pure and simple my whole life, but it was just not meant to be. I guess my first association was Greek. Then I went wild and since then I have been associated with Italians, Mexicans, golden showy, beautiful, wooly white, and happy hills. While I might be as old as the hills, that flavor won’t make you happy unless you want something scentless, tasteless and green. Keep that in your medicine cabinet to make poultices help with your everyday scorpion bites, sore muscles, and hair loss. The Greeks and the Romans discovered me first and I was considered a medicine by many, including Pliny and Dioscorides. Then the colonists brought me to America for their gardens, but I escaped, becoming wild once again. Free in the new land, I searched for good ground. Along the way I meet and fell in love with the tomato, a relationship that has been nurtured ever since. I also flirted a lot with zucchini, and was often the toast of the cucina. Then I met my sister (so they tell me) Marge and the confusion began again. Will it be her green leaves or my white flowers? Coarse rigini from Greece, or dried for a sprinkle? Her sweet oil, or my intense concentrated oil? Did you know it takes 200 pounds of my leaves to produce a single gallon of my oil? Anyway, no matter what I end up being called, I am essential in pizza, pasta, and many chili powders. I am popular in blossom, in fresh green leaf, or dried. I am often used as a healing tea. My nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin A, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. Don’t carry me in a baggie or you’ll be suspect but that might not matter anymore.

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

Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
Visit us at www.culinaryproduce.com
“like” us @ Culinary Specialty Produce on Facebook©
Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

This entry was posted in Archive.