January 5, 2017

  Market Notes
January 5, 2017


It looks like the rain has created several disruptions in the normal course of harvest. While the waters are severely needed to fill the aquifers and reservations, many fruits of the season are damaged or inaccessible as well. The Finger Lime harvest in three of our locations has been wiped out. Even our special secret reserve source only produced fifty pounds for the entire season. It has yet to be established what the exact timing for Finger Lime harvest. We know they are abundant in the late fall and early winter but they often yield a limited crop. When this happens we usually get a large harvest in late winter and this is exactly what the growers are predicting for this year. While we are ending early for the winter crop it looks like there will be large quantities come March. This usually runs for six to eight weeks and then we are flush again until late August or September. We will certainly keep you updated but as of this writing, there is no volume to be found.


Strawberries and stem berries were clobbered by the rains but other fruits thrived. In the specialty category we have some very cool products that are stand out specialties in the citrus category. Mandarinquats are readily available in the market daily. Ponderosa (football shaped) Lemons are available on a limited basis. For the super sour lovers Bergamot and Rangpur limes are available with a day or two notice. We also have Italian lemons available that are essential for bartenders needs. Finally, we have great supply of Organic Washington heirloom navel oranges that eat like candy. We can sample these for serious buyers.


So one way or another, water is affecting everything. In the case of baby greens in Yuma the problem is humidity. High humidity limits watering and the end result is often mold. While the entire crop is not ruined, fields have been compromised and yields are low. This has primarily hit our organic products across the board but on the conventional side we are seeing a lot of rejections on baby arugula and baby kale. Our baby lettuce program has also been reduced and we are struggling to fill all orders. This is all supposed to get much better within the next two weeks as the warm days and cool nights resume. On a positive note we are doing a good job of rejecting and sorting so what does get packed and shipped will be top quality product.


My family is believed to have originated in India and then spread to Asia sometime between 3,000 to 10,000 years ago, depending on whom you ask. Currently I am grown just about anywhere there is warm weather. I am a member of the cucurbitaceae family, and it is believed that I am closely related to watermelons. The Sanskrit name for my family is soukasa. I have many siblings who are similar to me, but I am one of the old American heirloom varieties. My family members are the ones Leméry of England refers to when he says they “are hard on Digestion, because they continue long in the Stomach” and he only recommends that children who are of “an hot and bilious Constitution” eat them. I am more desirable than my long slender green siblings are because I am younger, sweeter, crisper, and more easily digested. My dimensions are 3 x 2 inches, I have a high sugar content, am shaped like a lemon, and I turn that color when overripe. I will become very chewy if left on the vine too long. But as a youngster I am sweet and crisp with pale brown flecks, and I have white juicy flesh. Considered to be and mostly used as a vegetable I am actually a fruit. Usually eaten raw, sometimes pickled, and rarely cooked, I make an excellent summer salad vegetable and a beautiful garnish. Although I am 96% water, I am a source of vitamin C, thiamin, and riboflavin.

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