March 30, 2017

  Market Notes
March 30, 2017


It is good riddens to Yuma. One of the rougher ones we have had in recent years. In the past it was often equipment but our ag geniuses have gotten past that. Nope, this year it was nothing more than Mother Nature. From the heat and the rain, the wind and the rain, the cold and the rain and the rain and the rain, we had more problems than we expected. Obviously the good news is the drought is either gone or significantly curtailed. Depending on where you live in California this year’s rainy season was epic. In Santa Cruz County where our west coast office is, there was more rain this season then….. ever. Tomorrow is the last day of loading in Yuma and we are looking forward to a beautiful northern exposure. Baby lettuces and frisee will be absent as we begin loading next week but should be available the week after.


Now that we are past the “be the first on the block to have” season of fresh Ramps, the season of volume begins. Next week we will have enough quantity to load containers for air freight and trucks for supermarkets. The price of ramps has dropped significantly and in three weeks there will be more ramps than you can throw a grill at. But, excuse the pun, we ramp up and down so there will only be a few weeks of over-abundance before we ramp down. Please talk to your Culinary rep for the best ad times and promotional deals. Western Fiddlehead Ferns are also now available in volume while morels are still slight due to continued frost. Good sized Claytonia (Miners Lettuce), will be available for shipping next week. Chanterelles are running wet and Huitlacoche is back in stock.


Asparagus production in Mexico is waning due to seeding and spreading caused by dry fields. Steady market will rise as holiday nears. California prices are up as cooler weather and increased demand tighten the market. Peru is running late as its fields are recovering heavy rains and floods. Supplies of French beans are increased but will fluctuate in accordance with holiday pull. Baby squash are a great buy with steady pricing, good quality and strong supply. Snow peas and sugar snap peas are readily available. Snow pea quality is good, while snap pea quality is improving. Transition is on for Blueberries from Chile transitioning to Florida which is starting slowly. Cold weather has damaged the Georgia crop which is expected to cause delays and lower overall volume. Blackberries from Guatemala are steady and will be available through domestic production expected in April. On shore, yellow tomatoes are hitting peak with many sizes and great pricing.


I have been growing Europe and Asia since prehistoric times. I have been bitter my whole life so most folks are not real fond of me. My flowers are a bright yellow and white and from a distance look like the blanched center of a head of frisee. My flowers go well with gooseberries, can be made into fritters, or used to add intense flavor to various drinks. Due to my bitter taste I have traditionally been left as sustenance only for the poor. Today I can be found growing on country roads throughout the summer but leave us alone unless you want a meal of dust and pollutants. When we are prime, we are shiny and black. No matter where you find me or my flower, use us fast or we will simply melt away. Syrup and Wine are probably my most popular uses but I have been seen in pies tarts, savory pork sauces, fools, and made into vinegar. I have often been added to thin cheap wines to enhance their flavor. Outside of the culinary world I have been used for making dyes. I am a good source of vitamin C other than being bitter; I have nothing to do with age.

Answer To Last Week’s Quiz…CHANTERELLE MUSHROOM…Congrats To All Winners
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