You’ve heard us talking about transition troubles for the past few weeks as winter fields close down in Yuma, AZ and spring fields start up in Salinas, CA. So many commodity row crops like leaf lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli and romaine come from this region. Because Yuma ended early and Salinas is starting off later than usual, expect shortages and higher prices on these crops for two to four more weeks.
Artichoke supplies are tightening up as we head towards Easter. Smaller chokes will be extremely limited, so flexibility in your sizing requirements will help you avoid shorts and gaps over the next few weeks. This is a great week for tomatoes, asparagus and wild spring greens. Baby lettuces and baby vegetables including beets, radishes, turnips and carrots, have turned the corner and are all faring better now.
Asparagus | Product is almost exclusively from California now and supplies are super fresh—they’re moving so quickly we’re receiving at least three new arrivals every week. Expect prices to climb as we get closer to Easter and demand increases. Prices for AAA Dutch Asparagus are lower this week, so it’s a great time to buy.
Berries | Strawberries – Beautiful product is all coming out of California and prices are increasing. Stem Berries – Very good supplies available this week. Organic Strawberries – This item is a very good buy this week. Value Strawberries - We have good deals on strawberries this week from Florida and Mexico. Raspberries – The market is tight and prices are high for both conventional and organic raspberries. Blackberries – Driscoll’s quality is very good this week. We also expect Driscoll’s “Season’s Finest” label blackberries to begin within the next week or so.
Grapes | We’re halfway through the Chilean grape season. Red Crimsons are the most abundant now and black seedless are also plentiful. Chilean baby pink Muscats are still available. Green seedless grapes are extremely tight this week. Specialty grapes from South American include elongated black Sweet Sapphires, baby yellow Sweet Thompsons, seedless red Kandy Hearts and green Cotton Candy.
Citrus | Exciting late season citrus this week includes Golden Nugget mandarins and Shasta Golds – both easy-peeling with spectacular flavor. Grapefruits are all Ruby Stars from Texas. Buddha’s Hand citron is back for a short while. From Bernard Ranch we have un-waxed Oro Blanco grapefruit, red grapefruit and heirloom navels. Sumos are done for the season.
Leafy Greens | Wild mustard greens are just in from the Pacific Northwest; they have darker, thicker leaves with an intensely flavorful bite. Organic Lacinato kale is limited. We have plenty gorgeous green kale in from Texas and good supplies of organic green kale from Georgia. Organic spinach supplies are improving every week but conventional bunched Savoy spinach is limited. Purslane has just started from Mexico.
Lettuces | Romaine, Boston, Iceberg and leaf lettuces are all higher this week. We have enough Better Burger leaf from Mann Packing for this week, but we expect this item to gap next week. We’re excited about two new white chicories - Friseline from Holland and Coraline from California. Wild miner’s lettuce and nettles are in from the Pacific Northwest. Lovely organic Little Gems are here from Lancaster, PA. Availability is improving on Baby Lettuce from California though prices are higher as they’re air-shipped. Martin’s Farms Wild Baby Arugula and Fava Leaves from Salinas are now in stock.
Melons | Del Monte Mag melons and orange flesh melons are now both in. Personal-sized Melorange cantaloupes and Galia-style Royal Sols are due in on Friday. Honeydews are in from both Mexico and Honduras with excellent sugars for a winter melon. Good quality cantaloupes are steady, but there are better supplies on 9 counts than 12 and 13 counts. Watermelons are from Central America now with good color and sugars and will be moving to Florida next week.
Global treats to brighten the winter gloom, plus a few local lettuce surprises!
Guatemalan crops coming on heavy.
West Coat Lettuce still presenting challenge; be sure to check out our many other salad options.
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