Discovery Organics | MARKET REPORT – DEC. 23RD, 2016
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Have a great holiday – make Brussels Sprouts great again.

Here’s hoping, for those of you in the retail trade, that you are raced off your feet!  The Holiday season turns on strongly held traditions, and although we have commercialized the heck out of it, it really comes down to sharing, smiling and celebrating friends and family with great food.  Everything isn’t the same as when I was a kid.  Stores used to close at 3:00 on Christmas Eve and not open again until the 27th or 28th.  Boxing Days were illegal, at least in Vancouver, until the mid-80’s.  People didn’t shop for Christmas presents on the 26th and delay the family get-together until Boxing Day night so they could buy presents cheaper.  All presents came with batteries.  People went to church on Christmas morning before racing home to stuff the turkey.  But that’s about it – I think the rest is about the same, and for most families, it is getting together to celebrate a holiday, whether it’s Christmas or the holiday of any other religion, and eat, drink and not answer work emails, at least for the day.



And the celebration pivots on food.  Here the traditions are closely adhered to – the fact that sales of Brussels sprouts are 10 times as strong this week is a pretty convincing argument.  Some vegetables are shunned in place of foods that are ‘must have’s’ at family meals.  Salad?  Who has room!

So let’s travel back in time 80, or 300 years to what was on the dinner table, and why.  Back in those days, people, out of necessity had to store their winter vegetables, or rely on others.  There were no tractors or even rail cars moving produce from California.  So we, as a society, grew and stored specific varieties that would hold until or past Christmas, and after that eat canned or pickled veg until spring.

So, late cabbage varieties are usually of German heritage, and at the right temperatures can hold in a root cellar for 8 months!  Beets, Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips the same – no problem with them lasting right through winter.  Garlic and Onions also last for 8 months in storage.  The hardest of the fall apples and pears stored just fine in the root cellar well past Christmas.  Why Brussels Sprouts?  They can hold on the plant and continue growing on occasional warm days right through the winter.  They get sweeter the colder it gets.  Cranberries – our latest producing berry, can be stored well into December, and canned after that.

So I think it’s really lovely that we not only hold onto our holiday traditions, but we also feast with our families with more local root crops than at any other time of the year, sort of a celebration of farmers growing food that can be stored or preserved for a long time.

Growing, harvesting, selling and cooking – well, they are acts of love.  There is no greater virtue than to love and feed people.  You gotta’ admit it – at some or all levels we are all in the same boat – we are all part of a food system involved in this wonderful act of feeding others.  You are not alone – over 25% of the world’s population is directly involved in producing food for others, not including another 25% who grow their own food for their family and friends.

Have a great holiday – make Brussels Sprouts great again.

Now for actual market news:

Very little has changed across the whole board with the following exception:

It’s raining again across southern California – on the coast as well in the Central Valley.  Don’t expect any high quality spinach for awhile – mud splash is an issue there, and citrus harvest is also being hampered – can’t harvest in or just after a rain, so Navel’s are a little tight.

We have Peru Asparagus listed, but no room on a plane yet so might not see until mid-week at this point.

Pricing has soared on Cauliflower – moreso on the conventional side, but still up quite a bit.  Broccoli, kale and lettuce is creeping up and we expect the massive over-supply of celery to end in the next 10 days.

Markets on cukes, zucchini, eggplant is also tightening up with increases this week on some items from most shippers up a sharp 20%.

Finally, we will be issuing a price list on Wednesday, but prices on currently active lines will not change in price – any increase will be tied to product incoming after Wednesday.  So that means we may have gifted you a couple of hours of work next week.


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