Discovery Organics | Apples
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Apples Tag


In 1964 on this date there was a string of frosty mornings with some snow falling in the Fraser Valley.  In 1986, around this time it was sleeting in Vancouver.  This morning there is fresh snow on all the local ski areas (although most are closed) and snow warnings out for the mountain passes.  Some years are just cold – including a few years in Vancouver over the last 100 years when there was actually no summer, just cool and rainy.  And in those years, as with this one, local crops are going to come slowly.  Last year was the opposite – we had BC Cherries on our price list last May long weekend and blueberries in very early June.  Not this year.  Even with hot weather on the way, it will take weeks and weeks for early plantings to catch up.




On our Peru Relief Fund.  We’re hoping to send as much $ to Peru as possible on Thursday, so they have the money right after Easter.  If you have made a pledge, can you do your best to make that happen today or tomorrow morning please?   Thanks!

Very few changes after Friday’s market report.  With most veg production moving to the general Salinas area, growers would dearly love to have a spring!  Over the last 6 weeks the daytime highs have averaged 17C – with only 4 days over 25C.  They are, to the one, crying the blues, especially after a 3 day rain event ending last night – but not much rain in the forecast for the next week, nor any heat to speak of.




Here is a quick rundown for you

Apples:  We were being warned of a potential early harvest of Gala for this weekend but the weather cooled off quite a bit over the last week, and there is cool rainy weather forecast for the Interior for the next 5 days.  Galas have to be picked several times and the first picks are fairly small, so we will presume there is no rush to get them off and all resources are closing off the peach harvests instead.

Calissi Farms 20100827-_DSC0871




Well, it is blueberry madness out there

A rapidly changing climate continues to play havoc on expected harvest dates.  One thing we rarely consider is the changing gas make-up in our atmosphere.  For decades greenhouse growers have been supplementing the atmosphere in their greenhouses by pumping in extra CO2.  Plants need Carbon Dioxide like we need Oxygen.





Well, let’s start off with avocados.

In the last 2 weeks the prices paid to producers rose 20%.  Avocado prices aren’t controlled per se, but there is a daily report produced that is available on-line to every grower that shows what the price paid to producers by the major packing plants was the day before, so growers know exactly what they should be paid for fruit cut in their orchards. This is the email sent from Salvador at Pragor:





A great line-up of FT product for the last two weeks of May!

Here’s a run through of changes we’re seeing for the upcoming week:

Apples – pricing continues very high.  We are trying to pull as much CA Fuji as possible – and aiming for the WAXFPREM grade – stunning fruit, although the priciest in the market.  Not sure when this situation will change – really all depends on supply and demand through the summer.  Remember, though, we’re just 8 weeks away from the first fresh BC Apples!





Here’ a fast mid-week update!

Apple supply continues to shrink and prices continue to rise as fruit becomes more and more scarce.  And of course only the fanciest grades are allowed to be shipped into Canada, so if there are deals it’s on Fancy and lower grades, and those stay south of the line.




Local roots are strong!

Well, we didn’t expect a late truck this week because of mudslides and road closures on the ONLY highway north out of Los Angeles!  There’s some great video’s out there of cars being washed down the “Grapevine” as that section of the highway is called as it passes through the Coast range.  El Nino predictions are that southern California can expect much higher rainfall than normal for the next 6 months.  This is going to help the drought situation because reservoirs will fill up and the groundwater aquifers will also re-charge well.  But if it is also warm while it’s wet, there won’t be a big snowpack in the Sierra’s, and that is the water that most farmers rely on.  We will just keep our fingers crossed.


Here’s your update for the week:

A complete plethora of apples, and the first pack of Pink Lady is on its way.  Thanks for putting up with our continuing shortage of smaller sized avocados the last 2 months.  Good news – the next order arriving at the end of next week has a much more even sizing array with good volume on 18/20/22’s.  We will also expect a slight price decrease with a slightly stronger Canadian dollar, and prices dropping off a bit in Michoacan.  BC Grapes are done, and although there are a few listings, there is no volume behind those lines – expect they will not be around this time next week.  California will be good for another 5-6 weeks, although expecting to end 2 weeks earlier than normal – and if there is substantial rain in the southern Central Valley, that could also shorten the season and they will be left on the vine to slowly shrivel to raisins.

Lemon pricing is coming off quickly with the new crop coming off the trees, and projections of an actual increase in production over last year from several growers.  Lemons just wait and wait for cooler weather to turn colour, and if picked green and gassed to turn yellow, they go back to green fairly quickly – besides who wants fruit that isn’t really ready.  California mango season is finishing off, and we will be out early in the week.  Now we will wait for Ecuador, and that will be a long wait with harvest delayed two weeks – take your mango signs down for at least 6 week.  We could fill in with Brazilian fruit in the meantime, but the distance between production areas and sea container terminals, and a long time on the ocean make this nearly impossible – especially with so little organic available.

Yes, melon season is over with local and California finished.  Now we wait for coastal Sonora – the first brands will likely be Llano – one of only 7 or 8 organic growers in Mexico who are licensed to sell cantaloupe into the US or Canada.  Then the market will open up with production from the Sonora desert – Heaven’s Best and Rico, and then Del Cabo in Baja.  Why the restriction on cantaloupe you ask? Well, it’s ancient history and goes back 15 years or so to a salmonella issue.  Only the larger growers who have full time testing labs on site grow melons for export, and it’s not chicken poop that creates the problem with melons – it’s salmonella on the actual seed, before it’s planted – which is why the seeds are tested before they go into start trays – there you just learned something!

Navel pricing is still high, with most of our suppliers looking at green fruit and waiting for colour instead of gassing them orange – which is common at the beginning of the season.  Homegrown, our traditional primary supplier has sent us a crop forecast that shows they will have 20% more oranges across the board than last year – partially due to more growers joining the company (which is a grower-owned marketing body.)  Expect a much different story on Navels in 2-3 weeks when the main crops start to come on.   California Valencia are virtually non-existent – most growers have stopped shipping.  The big change will be in early November when the first Mexican Valencia’s start – the first variety being Desert Sweets from the Citricos Coop in Hermosillo.  A couple of specials on pears for you as we transition from BC to Washington.  Most of our growers are done with all but specialty varieties.  Washington has a much bigger crop and enough volume to have CA storage on storage varieties like D’Anjou and Bosc.

Switching to veg – no major changes – BC is winding down ever so slowly, and production is still strong on many items.  On hot weather crops like beans, zukes, cukes, tomato etc. there is some availability, but also not a lot of strength behind some of those numbers – we know you’d rather go local, but that isn’t going to happen some of the time with lean volume coming in.

Our lazy dog days of summer continue for Fraser Valley farms, with highs this week in the low 20’s, production just keeps on going and is allowing us to miss the ugly transition on California crops – where production will be moving from Salinas to the desert, and there will be gaps in-between because of late wet dates (industry code for first time seeds get watered in the field or in starter trays) in the Imperial and Yuma areas.

Local roots are strong – probably our biggest selection ever on all roots from a multitude of farms.