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The latest in fresh produce news

Market Outlook

Produce Express

Market Outlook - April 23, 2021

riverdog farm

Riverdog is a 450 acre, certified organic, diversified family farm located in Guinda (Capay Valley), CA since 1990. Owners Trini Campbell and Tim Mueller grow a variety of fruits and vegetables using a system that promotes healthy soil and a sustainable ecosystem around the farm.

Spring (Green) Garlic: Spring Garlic is loved by chefs for its light, delicate flavor. It is the same species as regular garlic, but its bulbs have not yet matured into the pungent bulbs of common garlic. Quite sharp when raw, it mellows when cooked and is ideal for infusing sweet garlic flavor into soups, stocks, and pasta fillings. 10# case or per pound

Spring Onions (Red and White): Spring onions are sweeter and more mellow than traditional onions, but the greens are more intense in flavor than scallions. Spring Onions look similar to scallions, with a small onion bulb at the base that can be red or white, depending on the variety. They are wonderful grilled, roasted whole, or used in place of pearl onions. 10# case only

Tadorna Leeks: King Richards leeks are finished for the season and we will be transitioning to Tadorna. Tadorna leeks are shorter than the King Richards variety and have wider stalks, although the edible portion of a Tadorna is a bit smaller. Locally grown leeks add wonderful flavors to stocks, soups, stews, and more. They can also be blanched and served chilled in salads, fried for garnishes, or grilled as a side. 12ct case only

Bloomsdale Spinach: A sweet, heirloom variety with a deeper and more interesting flavor than the standard flat leaf spinach. Each leaf is heavily crinkled, giving it a heartier texture, perfect for sautéing or wilting. 4# case

Braising Mix: A wonderful blend of seasonal, robust greens. Ideal for dishes that require sturdier greens that hold well under heat. 3# case

Tokyo Turnips: Tokyo turnips look similar to radishes with smooth white skin and white flesh. They are mild, slightly spicy, with an earthy sweetness. 10# case

 

california asparagus

Spring has sprung! We have officially moved to all California asparagus, grown in Gonzales, CA. We are currently offering 28# cases or per pound.

Asparagus is packed in five sizes: pencil, standard, large, extra large, and jumbo. The size of the asparagus should be determined by how you intend to cook it.
Pencil (about the diameter of a pencil) is best for sautéing and very quick cooking.
Standard (roughly the diameter of your pinky finger) is great blanched in chilled salads or cold appetizers.
Large (the diameter of your index finger) is the most common size and is great for grilling as it will allow you to add a nice char and still be al dente.
Extra Large and Jumbo (about the diameter of your thumb) is perfect for longer cooking applications such as roasting or braising.

It is important to note that size has no bearing on flavor or color.

 

the impacts of covid


In the last year, we have all questioned the impact that the long-term effects of Covid would have on our economy– the agriculture sector is no different. The lack of labor, funding, and demand are felt by farmers across the country. When transitioning from winter to spring crops, questions begin trickling in from customers about the availability of seasonal items. We are continuing to support local farms when possible, although the recent pandemic has made it increasingly difficult.

One of the largest hurdles is the lack of labor. Numerous reasons have caused the void, including restrictions on occupancy, illnesses, travel  restrictions, inability to social distance, and monetary struggles.

Another large issue being faced is cost. With Mexico having such a large presence in products being shipped to California, the overall cost of products are drastically different. California labor costs can not compete with Mexico’s. Because the market does not support the higher cost of California products, farmers have been forced to either abandon their crops or sell at a deficit.

Along with labor costs, California farmers have also had to make the difficult decision on what to grow and the quantities. The pandemic has made the supply and demand chain very unpredictable. Farmers have chosen to not plant numerous crops, especially specialty or delicate items, due to the lack of demand. Now that the supply chain has started to move again, the demand for certain specialty items is returning but growing the crops takes time.

We are urging our customers to remain patient and understanding as we adjust to the “new normal.” We love seeing our customers back in their restaurants and our partnered farmers in their fields, but it will take time to adjust. As always, we will continue providing updates as they are available.