mo ribbon

The latest in fresh produce news

Market Outlook

Produce Express

Market Outlook - March 31, 2011

Delta Asparagus, New Crop Potatoes

This week the sun is out, the temperature is rising and asparagus is in season. The harvest was delayed for about two weeks due to winter weather, then, once started, Delta asparagus became quickly available-this is actually the third week that we have had local asparagus in stock. Nearly 80% of the 200 million pounds of fresh asparagus grown in the United States comes from California. Due to increased competition from other countries, planted acreage of the crop is down from 36,000 acres seven years ago to just 16,000 acres being planted this year. Though available year round from various parts of the world, asparagus is at its best when the crop originates from the Sacramento Delta region. The region is known for its rich, peat like soil that has proven to be perfect for the asparagus plant. The Delta crop will continue through mid May, weather permitting. Produce Express is currently stocking the 28# case and, considering the price of many produce staples at this time of year, asparagus is an excellent value. We may see a price increase as the Mexican crop finishes this week and once again when the weather warms.

Also available this week from Capay Organics are three varieties of new crop organic potatoes. Established in Yolo County for over 20 years, Capay Organics last year acquired acreage in Brawly, Ca. (Imperial County) and is just starting to harvest potatoes from this farm.

  • German Butterball-A well known heirloom variety with golden brown skin and white flesh and distinguished by its creamy texture. 24#-B size-$43.75.
  • Princess LaRatte Fingerlings-A large size fingerling with yellow-brown skin and yellow flesh-recognized for its rich, chestnut like flavor, smooth and creamy texture.24#-$33.75.
  • French Fingerlings-A sleek and slender heirloom fingerling with rose colored skin and pink/ivory flesh. Robust, buttery flavor. 24#-$33.75.