Recipe Ideas Using Items from This Week’s Harvest Boxes
The Ripple Effect from Hurricane Irma. Nothing in life (and especially in the produce world) happens within a vacuum. A frost in California affects the produce markets in New York and a hurricane in Florida will shock the citrus availability throughout the country. The unfortunate part of all of this is that it may not be a short term speed-bump but rather a long term rebuilding process from the roots up. I’ll explain.
The hurricane obviously hammered the citrus groves during the storm. But the aftermath might be more devastating. The rains flooded the groves throughout Florida. Citrus trees are very sensitive trees and cannot stay flooded for more than about 10 days or you will begin to see the trees die from a lack of oxygen in the soil. So the trees need to have huge pumps brought in to get the water off of the trees. The issue is that the pumps throughout the state are being used to pump water out of residential areas and not the farms. Therefore we could see some huge loss of trees following this hurricane.
To date, I have seen the price of oranges go up 40% since the hurricane. And it looks like the prices have not even stabilized yet. So all of the citrus needs coming out of Florida has now turned to California. I read a report this week that California is in jeopardy of “running out” of oranges. This is not that the state will not produce them, but rather that every piece of fruit that is grown has already been bought by large produce buyers. And we are not one of those large buyers.
So what does that mean for us? Well, we have to get creative. When they Zig, we Zag. Or something like that. Here is a brief snapshot of what creativity might look like coming up. If demand is high on items like oranges, then we focus our attention on tangerines and other fun citrus choices.
We actually just got a delivery of the tangerines about 30 minutes ago and I got to dive into those. Wow! Some of the most intense tangerine flavor that I think I have ever put a tooth into. Again, not the prettiest of fruit to look at, but the flavor is so good that it will make your eyes tear up like you’re watching Dirty Dancing for the first time. “Nobody puts Tangerines in the corner.”
Additionally, we will rely on help from our friends. We have amazing partners in the citrus world. With the support that we give them weekly throughout the year, at times like these they give us some help even if they have to sell the fruit to us at lower than they could get on the market.
Lastly, Arizona citrus season is about 6 weeks away. At that point, we have relationships that we have built over the last 7 years there that will ensure our CSA members (aka You!) get all the citrus your little fingers can plow through. So if you see some articles on how crazy the citrus market is getting, have no fear, we have got you covered.
Apples. We have had a little bumpy start to the apple season, but I am happy to announce that I think it has smoothed out finally. Quality, price, and availability should be looking up.
Pears. Sorry to say that this will be the very last week for Paul’s Excelsior pears this season. Truly an exceptional fruit from a pretty exceptional orchard. I am always sad to see the end of his harvest. I do not think that anyone can match his quality and commitment to growing for flavor. We are fortunate he is on our team and will look forward to seeing his cherry harvest next June.
Green Chile. The incredible chile harvest continues to roll and roast on here. We are getting closer to that first frost date (usually mid October) and that will kill the chile harvest. What a dilemma for the poor chile…do you want to die a freezing or fiery death?? Tough decision. I’ll take the fire please! Anyhow, stock up those freezers for your winter needs now. As that famous Buddhist monk once said, “Ain’t no time like the present amigos.”
Very last item on my mental brain dump for the week, beef. We just received a new harvest from our local grass-fed rancher. Huge selection of some of the best meats that you will find anywhere. Insane quality of meat along with impeccable and compassionate animal husbandry. Doesn’t get any better than that. That is why I am happy to bring it to you.