Yakima, Washington State apple orchards are still thawing out after the worst freeze in 20 years hit them this past week. This is after a March 27th freeze that will severely limit early season Washington State Cherries. The most current freeze is expected to reduce apple harvests by a third. They were expecting approximately 120 million boxes, but projections are now for 80 million. That's a pretty drastic shortfall. A normal yearly harvest is in the 100 million boxes range. We're going to be in for another interesting year in the apple and pear markets.
Asparagus from California is still available, even though Washington is trying to figure out how their asparagus season will be on account of the freeze. Peru is finishing up their season so supplies are dwindling. We have Mother's Day coming up, and that's always a huge 'gras day. Expect stronger pricing over the coming weeks.
Florida tomato growers are finally catching up with demand. Prices are lower this week as farmers finally get past the frost damaged fields of January. Volume has increased to normal levels. Quality is improving since there's more fruit to choose from at harvest time. All tomatoes across the board except romas are lower this week, including grape tomatoes, round tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes.
North Carolina Strawberries are hitting full speed and supplies and quality both are excellent. Our grower is picking berries that rival any from California. Get them while they're here and feature them at these great prices.
Vidalia onions are here! The premier sweet onion of the year is now available and freshly dug. Quality is beautiful and as always, they are delicious and mild. The season only lasts for a couple of months, so make sure that you add them to your menu while you can.
New crop potatoes from Florida are here, and they are gorgeous. We have new crop red potatoes and Yukon gold potatoes. With soft, bright, clean skins, they are a pleasure to cook and eat.
Chilly weather in Salinas is still slowing down lettuce growth and keeping supplies tight. Huron, a desert area of California, is still harvesting, and thank goodness. The transition to Salinas and Watsonville fields has been a slow one this year. Once the change to new fields in Salinas begins, supplies should increase and pricing should ease.
Trucking rates continue to rise with the increase in fuel prices. Prices to get produce to North Carolina from other states keeps on going up with no end in sight. We paid $4.27 per gallon last week for diesel fuel. Maybe we should go back to horse drawn wagons for our delivery vehicles.
|So a pony walks into a restaurant and the waiter
whispers, "Let me tell you the specials COUGH sorry I'm a little
hoarse." "So am I!" says the pony.