A 300 mile radius, or less, to define locally grown may not mat­ter much to those that are able to pick straight from a hoop house out back every­day.

That real­ity doesn’t exists for most fresh pro­duce cus­tomers.

For three sea­sons out of the year, regional grow­ers make it easy for us to scratch our local itch. That fourth sea­son is tougher to rely on for close to home grown.

Liv­ing in the mid-​west, or other cold belt states, poses real chal­lenges for sourc­ing fresh pro­duce from inside the USA dur­ing win­ter.

Cal­i­for­nia, Ari­zona and Florida man­age to eek out a fair amount of crop pro­duc­tion through the dead of win­ter. The desert regions (Yuma and Huron) do the heavy lift­ing for Ari­zona and Cal­i­for­nia let­tuce and wet veg­etable production.

Chances are, if you’ve had a green salad in the last eight weeks, you’ve con­sumed let­tuce and other veg­eta­bles from places other than Cal­i­for­nia.

Jan­u­ary through March we rely on Mex­ico for a sig­nif­i­cant amount of prod­ucts for that in demand salad bowl. Let­tuce, toma­toes, cucum­bers, bell pep­pers, green beans, squashes green onions and Brus­sels sprouts likely have a “Prod­uct of Mex­ico” stamp on the box.

Given the ups and downs of recent cold, wet and freez­ing weather sys­tems in all grow­ing regions, mar­kets are fluc­tu­at­ing.

Nor­mal grow­ing tran­si­tions are due to begin. All that tran­si­tion means a change is under­way. Agri­cul­ture seems to con­tin­u­ously be adjust­ing to issues of water, labor, trans­porta­tion and weather. Maybe change and tran­si­tion are the new daily norms.

For Spring tran­si­tions, it means a field, loca­tion or region is about to end or begin. Weather has every­thing to do with start­ing and stop­ping and the sea­sons really do come into play.

A shift to come north will begin in the next cou­ple of weeks. Aspara­gus, let­tuce, broc­coli and cau­li­flower will be com­ing home to Cal­i­for­nia. Avo­ca­dos are on the move back to the Golden State too, along with other warmer weather crops.

As rain and cold weather influ­ence how quickly we move north, so will sup­ply and demand on pro­duce fin­ish­ing in the Yuma, Huron and Mex­i­can regions.

Next to cycle up will be water and labor worries.
To read the full Mar­ket Report, includ­ing this week’s mar­ket update, see below or click here.
Market Report page 1

Market Report page 2

Market Report page 3

Market Report page 4