Randy Hooper - February 22, 2013
Category: Produce Update

Weather is now returning to what we used to call normal in most areas, with one hold-out. Just 6 hours drive north of Mazatlan, and 3 hours north of where “tropical” starts is Obregon, one of the largest production areas in Northern Mexico – peas, beans, tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini etc – well….the “normal” overnight low through the winter is 10C. There have now been 6 weeks of overnight temperatures ranging from -3C to 8C, not one night near normal. We continue to hear of crop losses in this area. Unfortunately, many field growers are in this district, which has driven the market for zucchini and cucumber up substantially. We will be just fine on zucchini, with a big harvest underway at our Los Mochis location, farther south, and we’re sitting pretty on cukes as well. OriginO English cukes are now in strong supply, and prices dropping quickly to match volume. Now’s a great time to feature avocado – sales are brisk, turns are quick, sizing is all good, and if you’re not selling bagged fruit, give it a try! Every few years SouthTex has enough of the amazing Heirloom Honeygold grapefruit to let us have some. These are incredible, and well worth us sending a truck to Texas to pick them up, as well as another shot of Red Riostars. The rest of the citrus category looks stellar. We have a nice range of pears, with the expectation of the first Argentina Bartletts arriving shortly. Berry pricing is a mess, with three consecutive frost / rain events hampering harvests, and cold temperatures stalling raspberries. We have product – it’s just going to stay pricey until spring returns. Raspberries are grown under plastic hoops in California so rain isn’t an issue, but a few sunny days would really help. We continue to see rocking sales on green beans, and should see the first of our own BOA brand arriving in a week or so. In fact, expect to see quite a bit of product starting to stream in from all our custom farming projects – just look for the BOA brand on the lists.

+Continue reading Honeygold grapefruit from South Tex will be here soon+
Reiko Fujibayashi - February 20, 2013
Category: Hot Shots



Hi All,

Check out our Fresh Picks today (think mini Hot Shots)!

We’re going to try to buzz through our coolers mid-week, to get pics of what’s fresh and fab!
File 1698

Green Cabbage from Nature’s Way!

File 1699

And their Red Cabbage!

File 1700

Beautiful BC Long English Cukes!

File 1701

Scarlet Turnips from Riverdog Farm!

File 1702

Red, Yellow and Orange Bell Peppers from Signature!

File 1697

Great mangos right now!

A variety of counts, and Fairtrade available!

Give us a call to talk Produce!!

Big Love,

Reiko Fujibayashi

truth. transparency. trust. relationships.

Discovery Organics

+Continue reading Fresh Picks!+
Randy Hooper - February 20, 2013
Category: Produce Update

We don’t have much to complain about this week – how can you complain when we have 22 apple varieties in-house late in February. We had full expectation of a very tight market this spring after so many crop failures in other parts of the world, but things are looking pretty good at this point. The avocado market continues to drop, but prices are still a bit over the Fairtrade price, so we can continue to be competitive while honouring our contracts. There is a very large volume of California and Mexican fruit, and a large Peruvian and Chilean crop expected over the next few months. A rather stunning selection of citrus continues to dominate fruit sales. We know there are too many varieties to stock, as tempting as some of the specialties may be. Hope you’re enjoying these mangos were sending out – the last two containers have been top notch. We have volume pricing available, as always – and continue to trigger ripening on what we’re sending out. The Mexican season has just started, with the first (and expensive) Ataulfos shipping out of Oaxaca and Chiapas. A large Mexican crop is expected this year on Tommy and Kent, which will keep prices fairly stable through the season. The green veg market continues to be choppy. The January freeze is well behind us, but daytime temperatures have struggled to hit traditional levels, keeping production tighter than market demand. We’ve had a couple of nights of light frost in some areas last week, which gives soil little chance of warming up during the day. The cold also spread south down the coast last weekend, including frost in Obregon, which affected some ground-croppers, especially on field cukes and zucchini. There has also been nearly unspeakable frost in southern Baja on the weekend, which has dampened pea production. Speaking of cukes – Origino now has strong production so we’re not expecting to see much need to list Mexican.

+Continue reading OriginO Long English cucumbers are looking great!+
Stefan Misse - February 18, 2013
Category: Farm Update

Sara and Troy Harker, who run Harkers Fruit Ranch in Cawston BC and pack fruit under the Harvest Moon label are recipients of the British Columbia Outstanding Young Farmer award for 2013.

Here is the link for more details:

And another article from the local Oliver newspaper's online edition.

Congratulations from Discovery Organics to Troy and Sara and the rest of the Harker family for all their hard work and the recognition they undoubtedly deserve.

+Continue reading Sara and Troy Harker named BC's Outstanding Young Farmers for 2013+
Reiko Fujibayashi - February 17, 2013
Category: Hot Shots

Howdy Y’all!!

The Sun is shining, and the birds are singing!!!

At least, I assume so…it’s nice to think about when you’re freezing in the coolers.

Why, oh why, did I forget my mittens?

Got to toughen up…wearing mittens kind of destroys any cred (street or otherwise) I might have once had.

C’est la vie.

Happy Family Day to our friends out East…hope you get some time for R&R with your loved ones!

Let’s see what we’ve discovered this week…
File 1677

Baby Bok from Sue Heger!

Tender lil’ choys!

File 1678

Leeks from Ralph’s.

Long and sleek, these leeks are where it’s at!

File 1679

Whoo…Bunched Carrots from Boskovich!

These are so intensely orangey red…totally electric!!

File 1680

Asparagus from Double D!

I’m always amazed by asparagus in February….but I guess it’s in season in Baja!

File 1681

Red bunched beets from Heger.

Extra earthy flavor!!

File 1688

Yellow peppers from Aztlan!

We have an abundance of beautiful colored peps in the house right now…all clamoring for some love & attention!

File 1686

Red onions from Viva Tierra in Washington.

A nice onion is a beautiful thing.

File 1690

Field yomatoes from Del Cabo!

I’m impressed by the deep red of these tomaters…lovely!

File 1691

Aztlan Eggplant!!

Gorgeous, deep plum hues…nice!

File 1692

Anaheim peppers from Del Cabo.

+Continue reading Hot Shots Feb 17th to 23rd+
Randy Hooper - February 15, 2013
Category: Produce Update

With California avocados hitting stride, and Superbowl over, avocado prices out of Mexico continue to drop off. We have a good selection, but yet another truck is rolling north with more big and less small, with pricing adjusted to give you options to sell larger fruit. Thanks for the mango biz. Good supply, and another container just unloaded. We’re trying to keep up on pre-ripening for you. If you ever want to jump-start mangos, or control ripening, just use a big plastic bag to trap heat and watch those colours come on. The rest of the fruit category is unchanged. Lots of apples, pears – citrus continues to pound along, and we have our fingers crossed that the berry market will swing around substantially in the next couple of weeks. We’ve been able to add several B.C. lines on the list, with farms with good root coolers pulling out their over-winter storage crops – so let’s keep pushing on those root crops. You will also notice OriginO Long English cukes on the list – don’t go crazy just yet – supply will be tight enough for a couple of weeks so we’ll still be shopping in Mexico. Once again, green vegetable prices continue their very slow slide – still not back in normal range, but slow improvement is a good thing. The pepper and tomato markets are on fire. Coloured bell pricing is as low as it has ever been and 15% lower than this time last year. Same story for tomatoes with exceptional quality, volumes and pricing on all SKU’s. Even eggplant is hitting normal price and volume ranges. We’re watching the last of our B.C. hard squash disappear, with very little back-up south of the line except on butternut. Onion pricing has stabilized somewhat after Washington growers drove prices up too quickly. Reds are very tight with a potential gap in June, but yellows are fine.

+Continue reading Pre-ripened Mangos on hand if you need them!+
Randy Hooper - February 13, 2013
Category: Produce Update

Here’s some trivia for you. When the huge Bonneville Power Project dammed the Columbia River back 70 years ago, it promised hundreds of thousands of acres of irrigation water, which turned the Eastern Washington deserts into a growing oasis. At that time the mighty Red Delicious was by far the most popular apple in the U.S. After 70 years, still 47% of Washington’s apples are Red Delicious – the U.S. apple of choice. Right now, over 50% of Washington’s remaining storage apples are Red Delicious – over 27 million trays worth! Who wudda thunk? Blueberry quality continues to improve with fruit now coming from the most southern districts in Chile, with much cooler harvest temps – fruit is crunchy with great blush. Red globe Peruvian grapes are huge. Peru is just starting its path to grape glory. Chile has never been able to get organic grapes to size up to export standards, and can’t inject growth hormones into the soil like they do with conventional (yes, seriously!) Peru grape growing areas are on the equator, so unlike other areas where the growing season is controlled by heat and light, Peru can control their harvest cycles to fill in seasonal gaps simply by pruning at the right time. Feel free to buy heaps of mangos – they are beauties. We are triggering ripening on these so you should have faster turnover. If you want to run an ad let us know early enough we can ripen in advance for your volume. Strong supply of the best 4 sellers in the pear category – and we are expecting seamless transitions on all varieties with Argentina product on the water. Asparagus supply will remain iffy with freezing temperatures hitting Caborca again. Caborca is a major asparagus producing area, due south of Phoenix, but that’s about all they grow there because it can be really darn cold, and asparagus always comes back quickly after a freeze. Broccoli prices continue to wander down with production in several growing areas increasing.

+Continue reading Delicious!+
Randy Hooper - February 8, 2013
Category: Produce Update

Now 4 weeks after the freeze, markets are slowly starting to correct on many commodities. Frost has the least impact on cole crops (broccoli and kale), so little product was hurt – but the cold stopped any growth for a few weeks. Fast growing spinach and cilantro will also start to ease as new crops planted after the freeze hit the market. Lettuce continues to be a tough one, and will be for a few more weeks. The growth cycle in the winter is longer, even down south. On the sub-tropicals, a substantial amount of peppers and tomatoes are shade-house grown in Sinaloa state, south of the early January freeze affected areas, with seasonal peppers and tomato pricing. The high price on vine tomatoes is more market-driven than anything else, with demand continuing to up-tick on these – the vines from Quebec are stunning! The situation for cukes and zucchini is much different. Those plants can’t handle temperatures much below 4C – cold air and wind really hurt their delicate leaves, so even fields growing in warmer areas took quite a hit. Now, we do have a bit of an announcement for you that we think is pretty exciting. After the last big freeze in 2009 we decided it was time to look farther south for winter-growing of more sensitive crops. We settled on a 150 acre leased field in Los Mochis (5 hours north of Mazatlan) and within eyesight of the Pacific. This area has never had frost. We have a wide assortment of product growing there, from sweet broccoli and green beans to cherry tomatoes – 20 different items in total. The first of this line-up is in the pipeline, with zucchini arriving on the weekend, and several pack-outs of cherry tomatoes arriving in the next 10 days. (Don’t freak at the price – the zucchini are packed in 40# boxes!) Frankly, it’s our feeling that climate change is having such an impact on agriculture that we decided to be pro-active, hedge our bets, and do custom farming projects much farther south.

+Continue reading Baja Organic Agriculture (BOA) zucchini have arrived...more to come on this program.+
Randy Hooper - February 6, 2013
Category: Produce Update

Lots of great fresh product arriving today – the avocado and grapefruit have arrived, after a 2 day delay at the Mexican border. The Quebec vine tomatoes should arrive today, after a 2 day delay – truck breakdown. Our first mangos from Agrovida arrive today, after a 2 day delay at port. Ah, the joys of importing produce. We’re also seeing shorts on green onions and cilantro crossing the Mexican border, after some bozo decided that putting bags of pot in onion boxes was a good idea, and now every truck carrying those commodities is getting a very, very, rigorous search. Our apple supply situation is changing quickly as the producers we work with (Harkers, Organics Plus and Sundance) have pretty well run dry. Lots of fruit now arriving from Washington as we make this transition. Blueberries have been a hot topic, with more Fair Trade fruit just arriving. Blood and Cara Cara sales are outpacing even Valencia as consumers are quenching their thirst for new varieties and excitement in this category. Pears are still strong, with no gaps expected between the end of the Washington season and the first Argentinean fruit that is already on the water. Vegetable supply is excellent on all fronts except for just a couple of things, with pricing now expected to come off quickly. The recovery is not going smoothly, with some markets still very tight, and others coming back quickly. For the last several years we have never been able to get enough black kale and prices have trended higher than other colours. Now, producers have reacted and planted a mountain of lacinato, to the point that it is now much more abundant than green. Watch for leaf lettuce, kale and broccoli pricing to settle out by the weekend, with most other green veg items still bouncing around daily. Organic onion prices continue to skyrocket, with reds now doubling up quickly – we’ve mentioned before about growers cutting back production in Washington because of over-supply.

+Continue reading New Fair Trade avocados are in!+
Randy Hooper - February 1, 2013
Category: Produce Update

There’s a truck a’steaming across the Great Plains full of avocados and grapefruit due here in a couple of days to get our inventory back in shape on all sizes – it seems that the mass consumption of guacamole for Super Bowl has worked its way to Canada, cleaning our larders out this week. Another truck is zooming across the south with yet another load of beautiful Nature’s Way greens, swooping in to pick up some fine Red Riostar grapefruit in Texas on its way. Now’s a good time to make hay on this green grape deal, with prices down again for the 4th week in a row. With Peru and Chile both shipping a range of varieties as their organic production increases, and first arrivals due in short order, our thinking is that the southern season may overlap with the early Mexican fruit – which basically means you can open up a permanent space lasting through November. Meyers lemons are really coming on strong with exception flavour and juice – we have listings from several of our favorite orchards. Still a great selection of pears and apples. We are expecting a bit of a squeaky spring on apples – once Washington is out we may see a hole, with Argentina and Chile both expecting a late harvest because of cold weather (hmmm.. doesn’t that sound familiar). Get ready for a great strawberry year. Prices are coming off, supply is increasing. After the cold shock a few weeks ago, strawberries get a little stressed and start pumping out fruit (maybe thinking they will freeze again). Even fruit in Watsonville should start shipping in a few weeks – way ahead of schedule. The broccoli market is loosening up a bit every week, but we gotta say that the Better World crowns are pretty darn stunning, and very well priced. The green veg market is actually in pretty good shape – supply wise. We’re having a hard time keeping dandelion in stock, but other than that, things are recovering quite quickly.

+Continue reading Sweet Success Strawberries are back!+