Re: think about this while planning spring planting
Michael Isensee (email@example.com)
Thu, 19 Feb 1998 10:00:28 -0800
> CBS reports tonight that the El Nino rains in California are likely to > cost us dearly for our produce later this spring. Boy howdy, if that > doesn't sound like an opportunity for local growers, wherever you are, > then I don't know what does. Did you know that over 90% of America's > head lettuce is grown and packed in California. It's a shame that we > ever let it happen.
As one who has worked on an organic farm here in California (Terra Firma
in Winters, 60 miles north of San Francisco)and continues to work at two
year round farmer's markets, I must say that our loss out here ought to
translate into gains throughout the rest of the country. However, it
won't happen unless you plan and market accordingly.
> Now seems like a great time for local growers in the midwest to take >back some market share, build some relationships, put up a small hoop >house or two and see if they can keep the local lettuce in market 9-10 months of the year!!!
Salad mix from California will also see increased prices. Hope you are
plannning for young salad greens! Hot weather crops from California,
will also likely be delayed as planting looks like it will be pushed
back by a number of weeks or even months. The rain is supposed to
continue until sometime in April.
> With the rate of farmland loss in California, it won't be long
> before California evolves itself out of being the nation's salad bowl.
> A $65 million dollar loss in California ought to communicate into a
> $65 million dollar Midwestern Bonanza. Lettuce, Broccoli, Cauliflower,
> Strawberries, Peppers . . . now, if we can just find local labor
> willing to participate in the economic renewal of rural America.
Another possibility is that we will continue to see foreign market share
of organic produce increase. Here in California stores organic produce
from Mexico is at its lowest price in years. Organic tomatoes in
February for only $2.29 a pound! It may not be long before foreign
organic produce is sold cheaper than locally grown produce, even here in
good ol' California.
And unfortunately the local floods and ongoing wet weather affect all of
the small farmers in California just like it affects the mega-growers.
Bad weather here is not good news for all small farms.
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