Peter's Weekly Walkthrough

March 14, 2023

Rain! Did you know that Mawsynram, India is considered the wettest known point on Earth with and average 467.40 inches of annual rainfall? Looking at the reports from --

California with all the atmospheric rivers, they may be catching up with Maysyrnram, India. Below is the word we got today about the Salinas, Watsonville area. The link takes you to some aerial photos of the extent of the flooding.

California and specifically the Central Coast growing regions have experienced significant rain and cooler than normal temperatures over the past several weeks.
On Saturday, the Pajaro River breached a levee causing severe flooding to the Pajaro Valley area in Watsonville. 

On Sunday, the Salinas river reached flood stage causing flooding in the Salinas Valley.
Another storm is forecasted to bring heavy rain and wind beginning this evening and into early Wednesday affecting all three growing regions yet again.
The Santa Maria and Oxnard growing areas expect another 1-3 inches of rain by weeks end.

It is too early to determine what impact there will be to all fields.  Our teams won’t be able to assess our strawberry ranches until the water recedes particularly in the Salinas and Watsonville areas.
Please see the attached link and you can see the seriousness of this situation.

This is not exclusive to Salinas area either so many crops have been affected or will be affected. It is the “will be affected” that concerns me the most. Early April they will be transitioning from Yuma to California. We are hearing that leaf lettuces (Romaine, green leaf, red leaf, iceberg), broccoli, cauliflower and berries will all be affected. Since time is on our side, start to think of alternatives for the menu. In the past, I have gone thru the lettuces and good alternatives. Here are some alternatives for the vegetables:

Asparagus- We should see Asparagus coming in from 3 growing areas including the Local Eastern Washington growing areas
Cabbages and Kales- great for braising or cooking southern style with some Old Bay and a touch of vinegar at the end!
Corn- last week we saw the first Bi-color corn in so it is just starting. Quality will get better and better as the season continues.
Brussel Sprouts- John Rich, the buyer, is a man of few words. In his words they are “plentiful”. Not too long ago, they were a fall/winter item. Now they are year round.

I would be remiss if I did not give you some idea what to expect the next couple months. With that in mind, lets take a garner at what is in the warehouse.

Coke Farms, a leader in the Organic and Sustainable agriculture in California, is bringing us some Organic Purple Daikon (20726-10 lb). In Korea, Purple Daikon radishes are popularly pickled into kimchi, a traditional dish served as a condiment or side accompaniment to entrees. There are many different variations of kimchi found throughout Korea, utilizing varying ingredients and containing different spice levels. In kkakdugi, a cubed radish kimchi, white daikon radishes are typically used, but Purple Daikon radishes are also used to add vibrant coloring to the monochromatic dish. Radish kimchi provides tangy flavors that can help balance rich, fatty, and savory dishes.

This is the week for Green Cabbage (20392-45 lb, 20390-3 each) to take the spotlight! This humble vegetable gets to share centerstage with corned beef and potatoes! Looking to do something different than just cooking with the corned beef braising liquid. Slice up a yellow onion and spread on the bottom of a pan. Next cut a green cabbage into wedges say 16 per cabbage and remove the core. Arrange the cabbage wedges on the bed of sliced onions. Drizzled with Mirin and EVOO and sprinkle with seas salt and ground pepper. In a hot oven it will go till the top gets charred slightly and the rest is soft and tender. It just sounds good.

Rummaging around in Room 4, I wanted to see what grapes we had. It is the room with the sweetest fragrance, all the sugars from the grapes and berries fill the air. Some of that sweetness is coming from the Muscat Grapes (21055-16 lb). Muscat Grapes are one of the oldest varieties In Greece, Muscat grapes are mainly cultivated on the island of Samos for dessert wine and have been cultivated there as far back as 1200 BCE. Samian sweet dessert wines are known worldwide and have inspired poets such as Lord Byron to pen famously romantic lines such as, "Fill high the bowl with Samian wine." Samian wines are also known for their quality, as the wine production on the island is controlled by the cooperative, which is a group that ensures the grapes are taken care of and all grapes grown on the island pass through their quality standards. The quality of the grapes also stems from the ideal terrain on the island and the years of grape cultivation experience that has been passed on from generation to generation.

Did I mention that St Patrick’s Day is coming up? We are stacked floor to ceiling with all the potatoes you could ever want. Potatoes like the Tri Color Marble Potato (22416-50 lb, 25524-5 lb) or the Yellow Fingerling Potato (22427-50 lb, 25518- 5 lb). I had the fortune to visit the Emerald Isle this past summer. We got off the plane and headed to a Pub/Restaurant that was recommended to us. My wife ordered and they asked would she like boiled potatoes or mashed. She went with mashed. Much to her surprise next to the Mashed Potatoes was peeled boiled potatoes. It was like this every place we went, whether it stated it on the menu or not, there was potatoes on the plate. So ahh, be like the Irish and use both the fingerlings and the Tri Color Potatoes this week!

Usually the Cherry Tomatoes (22991-12 pt, 22996-1 pint) are a light pink color and are “tart” flavored. This week they were bright red and sweeter flavored. While great eating fresh out of the container, they are calling to be lightly oven dried Cherry Tomato. The worst part of this endeavor is cutting each Cherry Tomato in half. A serrated knife helps with this, holding the blade over a sheet pan and running the Cherry Tomatoes on the blade and letting them fall onto the sheet pan. They are going to end up there in the end anyway. Once cut, face all the Cherry Tomatoes cut side up. Drizzle with EVOO, ground black pepper, sea salt and chopped fresh thyme. This goes in an oven at the lowest setting – like 150* to 170*, convection oven speeds things up. Do this last thing of the day, when you come in the morning the tomatoes will be done and ready to use.