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Crop News – 2022

September 07, 2022

Another summer is winding down and the growing season is turning to harvest season for annually producing crops. As we do every year we’ve reached out to connect with the many people we partner with to bring to you and Canadians across the country the Best of the New Crop harvest. We check in and get the latest on how the growing season went, what’s expected to come for harvesting and logistics, and of course, pricing for the new crop.

The most exciting news we have to share is that despite inflation, a strong US dollar, increasing labour costs, and the price for everything seeming to be rising dramatically, we were a bit surprised but excited to find that almost all nut prices are down! So we’re passing on the savings to you, and we hope this price break on so many dietary staples helps keep everyone nourished and pantries well stocked.

Especially with plant based and minimally processed foods, environmental differences year to year can change how well the plants thrive and produce their respective crops. Every year some crops do better or worse for many reasons, primarily due to weather variations and patterns during the growing and harvesting season. As with every year, there were a few bumps along the road, but most importantly overall the 2022 harvest is looking to be abundant and of excellent quality.

New! Beans

While beans might be a commonly found commodity, Canadian grown and processed beans can be hard to find. Both grown and processed on the same family farm, these beans are Canadian through and through. This farming family is able to supply us black, navy and red kidney beans, and we’re proud to be part of making Canadian beans more accessible to all.

As beans are harvested late in the year, they will not be available to ship in November with the main wholesale order shipments. We will ship them with any other late arriving products in January.

 

Dates – All varieties

Our date farmer, Greg, has reported that this summer was actually a bit cooler than usual in southern California where the dates are grown. This year they didn’t get temperatures above 38°C, whereas usually they have extended periods of time over 43°C. Surprisingly, cooler summer temperatures actually coincides with a slightly earlier harvest, and due to less growing time the dates tend to be a bit smaller than average. In the 30 years Greg has been growing dates, this is the first year they began harvesting certain date varieties on August 1st, which is two weeks earlier than even other early harvest years. The initial harvest quality looks fantastic, even if the dates on average are a bit smaller.

New this year we’re offering blonde dates, as an alternative to the much loved barhi dates that have been unavailable the last couple years. These new to us blonde dates are the most similar dates to barhis in flavour, texture and size, also being very soft and high in moisture and having a delicious caramel like flavour.

 

Walnuts – Organic

It was a rough start to the growing season for our organic walnut farmer, Jeff, though it appears likely it’ll be ending well. It started off when their area was affected by a late season freeze in the spring, damaging their walnut trees during the crucial bloom time. Then not long after that they were hit by a late spring hail storm which damaged the tender young green hulls of the newly developing walnuts. They were concerned the damaged hulls would be susceptible to blight and they’d lose more of their crop. Thankfully after the storm they had a dry stretch which allowed the hulls to heal properly and the walnuts to continue to grow and develop. This year they’ve just finished transitioning a new orchard to organic, which appears will help their overall harvest be up from last year. Though unfortunately some sections of their orchards didn’t end up producing at all due to the poor spring weather.

 

Figs – USA grown

This fig crop is definitely looking better than last year, with the fruit having far less blemishes and defects, plus it looks like they’ll have a higher moisture content as well. This is the second year the trees are producing smaller than normal figs, though a higher number of figs overall. The smaller fruit size is suspected to be mostly due to summer temperatures higher than the trees would prefer. Fig trees don’t like temperatures over 38°C, and if they experience extended periods of time above that they go dormant. This means they pause growing their delicious figs until temperatures lower. Did you know that figs are actually inverted flowers, and not a true fruit?

 

Almonds – Organic

This spring there was an unusually late freeze that badly damaged many orchards in central and northern California. Due to this freeze our organic almond farmer Maisie Jane had a difficult start to the growing season. Being located in the northern part of the state her orchards were hit hard. Overall it looks like she’s lost around 20% of the harvest due to the freeze. Some areas of her orchard with the earliest blooming trees were a total loss, while others had minor damage.

We’re grateful she’s still able to supply us with her amazing quality organic almonds this year. We love supporting farmers such as her that focus so much on earth friendly farming, and being stewards for the land which provides us all with such nutritious and healthy foods.

Hazelnuts – BC grown

BC grown hazelnuts had a great year! As one of the few nuts that can be grown in our cool climate, we’re happy to see the BC hazelnut industry continue to recover after the 2005 blight devastation. As the replanted orchards are still coming into maturity, the yearly crop yield is expected to nearly double annually for the next 5 – 10 years. This spring we visited some of the people behind the driving force to reinvigorate the BC hazelnut industry, you can read more about our visit here.

 

Prunes

The plum crop is another one that was affected in certain areas by a late spring freeze during bloom. The orchards with the earliest blooming trees have no fruit at all this year. Thankfully, some orchards bloomed a bit later, and our farmer is still getting a decent harvest. The fruit is looking a little smaller than last year, but what’s there is looking to be the same great quality you’ve come to know!

 

Macadamias – Organic

The saddest news this year is that our long time organic macadamia nut farmer, Christine, lost 100% of her harvest, a first in all her years farming. You may have heard about the devastating floods in the Lismore area of Australia earlier in the year, which were far reaching and had a catastrophic impact. From February to June 2022 their macadamia plantation could not be accessed with any kind of machinery, be it tractors or regular vehicles. While their home was also flooded, they were lucky it was spared from complete destruction. However, her son and his family were not as fortunate and their house and all their possessions were completely destroyed. Water flooded 2 meters high into the second story of the house at a record hight of 14.4 meters, causing irreparable damage to their home and many others.

They’ve now turned their focus to the 2023 crop, and to rebuilding and recovering from all that entailed this year. The good news is that the health and nutrition of their macadamia trees is excellent, and the consistent rain does not adversely affect them. As long as there isn’t extreme flooding again next year they should be back to farming with a healthy and bountiful crop.

As they were understandably unable to harvest this year, we have found an alternate source for organic macadamias for this year only. We’ll be back to buying the organic macadamias we all love so much from Christine the moment we’re able to.

 

Blueberries – Canadian Organic

We were excited to hear that the Canadian grown wild blueberry harvest is back to normal this year, after freeze devastation in 2021. Because of this, the price has lowered significantly! Yay!

 

New Gourmet Gift Basket Design!

We’ve revamped our Gourmet Gift Basket design this year! After many years using a traditional wicker basket, we’ve updated it to a useful and reusable insulated lunch cooler. The cooler bag is then packed full with a selection of eight of our popular nuts, dried fruit, mixes, and confections in our 1 lb resealable bags. Check out the new design here.

 

2 comments for Crop News – 2022

  1. Tried to print the Crop News 2022 letter, but
    some of the wording was covered up on the right side of the pages by a note with large words SHOP, Ways To Order, Recipes,
    About, Blog. It would be nice to be able to read this as a paper copy rather than online !

    • Hi Richard. If you shoot us an email or give us a call we can print and mail you a copy of any articles you’d like to read on paper. We stopped producing paper copies of our articles to reduce paper usage and some unnecessary waste that goes along with printing and bulk mailing out. We strive to keep our business as low impact and environmentally friendly as possible, which includes printing as little as possible.

      As I don’t have the same formatting issues as you’re describing when I do a print preview of the blog post from the website, you might be able to adjust the formatting and size of how a page prints in the print settings.

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