Homegrown Organic Farms’ Stephen Paul Details Promotional Peak for Summer Holidays
PORTERVILLE, CA - Nothing hits the spot like a perfectly ripe peach in the summer. As I oft stock up on this seasonal staple, I turned to Homegrown Organic Farms’ own Stephen Paul, Deciduous Category Director, to learn what’s happening with this vibrant category.
“This last weekend, we were scratching—as we call it in the industry—on the Krista yellow peach variety. We should see more varieties come into play fairly soon,” Stephen shared with me. “With all the wet weather we had earlier this year, our trees are looking great. It has been very beneficial for us to catch up a little bit as things are accelerating. I think we should hit our peak around the second week of June.”
Just in time for some Father’s Day celebrations, methinks. Stephen anticipated the season’s peak should hit between June 10 to July 20 for the region, with continued availability through August.
“Traditionally, Memorial Day weekend has been the ‘kick-off’ to many stonefruit promotions nationwide. But due to the cooler, wet spring and the delay to the start of this year’s harvest, the West Coast will mainly benefit from our May varieties of peaches, apricots, and nectarines. Don’t be discouraged, though. Once June rolls in, we will be hitting our stride with a whole assortment of 100 percent Regenerative Organic Certified stonefruit this season along with Equitable Food Initiative for the 4th of July holiday.”
One key takeaway from our wet and cold spring this year is the effect of a lighter crop set that will generally produce a larger-size fruit. Therefore, even though growers are anticipating seeing an overall 10–15 percent reduction in crop set this season, the fruits are significantly larger, creating more extensive size tray pack offerings. Due to this, there will also reduce the smaller-sized consumer packs and 2 lb bag options. The grower’s smaller packs came to be over the past several seasons due to the typically smaller pieces of fruit caused by the persistent drought conditions California has been experiencing for the past several years.
“We’ve got a lot of good farmers around us, and they all know their ways around mitigating any issues—that’s what it’s like in this industry,” Stephen noted. “The rain definitely helped us, but we had to ensure there wasn’t too much damage to our fields. I would say the water situation has worked out in our favor, and we have enough to irrigate fields all the way through summer and well into the fall. That helps with our mission to provide great produce and be responsible farmers. There will be plenty of fruit around to satisfy people this year, and I hope that Homegrown Organic Farms can be a part of making this summer a great one, one peach, nectarine, or plum at a time.”
And as this summer comes through, consumers like me will be taking to their kitchens to make use of this seasonal bounty. Stephen is ensuring that I do so with a little challenge to make things extra “peachy.” So, I challenge you, dear readers, to see what kind of stonefruit creations you can whip up.
Share with us what you’ve got, either through ANUK or catch the Homegrown team at Organic Produce Summit at booth #400 from July 12 to 13.