local storm effects fruit crops

A Really Sad Story about Fruit and Hail
Excerpt from August 2016 Produce Department Newsletter

Last week we received an email from Mike Brownfield, one of the Co-op’s primary growers for Washington fruit, including stone fruit (peaches, apricots, etc), apples and pears that had the following information:

“Greetings to our loyal customers, I’m afraid the prospects of a great season for us have vanished. We suffered a vigorous hail storm Tuesday afternoon. It lasted about 7 minutes and severely damaged around 50% of our fruit….Since we sell all of our stone fruit to our I5 customers, the quantity currently available has been greatly reduced by this storm. The peaches, etc. were in an area that received the brunt of the hail, wind and rain. Concerning our apples and pears, one end of the orchard appears to have 30% damage while the other end has around 70%.”

What this means for you as Co-op customers, is that we will likely see less of Brownfield’s delicious fruit than we normally do, and that the fruit we receive may have some damage. Mike has also let us know that he expects to have many cases of fruit available for canning, so if you are interested in purchasing a case of slightly damaged fruit, please let a produce worker know and we can get you information on pricing and availability.

It’s really sad how such a short and unusual weather event can cause such a horrible amount of damage, and it should remind us all of the risk that farmers take every day to bring us the fresh, high-quality, healthy, organic produce. I wrote about this last month, but I want to reiterate that as climate change continues to happen, we will likely see more weather events like these, more pest infestations, and a harder time controlling plant diseases. So take a moment to appreciate your produce, even when it’s not cosmetically perfect.

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A picture of Brownfield’s delicious apricots pre-storm