Food & Farm News
» January 18, 2005 «
Timing is everything for farmers who grow flowers for Valentine's Day, and the California Cut Flower Commission says the blooms have stayed right on schedule for this year's celebrations. The commission predicts that flower supplies will be slightly higher than they were a year ago. It says red roses remain popular, but that mixed colors such as yellow and peach have shown steady gains. Valentine's Day is the number-one holiday for cut flower sales.
After enduring a month of rainy weather, Southern California strawberry growers say they'll need three weeks of sunshine to resume full production. The rains ruined berries that were awaiting harvest, but observers say the plants themselves may escape serious damage. Although there may be a supply gap from California fields, consumers will still find strawberries at retail stores from other regions, such as Mexico and Florida.
Some people predicted that children would shun fresh fruits and vegetables at school salad bars. But research indicates that schoolchildren will take advantage of the opportunity to eat more fresh produce. University of California researchers documented that, by photographing hundreds of student lunches last year. One analyst said the study shows that when schools offer a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, kids take them.
Processors continue to work their way through the state's almond crop. The Almond Board of California reports that 969 million pounds of nuts had been processed through December 31st. Ultimately, the board expects the total to exceed 1 billion pounds before the reporting year ends. Demand for California almonds remains high. Spain reported a short crop because of weather, which has helped increase export sales.Top