Greenhouse conventional Mexico:
Persian mini cucumber – in about three weeks we will start back up with good volumes. Long English/Euro – available at the same time as the Persians but in smaller volume. American slicer – we had expected to have these going in a few weeks now. We were leasing some greenhouses but the owner of the greenhouses backed out. We were still looking growers/greenhouses to produce and have a couple of options. Hope to have these started in 2-3 months. Greenhouse organic Mexico:
Persian mini cucumber – available in two weeks
Long English/Euro – available in two weeks
The conventional cucumbers are coming from our farms in Michoacan. The organic cucumbers are from outside grower in Queretaro. Transportation is such that I have been taking all of our Michoacan production north to cross through the border at McAllen Texas. The Queretaro production has an LTL service they can get it into Nogales. We will be looking at logistics to see how we can take product of either type get it to either Nogales or McAllen as customers in the market dictate.
Own farms production:
On our own farms in Michoacan we have been doing bulk packs, 12 x 1 pound Persian bags, and have the ability to go into IFCO RPCs on Chep pallets if needed. We have been doing private label 12 x 1 pound bags the customers have given us with their label. We also have our own label we can use. Since we have direct control over this production, we are very capable of doing contracts/programs. Please let us know what your thoughts and ideas might be in setting up this kind of business with us.
We will start shipping avocados in about three weeks from Uruapan, Michoacan. This district is known to have probably the best avocado quality in the world. We will have the full range of sizes as well as first and second quality. It has taken us a while to get a group of growers together, an agreement with the packinghouse to handle the packing and shipping. The avocado business is “special” and very different from the way a lot of other industries the fruit and vegetable businesses operate. It’s taken us some time but we want to make sure we had things set up correctly.
Grapes Mexico and California:
The grape season will start for us in Sonora Mexico in June. After that, we move into the San Joaquin Valley of California. The most success that we’ve had said the expansion of our Sweet Baby Dolls grapes. These are grapes that are grown for flavor intensity and sweetness rather than berry size.
Honey dew melons Mexico:
Some of you will remember our Sweet Cheeks honeydew melon program from a couple years ago. Or honeydew melons are typically harvested at 9-11 Brix, we would let them get up to 12 to 13. This made the melon a lot more sweet and juicy. However, because the high maturity we were pre-programming sales so that even as the melons were being harvested in Mexico we already knew their destination. We had been producing in the Caborca area of Sonora Mexico. The melon quality was very good but we were having troubles competing directly in June with production that was coming from Central Arizona and Blythe California. Moving on, we have identified an area in Guerrero Mexico that we think will be looked produce a right quality melons from January through May. And another area near Guaymas that will produce November to December. We put in a test plot in Guerrero Mexico. By the time we identified the zone, got the seed for the test plot etc. we will only be able to harvest for a three week period in May before the rainy season starts. We are okay with this because this will give us a test to see how well these melons will be accepted in the market. We can ship these to either McAllen or Nogales but I think the logistics would probably go most heavily into Nogales. Please let me know your thoughts and interests look into this program and being a part of this test.
This newsletter principally looks at what we will be doing over the next few months. I want to put our berry program in here to remind everybody that end of this year and early next year will have strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
Specialty items Mexico:
we have a group of growers in the Ensenada area of Baja. Mostly its greenhouse production but we also have the capabilities of open field. The products are handling, mostly on a year-round basis, are: mini Persian and Korean cucumbers, Purple artichokes, and Romano beans. After harvest and packing Ensenada these are brought to ship out of mostly the Los Angeles area and sometimes Chula Vista at the border. Let me know your interest in these items not give you more detail.
Let me know your thoughts and interest on these . . . . very happy to discuss these items or any of our other items you are interested in.