“It’s later than last year,” says Bob Steinacher of Maywood Farms in Corning, Ca. which grows organic figs. “The last two years, we started at the beginning of July which was extremely early for us. And we were done by the end of September, which was again very odd. This year, it looks like things will be more on a normal basis where we’ll not have much volume until probably mid-August. Then it will go very strong through September and have good production through October into early November.” Steinacher anticipates having good volume starting likely late July and into early August.
The Spring effect
The change is likely due, in part, to a wet but more regular spring. “Temperature-wise, we didn’t have the really warm spring temperatures we had the last couple of years,” he says. “That brought the fruit on very early. It started the trees growing early and set the fruit much earlier as well.”
Along with regulating the timing of the season, Steinacher anticipates a higher volume coming on for the 2017 season. “We’ll probably have more like 20 per cent more volume than last year,” he says, noting that because the season hit early last year, the fruit all came on at once. “When figs start ripening they come on strong and produce so much fruit that we can’t cover the ground fast enough,” he says. “We have to pick our trees every two to three days to keep up.” Instead, Maywood abandons acreage until it’s cool enough which slows the fruit’s growth down. “So the last two years it’s been much reduced volumes but I expect us to have better volume this year,” he says.
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