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Delayed start for California artichokes

While the harvest is getting a late start, California artichokes are beginning to increase in volume.

“Coming into April, the artichoke deal is probably delayed about three to four weeks,” says Bob Polovneff of Ocean Mist Farms in Castroville, Ca. “It is nice normally to have these artichokes during Easter when we see a lot of demand.” Polovneff looks to the weather as the delay factor. “In January, we had a lot of really warm weather and then in February and March we had a lot of freezing temperatures with rain,” he says. But now not only is the volume building, but the artichokes quality is proving worth the wait. “There are some large and some medium but it’s mostly jumbo sized, all of Ocean Mist Farms superior quality” Polovneff adds.

California sourcing
While Ocean Mist currently grows its artichokes from the Central Coast in the Castroville, CA area, there is a little bit of competing product coming in from Mexico, as well as Oxnard and Santa Maria, CA. “But right now about 65-70 percent of the volume is coming from the Central Coast,” says Polovneff.

And the effect of more supply will likely be seen soon on pricing. “With the limited supply, pricing has been very high. But as supply continues to increase, there’ll be more ad opportunities out there,” he says. “The price will come down and be more in the mid-$20 range. Promotions will be around the $20 range. Once the product gets put on promotion and with the appearance of the artichokes, they’ll do very well.”

For more information:
Bob Polovneff
Ocean Mist Farms
Tel: +1 (831) 770-6443

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