What’s growing and slowing in November 2022?
Summer is all about fruit. Currently, there’s great supply of blueberries, bananas, papaya and valencia oranges.
In terms of citrus, lemons and limes are available but expensive. Mandarins have finished as have tangelos and ruby grapefruit. Mangoes are coming out of the Northern Territory, but it has been a tough year for them, with a lot of the crop rain effected. You can expect the first Queensland varieties around mid-month, with prices dropping, due to early indicators suggesting that the Queensland crop has escaped most of the weather issues, so far.
There are still plenty of apples around, it was a good season for apples and storage processes have improved; expect to have access to good quality apples until the new season starts in January.
Strawberries have finished from the Sunshine Coast, the Victorian season hasn’t even started, and may not start due to all the wet. There are limited stocks coming out of Stanthorpe, so, expect low supply and high prices. Unfortunately, that will be the mantra for what remains of 2022.
The star of summer, stone fruit, will start putting an appearance in mid-November, remembering organics have shorter seasons than conventional produce. Nectarines and peaches will be first off the mark, followed by cherries, apricots and plums later in the month. We may get the first grapes of the year at the very end of November, if conditions are favourable.
We’re really looking forward to the first taste of Queensland mangoes! Mount Alma in far North Queensland and J&J Organic Pride should both be good from mid to late November.
November 2022 is a tough month for vegetables.
Brassicas are in short supply, there is always a transitional period when the northern regions finish, and the southern regions are due to start. Occasionally, there is an overlap when the Queensland season goes long, and the southern guys start early. We like those years, plenty of supply and low prices. That is not this year.
Broccoli has been particularly short, with demand far out stripping supply, cauliflower, has been similarly affected. A lot of growers have just ploughed their crops in, because of the damage caused by the unseasonal wet conditions.
Cabbage and kale, have been impacted as well, just not quite to the same extent. We should see an increased supply mid-month but expect broccoli and cauliflower prices to remain reasonably high through the summer months. Salad mix, lettuce and spinach, haven’t been so bad throughout October/November in a very long time. We do not expect this to improve until much later in the month and even then, only if the rain stops.
Potatoes and sweet potatoes get a little short around Christmas, and this year is no exception. Queensland potatoes could get very short, if the farmers can’t get into the fields to harvest. There are hundreds of tonnes of potatoes in the ground, but the tractors get bogged trying to get them out.
Pumpkin was at record low prices this time last year. Farmers track this and it disincentivises them to plant at the same time the following year. This usually results in a two-year boom, bust cycle quite unique to jap pumpkin. This year pumpkin is short, partly because people didn’t plant as much because of the low prices and also because of the weather. We expect pumpkin with stay short and prices will be at the high end of normal.
Asparagus is in full swing and there are plenty of carrots in the market. Onions are short this year – red onions are nearly non-existent this month, quality is low, and prices are high.
To summarise, its has been really, really wet. Farmers are finishing their seasons early and starting late, if at all. They need their tractors for planting as well as harvesting. A lot of regions have missed their planting windows, because it has been too wet to prepare the ground.
For the consumer, this means higher prices, less choice and most probably lower quality. Not ideal, but at least in keeping with the general theme of 2022.
Remember to eat all of your colours and have a great November.
The Team at United Organics
Image: The Diggers Club