Poll

What kind of avocados would you buy?

Hass
14 (10.6%)
Reed
28 (21.2%)
Nabal
18 (13.6%)
Sharwil
31 (23.5%)
Gem
11 (8.3%)
Carmen
6 (4.5%)
Lamb
3 (2.3%)
Pinkerton
21 (15.9%)

Total Members Voted: 42

Author Topic: Avocado poll  (Read 1682 times)

spaugh

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Re: Avocado poll
« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2021, 07:59:17 PM »
Kahalu is a small kid in comparison with my Lolo avocado.

Hi just to let you knoe I will be in touch after the holiday.  We will be busy here for several days and off the computer/email.  I have some thi gs to send you next week. 
Brad Spaugh

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Re: Avocado poll
« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2021, 09:35:26 PM »
Happy thanksgivin day to forum members and family

DFfarmer

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Re: Avocado poll
« Reply #27 on: November 26, 2021, 05:46:00 PM »
I am seeing a wide range in what people want to buy in terms of varieties, some really like the "Green skins". We have no problem selling them. Of course, it varies by area and population and what people are used to or have a cultural  connection to. "Zutano" is probably the least favorite to eat, but it's a good pollinator. Some people really like Fuerte, and some like Bacon, there are some newer varieties being released soon, that might be even better.   I'm glad to hear people are growing the Kahalu'u, that one sounds interesting. I really like the flavor of the GEM, and there is another fairly new one called "Marvel" that is a good tasting  fruit, and it's a "B" cultivar. Taste is so subjective though, like figs or dragon fruit. In cultures where they eat avocados as a substitute for oils in cooking and desserts they may favor different flavors.

The "Sticker" is a part of the FSMA requirements. ( Food Safety Modernization and Act) We have to get our avocados tested for oil content and the sticker is put on by the CDFA office that does that. Commercial growers also have to wait till the release dates to sell avocados. Each size is tested and when a sample reaches the required oil content level, they are allowed to be sold by producers.  The information that a wholesale buyer has to have is where the fruit was grown and how it was cared for, in the case of our farm, a certified organic farm, we have requirements to follow about where our water comes from, how it is stored, and test results that it does not have a measurable count of specific pathogens, it really is about the fruit as it is stored for weeks in grocery walk ins. Something could develop in that time. All avocados that touch the ground have to be destroyed, that is an actual requirement now. The "traceability" is required in case a customer gets sick. It's for all vegetables and fruits commonly eaten raw, that is why you are always seeing those recalls for lettuce. We have an agreement with CDFA, kind of like a "license" to pack our own citrus, but it might be easier for us having the organic certification than it would be for a small conventional grower. I think that certification goes a long way.

I'm sure that someone like you has excellent fruit, but the restaurants and grocers may not be able to take risks due to their insurance requirements. As part of our inspection we always have to go over how we "clean" produce, especially citrus, in light of the Asian psyllid. Any water used must be treated in a specific way, and be "potable" water to begin with.  Any fruit with contamination by animal feces cannot be sold.  It's all to stop bacterial pathogens that could cause food borne illness. For the first time a few years ago I saw a large organic avocado producer had a recall, that was a surprise.

JCorte

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Re: Avocado poll
« Reply #28 on: November 26, 2021, 08:44:31 PM »
Brad,

Sorry Iím getting off topic from your avocado poll, but want to understand how this law affects small farms.

DFfarmer,
Iíve been researching the Food Safety Modernization Act and found the following quoted directly from the FDA website:

The rule does not apply to:
Farms that have an average annual value of produce sold during the previous three-year period of $25,000 or less

The rule also provides a qualified exemption and modified requirements for certain farms.

To be eligible for a qualified exemption, the farm must meet two requirements:

The farm must have food sales averaging less than $500,000 per year during the previous three years; and
The farmís sales to qualified end-users must exceed sales to all others combined during the previous three years. A qualified end-user is either (a) the consumer of the food or (b) a restaurant or retail food establishment that is located in the same state or the same Indian reservation as the farm or not more than 275 miles away.

A farm with the qualified exemption must still meet certain modified requirements, including disclosing the name and the complete business address of the farm where the produce was grown either on the label of the produce or at the point of purchase. These farms are also required to establish and keep certain documentation.

So, my understanding is as long as sales are under $500,000 and we sell mostly direct to customers or restaurants you have a qualified exemption. Under $25,000 you can sell to anyone including middlemen and food production facilities.  Exemptions can be withdrawn to protect public safety for outbreaks related to the farm.

Janet

Janet

DFfarmer

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Re: Avocado poll
« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2021, 11:16:39 AM »
Hi Janet,
Yes, I think that is correct. The problem with getting an exemption is that you will run into the problem Brad mentioned with your buyers. I've been to so many of the seminars, because I don't want to run into that problem. I think it is making it more difficult for small producers to sell their produce. I don't think buyers go to those seminars but they do get scared by the regulators. I think most of the problems are due to sloppy practices while harvesting but there could be some contamination by watering, and that listeria outbreak on melons was found to be caused by the washing off the melons, the water was harboring pathogens due to the way it traveled through the system.  Some of the problems are caused by the way the fruit is stored. I don't know anything about Brad's operation, but ours is small, 7 acres, some "dense" planting, some at the old spacing of avocados.  It's not easy to sell wholesale, the new regulations are making the buyers more skittish.  One of our grocery customers actually came out to see our operation. Fortunately he liked what he saw.

The other problem is that getting the exemption is like getting the "Ag price" for your water, it comes with restrictions. There is always a possibility of there being a problem. If you operate under the guidelines required, especially if you are inspected and certified anyway, you are more likely to not have the stress of having your production monitored or shut down.

We also start out each year hoping to make as much as we can, mainly to cover water costs, and be in that category of needing to follow the rules, sometimes the conditions take that away ( like 119F days and weeks of over 100F) which make fruit drops a not so fun part of our season.

I think the question of "what is your favorite avocado?" is a really important one. For a small grower, determining what to plant can be a difficult decision, because once you plant, you have to wait for the trees to become large enough to produce fruit for a return, and the market could change in the meantime. As growers and hobbyists we often forget that the work of marketing your crop is every but as important as growing it, I know I do, it's my favorite part to grow it. I'm learning to do a better job at marketing so I can be more efficient in finding a home for all of the fruit.

I'm also thinking that maybe grafting scions of the more sensitive varieties to more hardy for our climate and growing conditions ( like Zutano) might help us get more of those varieties that seem to be in vogue into production.

Brad, so far my favorite is actually "Marvel", followed by "Gem" and "Reed", and "Fuerte", but I would love to be able to buy and taste other varieties, there is another grower in Fallbrook, I think, who does a monthly avocado gift box and he uses different varieties to fill in the times when the more well know varieties like Hass are not available. Once he had a booth at the Fallbrook Avocado Festival with so many different varieties, that was really fun to see.  https://avocadomonthly.com/avocado-schedule/

spaugh

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Re: Avocado poll
« Reply #30 on: November 27, 2021, 02:43:09 PM »
whats the marvel avocado?  is that the south african one?  is that a patent protected one or something that is available to grow?

I've got a few mature size trees but most of my stuff is small seedlings I planted in the ground that need to be grafted.  Ive got around 125 new trees to top work in January.  Im doing things a little different and growing zutano and bacon seeds in ground then top working.  I'm only going to end up with around 200 avocado trees total.  Maybe 250.  So its not a big planting.  Just something to make a little side money from.  We don't have water service.  Its all coming from a 4in well.  So I can't get too crazy with the plantings.  we have around 3 acres of different trees.  About half is going to be avocados. 

I've got a grafted experimental tree Im trialing here that may be a winner.  The fruits are super good and no one else has them.  Its a seedling tree from a friend.  Ill have to get permission to propogate or sell it but it seems like it may be a real winner.  It will be several years before I can really pass judgement on it though.



I'm growing pretty much every kind of avocado I can get my hands on here.  I've found most of them to be not worth growing for various reasons.  Same with dragonfruit.  Tried them all, most are not worth growing. 

« Last Edit: November 27, 2021, 02:54:01 PM by spaugh »
Brad Spaugh

JCorte

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Re: Avocado poll
« Reply #31 on: November 27, 2021, 06:05:41 PM »
Brad,
That avocado is beautiful!  I hope it does well for you.

DFfarmer,
Thank you for your insights and sharing your experience.

Janet

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Re: Avocado poll
« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2021, 07:37:50 PM »
whats the marvel avocado?  is that the south african one?  is that a patent protected one or something that is available to grow?

I've got a few mature size trees but most of my stuff is small seedlings I planted in the ground that need to be grafted.  Ive got around 125 new trees to top work in January.  Im doing things a little different and growing zutano and bacon seeds in ground then top working.  I'm only going to end up with around 200 avocado trees total.  Maybe 250.  So its not a big planting.  Just something to make a little side money from.  We don't have water service.  Its all coming from a 4in well.  So I can't get too crazy with the plantings.  we have around 3 acres of different trees.  About half is going to be avocados. 

I've got a grafted experimental tree Im trialing here that may be a winner.  The fruits are super good and no one else has them.  Its a seedling tree from a friend.  Ill have to get permission to propogate or sell it but it seems like it may be a real winner.  It will be several years before I can really pass judgement on it though.



I'm growing pretty much every kind of avocado I can get my hands on here.  I've found most of them to be not worth growing for various reasons.  Same with dragonfruit.  Tried them all, most are not worth growing.

Brad, the fruit looks very beautiful. The skin turns dark when ripe just like haas?

RollingInTheWeeds

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Re: Avocado poll
« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2021, 09:28:09 PM »
I've got a grafted experimental tree Im trialing here that may be a winner.  The fruits are super good and no one else has them.  Its a seedling tree from a friend.  Ill have to get permission to propogate or sell it but it seems like it may be a real winner.  It will be several years before I can really pass judgement on it though.



I'm growing pretty much every kind of avocado I can get my hands on here.  I've found most of them to be not worth growing for various reasons.  Same with dragonfruit.  Tried them all, most are not worth growing.


Cool!  Hope your experimental growing works out well for you and we all get to have a new GREAT avocado!

spaugh

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Re: Avocado poll
« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2021, 10:10:36 AM »
Quote
Brad, the fruit looks very beautiful. The skin turns dark when ripe just like haas?

yes it has black skin when ripe.  its not really like hass though.  I just have 1 small tree going of this type, its a long way off from really having a good idea how it will do here.  It came from a guy in northern CA.  He may be a member here, not sure. 
Brad Spaugh

Mark in Texas

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Re: Avocado poll
« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2021, 10:28:46 AM »
yes it has black skin when ripe.  its not really like hass though.  I just have 1 small tree going of this type, its a long way off from really having a good idea how it will do here.  It came from a guy in northern CA.  He may be a member here, not sure.

Yep, beautiful fruit, great project.   Being from N. Cali is it cold hardy?

I just wish there was a way to buy Cali avocados mail order.  Used to buy from Morro Creek Ranch Avocados many years ago but got a shipment of some really nasty fruit one year and quit. 

The avocados we get here in Texas suck.  Most are bland or don't ripen properly, meat turns rancid upon a few days in the crisper, etc.

Have a nice holiday season........
« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 09:04:28 AM by Mark in Texas »

spaugh

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Re: Avocado poll
« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2021, 11:06:24 AM »
doubtful its cold hardy it seems to be mostly guatemalan. 

i have only mexican avocados in season now Mark and they suck.  Mex grande and Stewart.  Not even wirth eating, Im going to top work both trees and ardith and holiday maybe a few others.  this is the consolidate and replace phase here.  Been removing and top working tons of plants that aren't worthwhile this year.

If you want some good avocados Ill have some for sale in April. 
Brad Spaugh

DFfarmer

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Avocado varieties
« Reply #37 on: November 28, 2021, 04:52:39 PM »
From BSpaugh's post  " whats the marvel avocado?  Is that the South African one?  is that a patent protected one or something that is available to grow?"

I don't think it came from South Africa but they were trying to get the propagation rights at one point I heard. It's one of the newer experimental varieties from UC, I think they finally have an agreement with a nursery to do commercial propagation. I think it might be under patent but there may be some nurseries that have it. They also have a whole group of other avocados trying to expand the availability of avocado production year round. I think my partner is done with avocados but I still would like to try other varieties, Nabal sounds like one worth growing, maybe there are a few others. Always good to have more "B" cultivars for pollination, Ettinger is not a bad fruit. I heard there might be some pretty good tasting ones from South America, but need more information. Appreciating your insights on varieties that you are growing!

Glad to hear about your new variety, that is always more fun than the old lol! You are providing a service to everyone working on testing new varieties Go backyard propagators! I think "Hass" came from a mailman's yard, so maybe there is something to your friend's avocado!

A 4 inch well! amazing that you can grow that many trees with that, good for you! Great idea to grow seeds and topwork them, wish you lots of good production!

We are also experimenting with the dragon fruit varieties we can find, you are a bit ahead of me in that area, so I have not given up yet, but I'm starting to realize the Magenta flowered ones are not providing enough good quality fruit to be worth their space, so I'm learning. I have a cross I made growing out right now, we'll see if it gives us anything, probably not, but maybe after a few more generations.

spaugh

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Re: Avocado poll
« Reply #38 on: November 28, 2021, 05:19:17 PM »
Ive seen the presentation on the 4 or 5 new UC selections.  Thry pretty much stated a few of them have lousy growth pattern (weeping, not erect).  Thats like sir prize, makes lots of fruit some years, gets weepy, sun burns.  Not a winner.  Notice no one really ever started planting those commercially?  Maybe theres some lamb plantings but most everyone seems to still be hass or GEM.  Hass realy is the best all around commercial tree.  Hard to contend with.

Ettinger is a nice fruit, similar to sharwil.  It has some shy bearing issues is what I was told though.  Ive got a small tree but it hasnt produced any fruit yet. 

Theres a hawaiian one called fujikawa thats doing really well here, grows and fruits hard but the flavor is a little off unfortunately. 

Agree on the purple flowered DF.  Theres a few decent ones but they just dont really stacknup to say dark star or s8.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2021, 05:23:31 PM by spaugh »
Brad Spaugh

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Re: Avocado poll
« Reply #39 on: November 28, 2021, 08:13:53 PM »
Thats like sir prize, makes lots of fruit some years, gets weepy, sun burns.  Not a winner.  Notice no one really ever started planting those commercially?  Maybe theres some lamb plantings but most everyone seems to still be hass or GEM.

It may depend on where you are - here in N.C. just about every source label I see, says "from Mexico." I often find Sir Prize in grocers (judging by the dark skin and the polygonal tops). And I strongly suspect Lamb Hass has commercial groves. I grew a few seedlings from the pits of dark skinned avocados, and the leaf shapes and color transition on two of mine seem to be very Lamb Hass descended.

spaugh

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Re: Avocado poll
« Reply #40 on: November 28, 2021, 10:34:57 PM »
The stuff in the stores are mostly from mex here too.  They have lambs for sure they call it jumbo or large hass.  Never seen a sir prize in the store.  Sir prize it easy to identify though it has a ridge on one side and small pit.  I can tell it without question if I saw one.  Lamb is hard to distinguish from regular hass.  The fruit quality is probably hard to distinguish from a store hass also.  But without a doubt a homegrown regular hass is better than lamb.

I should grow lamb just because they grow great and fruit really hard here.  But the quality is just not on par with some of the others unfortunately. 

The wholesale growers dont care, they just want to grow whatever with produce the most and is close enough to pass off as hass.  I would like to sell the stuff that people eat and go wow, those were amazing.  And lamb isnt that. 
« Last Edit: November 28, 2021, 10:38:29 PM by spaugh »
Brad Spaugh

Mark in Texas

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Re: Avocado poll
« Reply #41 on: November 29, 2021, 09:12:25 AM »
doubtful its cold hardy it seems to be mostly guatemalan. 

i have only mexican avocados in season now Mark and they suck.  Mex grande and Stewart.  Not even wirth eating, Im going to top work both trees and ardith and holiday maybe a few others.  this is the consolidate and replace phase here.  Been removing and top working tons of plants that aren't worthwhile this year.

If you want some good avocados Ill have some for sale in April.

I bet your Mex avocados can beat up our grocer sourced avocados.  ;D

Will hit you up in April, thanks.

Change gears - the scions I got from you that I top worked to 2 freeze damaged trees are doing really good - Jan Boyce and Nabal.  Now, the weird thing - the stump that was top worked was an Ardith and the branches are very vigorous, now about 6' tall with good branching.  Left one Ardith branch that pushed from the stump which is growing about as tall as the JB and Nabal.

Here's the weird thing - JB and Nabal grafts were done on a Bacon seedling stump too. They went dormant about a month ago.  Don't look near as big and vigorous as the ones on Ardith.

Both stumps are rather "old", at least 4 years and a good 2" or so in girth.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 09:16:52 AM by Mark in Texas »

DFfarmer

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Re: Avocado poll
« Reply #42 on: November 29, 2021, 10:50:24 AM »
Ive seen the presentation on the 4 or 5 new UC selections.  Thry pretty much stated a few of them have lousy growth pattern (weeping, not erect).  Thats like sir prize, makes lots of fruit some years, gets weepy, sun burns.  Not a winner.  Notice no one really ever started planting those commercially?  Maybe theres some lamb plantings but most everyone seems to still be hass or GEM.  Hass realy is the best all around commercial tree.  Hard to contend with.

Ettinger is a nice fruit, similar to sharwil.  It has some shy bearing issues is what I was told though.  Ive got a small tree but it hasnt produced any fruit yet. 

Theres a hawaiian one called fujikawa thats doing really well here, grows and fruits hard but the flavor is a little off unfortunately. 

Agree on the purple flowered DF.  Theres a few decent ones but they just dont really stacknup to say dark star or s8.

Yeah, I really appreciate your insights on the Dragon fruit, it was helpful for me making decisions about next season, taking out a lot and replacing. I was able to see and taste Dark Star this season and it was a good fruit. My favorite is still S8 but we have to build the fan base for it. I don't care about the size of fruit, flavor is most important, but the market is set up around that, even for avocados.

I think for the avocado varieties to be profitable for commercial growers the packers have to be set up to support them and that is one of the biggest reasons the Gwen failed, along with growth habit I've heard. A local middleman is now getting "Gem" free from older growers who tried to go modern and plant them, and now are not finding markets for them. I know the UC is still promoting that variety as the successor to Hass. 

You have to be creative and build your own market, maybe local CRFG members would be good customers for your unusual varieties. I would like to see you be successful in getting them out to the public. Maybe a local Farmer's Market in your area would like to have them to promote "locally grown fruit.". I hate the "single variety" mentality of the markets. Reed was able to break through and now Fuerte and Bacon seem to have their fans. I'm seeing more flexibility in the packers we work with. They seem to understand that having more varieties could be a selling point for them.

For us, Ettinger has a habit of overflowering when first transplanted but if you knock all those off and let it grow it tends to bear early and easily for us after a few years. Fruit gets very big though, is a bit of a problem. Have to get people used to that or sell by the piece. We're dealing with high chlorides here so that actually limits our production somewhat, wish we could get better quality water, but it is what it is.

 

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