If you’ve been gobbling up avocados in recent days, they’re likely not California-born. Last winter, California’s avocado crops were devastated by a harsh freeze. This past fall, with hopes of recouping their losses, farmers were hit again, this time by the widespread wildfires. The difference between freeze and fire, however, is that the freeze affects only the one crop/season, whereas the fire-burned trees might take three years to recover. Consumers probably have not noticed the effects (prices have not risen) because Mexico and Chile have stepped in to fill the void.
(Photo by Donna McLoughlin, using Puebla avocados purchased at the San Diego farmer’s market.)
The Slow Food USA Ark of Taste recently “boarded” the Puebla avocado, which despite its name, can be found in the San Diego area, having been brought there from Mexico circa 1911. It was once quite popular, but was replaced by the hass variety which travels better because of its thicker skin. There were very few trees even before the fires, and now the numbers are down to a mere 10. Dennis Sharmahd, one of the few remaining Puebla producers, is hopeful that next year, trees might be available for sale.
11020 Bachelor Lane
Escondido, CA 92026
760-749-0792 or 760-317-7777
Beattie & Travis Avocado Co
1757 Warmlands Ave.
Vista, CA 92084-3630