How an Eastern US Cold Front Spawns Wind in Oaxacan Mango Orchards
While most of the industry has been consumed by Mexico’s cold temperatures from the seasonal, southern traveling cold front, often blanketing Mexico this time of year, (nicknamed norte by southern Mexicans), we are more concerned with the wind phenomenon currently happening outside our mango orchards in Oaxaca, a dynamic outcome of these cold fronts. Continue Reading…
Our last winter crop update, published mid-November, gave us an overall positive outlook on the upcoming Mexican mango season. Ample rains had arrived in perfectly timed step and quantity, and the various stages of production from our southern regions of Oaxaca and Chiapas had progressed nicely. Good pollination and decent flowering occurred, flower drop was normal, and the fruit was transitioning desirably into the fruit set and elongation phases.
Mangoes continue to surprise and delight me. They are a lot like people. Whenever I think I know something about them, they prove me wrong. Things that grow are complex by nature, and taking a cookie cutter approach to defining them always fails.
As I proceed on my mango-centric food education mission, I have a responsibility to admit when I am wrong and when I too am guilty of being “scripted” along the way.
In my current life surrounded by mangoes, I meet countless mango lovers who fell head over heels through their excursions around the globe. (I personally discovered mangoes as a little girl in Nicaragua.) The mango embodies flavors of nostalgia, awakening the feeling of those far off exotic places with every bite. The most devout members of this mango lover tribe seem to be those who discovered mangoes while in Thailand. These mango lovers have tasted mangoes with a more dynamic richness and more stages of ripeness than anywhere else in the world. They also seem to be the only mango connoisseurs that know the sweet green mango!
Heavy, Unexpected Winds Challenge Crop Outlook From Oaxaca Region
Two days ago heavy winds swept through Oaxaca in the southern regions of Mexico centered heavily in mango production zones. Many of the early mangoes expected to be harvested for January and February have literally been ripped off the trees for several producers in the area or severely damaged by the hefty winds. We don’t yet know the full details, but in the very least we know the situation is very troublesome to overall regional production outlooks previously forecasted. We are currently accessing Crespo Organic production in the area to determine which of our orchards have been effected and if so, to what extent and what it may mean for our early production yields.
2017 season springs into action in Oaxaca with “normalcy”
The first cut of the 2017 Mexican mango season will happen sometime around the second week of January but the US market won’t get their hands on any until mid February. The projected “normalcy” that Crespo Organic reported on in late November 2016, seems to be on track and with each day comes more exactitude in our forecasting. Early bloomage and cooperating weather has given way to ample fruit formation for this spring and we are happy to continue to predict a “normal” mango season for the southern Mexican regions of Oaxaca and Chiapas. This not only good timing but good for the Crespo Organic Mango season we are about to “spring” into.
Behind every great season, lies a great deal of unseen work, especially in the off-season where mainly the “unpredictables” determine the outcome of the crop. In today’s world where climate change exists (it’s not a hoax) and capricious weather becomes the norm, an empirical approach to understanding agriculture is often all a producer has to make the best decisions in the off season, which essentially defines the production season. Fruit of the modern world is fickle
I will never forget my first time visiting a major farm and processing center in another country. It was in Israel, and since I had heard so much about their advanced agricultural technology I was expecting something robotic and almost medicinal, glass houses and everything automated, pristine. I arrived to find plastic and cloth-screened greenhouses and dirt, a good deal of advanced technology in terms of watering and feeding systems, but mostly just farmers growing things in dirt like everyone else in the world. They were filled with the most beautiful peppers and tomatoes I had ever seen. The Israelis were, in my opinion, masters at attention to detail, and I think they excel in agricultural expertise because of this. They were methodical.
That was over ten years ago and a lot has changed since, but most farmers still grow in the dirt and the processes are relatively simple. Sure, we have begun to automate more in packing technologies using machines-like sorts and washers as a pretty standard way of processing fruits and vegetables, but mostly it is just a lot of labor and attention to detail, especially in the cold chain sector. Let us not forget that the more advanced technology we seek, the more money it costs, and often in produce the growers are working on such minimal (often single digit) margins that major advancements in technology are not attainable; labor, one of the major strengths of most large agricultural sectors, is much more attainable.
Under The Mango Tree is a sweet spot, where I, a long time mango industry crackerjack, share everything I know. A place to find mango centric, agricultural, food and culture knowledge and a few juicy industry secrets and lies.