Whole Story

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Chile Fruit for Chilly Times

By Karen Christensen, February 10, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Karen Christensen
cuevas1 Last year around this time I posted a short piece titled "It's Summer in February" about peak of summer fruit from Chile. I wrote that some of our favorite deals on the produce team are those where we know the grower and have seen the fruit in production across multiple seasons. Time flies, it's a whole year later and it's summer in February once again. It may be winter in the States, but we'll soon be enjoying a taste of summer from a grower that we love. As soon as we get through the holidays each year, members of the produce team start asking each other: "When will we see Juan Miguel's nectarines? Are we on track for February 10?" As February gets closer Juan Miguel's "nectos" become a regular topic, and by the time the fruit arrives in stores we're beyond ready for the taste of sunshine. Juan-Miguel_2Happily, we're featuring nectarines from Juan Miguel Errazuriz again this year. Juan Miguel is a second generation grower, whose family has been involved in farming for the past 250 years. Errazuriz traveled the world for three years to research horticultural practices and technology before deciding on a type of fertigation system that supplies water and nutrients directly to the trees' roots. Now, Errazuriz is one of only a few growers in Chile who uses drip irrigation to control the trees' root systems and maximize flavor. In addition to nectarines, Chile's fertile Rancagua region produces grapes, peaches and plums. The Rancagua region is much like California's central Valley in reverse, set between the cool and rainy south and the hot, dry northern regions of Chile. Well below the equator in the Southern Hemisphere, Chile is in production at precisely the same time that the US is out - meaning there's little competition between the two. Rather, the two countries' seasons complement one another and many stonefruit growers work in partnership across both hemispheres. orchard2In addition to Juan Miguel's nectarines, we're excited this year about old fashioned cling peaches from Mauricio Cuevas. Cuevas grows and harvests modern varieties of old fashioned yellow peaches and harvests them at the height of the season. He's focused on a growing philosophy based on "flavor and sensation" that prioritizes quality at every step, from cultivation to packing to transportation and storage. Expect to see these lightly colored aromatic peaches in stores later this month and into March. We're proud to feature these summer fruits from the South this winter. At the same time we're eagerly looking forward to summer here in the North when we'll have many more stonefruit offerings from more growers that we love.

 

6 Comments

Comments

Margo says ...
Oooh, nectarines and peaches, yum! And I find myself thinking about peach melba, or maybe a cozier winter dish like peach kuchen? How blessed we are to have an international market and benefit from the growing seasons of other nations.
02/11/2010 2:26:47 PM CST
stacey says ...
Do you guys monitor the types and amount of fertilizers int'l producers use, especially in Chile and China? I am actually skeptical about buying organic stuff from China!
02/18/2010 1:10:45 PM CST
Claudia Ale says ...
I am from Chile, and I'm so happy to know that wholefoods market, has fruit from this amazing country, Chile!!!!
02/17/2010 7:04:23 PM CST
David Rodriguez says ...
The fruits and vegetables of this region of Chile are great! The farmers in this area, like Juan Miguel, take great pride in what produce. The texture and taste of their fruits and vegetables are something that one has to taste to really appreciate. Tasting is believing! I'm so happy that Whole Foods Market is importing these fruits, because its much closer than making trips to Chile. Regards, David Rodriguez Phoenix, Arizona
02/17/2010 9:13:55 PM CST
Mary Zuckerman says ...
I am confused, I read that the fruit from Chile, especially grapes are heavy with pesticies. I also notice in your store that a lot of the produce you sell are not organic. I have a hard time getting organic produce from you and have to go to a co op to get what I want.
02/19/2010 6:32:17 AM CST
Jacquan says ...
luvh fruit
04/01/2013 6:50:44 PM CDT