Where are the Blueberries?

- Anne Bargar - Produce Buyer

Usually this time of year, we're up to our ears in blueberries. We would have organic blueberries, regional blueberries, with local blueberries and regional 5 pound boxes on the horizon. People would be eating and freezing blueberries to their heart's delight.


And no one ever seems to get tired of them.


This year? Yeah, that's not happening. It's hot and dry here, putting local and regional blueberries at risk. It's too hot in California, shortening the season and reducing the yield. And it's been cooler than normal in the Pacific Northwest, meaning that crop is delayed. And blueberries are not alone; we're having trouble sourcing any number of things off and on this year, because the weather is awry all over the place. As climate change progresses, we'll see this more and more. We'll have to do whatever we can to adapt to the omnishambles. 


Our order of priorities in sourcing produce will remain the same; local and regional first, non-local organic next,  and non-local conventional last. Our first priority, however, is simply keeping the shelves full. If a local or organic item we usually have is not available, it's prohibitively expensive, or the quality is consistently poor, we will switch to conventional simply to have it. And of course, just because we order a conventional item doesn't mean we'll get it; it's been difficult to get conventional blueberries too. 


So please bear with us. We'll do what we can to make sure we have what people want to buy available. But between climate change, the pandemic, and inflation, we've found we have to be more flexible than ever, and I don't think this is a situation that will be changing any time soon.