California Avocado Season Begins Now!

by Dorothy Reinhold on March 6, 2013

Print This Post Print This Post California Avocados on Shockingly Delicious

Let’s all just take a knee and thank the 5,000 California avocado farmers, who farm 58,000 acres from San Diego to the Monterey Bay, and are responsible for 90% of the avocados grown in this country.

Even if you take into consideration ALL of the avocados eaten in the U.S. (some 1.6 million pounds) – which includes fruit from Mexico, Chile and Brazil – our California farmers still grow 30% of the avocados that go into our omelets, guacamole, smoothies, salads and snacks.

The season for California avocados is just beginning now, and is expected to stretch through October.

California Haas Avocados on Shockingly DeliciousWhy seek out Californian?

  • They cut well, which means when you cut it open you can eat all of the flesh, with no waste
  • They’re reliably high quality (buttery, not watery)
  • You know where and how they’re grown (high food safety standards)
  • They come from closer rather than father away

In other words, American avocados = premium fruit.


Dan and Sue Pinkerton on Shockingly DeliciousFrom farm to fork, from tree to table, getting an avocado ready for its star turn in guacamole is a fascinating process. Would you like a peek at a California avocado farm?

Meet Dan Pinkerton, he of the Pinkerton family (the Pinkerton variety of avocados was named after his uncle), who, with his wife Sue, runs the Pinkerton Farm. The family has grown avocados and citrus in Southern California for generations.

Pinkerton Avocado Farm on Shockingly DeliciousThird-generation Californians, they started their farming enterprise with six acres of brush-covered hillside, and carved out what now includes more than 100 acres of avocado production in the Santa Paula area of Ventura County.

Pinkerton Avocado Farm on Shockingly DeliciousA modern farmer is part scientist, part businessman, part artist, part magician, and Dan exemplifies it all as he coaxes the highest quality fruit from the land, with uneven, sporadic rainfall, scorching sun, rocky dirt and competition from a growing global market.

Dan Pinkerton on Shockingly DeliciousWant to talk soil components, field capacity, wilting point, evapotranspiration? He’s your man. How about food safety rules, buds that look like “cauliflower,” Mediterranean climates (we have one of the few here in So Cal), inventory, demand, USDA certification and price points? He’s game.

Pinkerton Farm avocado bud on Shockingly DeliciousHe toured a gaggle of food writers through one of his Haas fields, allowing us to stomp and tromp, and do a little picking. He had saved a few trees and left the fruit on, just for us. An avocado tree has two years of fruit going at once — this season’s crop, and the buds for the next year’s fruit.

Pinkerton Farm avocado grove on Shockingly DeliciousOnce picked (by hand, one by one), the avocados are put into large plastic bins, which hold upwards of 900 pounds of fruit.

They are then trucked to a packing house, for the second part of their journey from the grove to the grocery store. Stay tuned, and next time you visit ShockD, we’ll tour the packing plant!

Jan DeLyser holds a Haas avocado on Shockingly DeliciousDan Pinkerton shows us that avocado farming is an art. Jan DeLyser, VP of marketing for the California Avocado Commission, who arranged for this farm tour, expresses the art of avocados on her fingernails! I want that manicure. (Wait, that might mean I would actually have to get a manicure. Oh, never mind.)

Farmer Dan would like to leave you with one final thought, as you go about your day, cooking for yourself, friends and family: Eat a California avocado. “All we ask is one a day,” he says with a grin. He’s not kidding.

Does he mean one per family, or one per person? Either way, I’m covered.

Here are five of my favorite avocado recipes on ShockD. Buy some California avocados and amuse your taste buds:

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy Long March 12, 2013 at 7:32 am

we love, love, love avocados – have 6 sitting out to ripen right now. Hubby can eat gucamole with a spoon. We also love them in salads on burgers; I could go on and on. Even make a great Paula Deen avocado sauce to go over tuna burgers


Dorothy March 12, 2013 at 8:47 am

Same here! Love them, love them. Now I have to go find the avo sauce over tuna burgers recipe!


Nancy@acommunaltable March 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Always love doing a tour with you Dorothy and I always enjoy your posts – reminds me of how much information I missed! Great photos!!!


deb March 7, 2013 at 3:32 pm

I can totally get behind eating an avocado a day. Good advice! Now if I could just figure out a way to grow them in northern Michigan.


Pat Brunette March 7, 2013 at 11:55 am

Did he tell you about avocado rustlers and how they hurt the growers?


Dorothy March 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm

NO! Now I want to know about avocado rustlers….


Jeanne @JollyTomato March 7, 2013 at 11:14 am

Love it! Great recap. And I *totally* want that manicure. How strange of a look would they give me if I showed up at a nail salon and asked for the “California avocado special”?


Dorothy March 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Bring the picture and see if they can do it! (Or go to her nail place!)


tina@theunprocess March 7, 2013 at 9:16 am

I love this post! So great that you are sharing what California Avocado Farmers do! Also, am loving the look of Avocado Lemongrass Ice Cream, wowie!


Dorothy March 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Thanks! Yeah, that ice cream is pretty dang great, if I do say so myself. And I do!


Rochelle @ March 6, 2013 at 2:43 pm

I’m so excited that it’s avocado season! I’m a huge lover of avocados and this year, I am determined to try using them in some chocolate recipes. Thanks for sharing this post!


Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: