2014 in Seville, is a very dry and very hot spring. It has not rained since April 20, and temperatures are very above the seasonal average (over 30 º C from 27 April). If some of you have spent the Holy Week or Feria here, you probably remember the heat and sunburn.
Those who are harvesting peaches, we are generally happy with this kind of conditions that, in principle, promote the quality of the fruit. In fact, as I have recently explained, even the most apparently favorable situations can turn into disaster.
It is rare in spring, that this kind of situation of anticipated summer, extends very long.
So here is a small perturbation, or more precisely, the tail of a strong disturbance that has left snow in northern Spain, unusual thing to May 20.
Here in South of South, it only results in two days of strong winds and a little rain, between 8 and 10 mm, which is very little.
As the fruit develops slowly, and there is no urgency, neither technical nor commercial, I decided not to pick on Wednesday, the day scheduled for the rain, to avoid stained fruits with mud, always difficult to clean.
Until then, nothing to report. But on Thursday, with the resumption of picking at sunrise, surprise! A variety, a white nectarine, shows unusual spots on the skin.
The observation leaves little room for doubt. These are spots, some are small, more or less round, others are streaks, sometimes convergent.
It is the symptom of the water drop. This has already happened once there a few years ago. We had then attributed to genetic susceptibility of a variety.
But this time, it also happens on a associated farm, located in Huelva, a hundred kilometers to the west, near Portugal, where we observe the same symptoms on a variety of yellow nectarines, which does not present any spot in Seville.
The genetic problem is therefore doubtful. It is likely that this is only an aggravating factor.
The analysis of the phenomenon shows that it is probably due to the sensitivity of the skin because of its ripeness. To more maturity, more skin sensibility.
The area of Huelva is a little earlier than the area of Seville. The same variety is a little more advanced, and the rain made a mess that goes unnoticed in Seville.
It is most likely a reaction, osmotic type, caused by the presence of very pure water (rain water) on the epidermis of a variety closer to physiological maturity, for which cellular juices are very concentrated.
The osmosis causes a passage through the cell wall, of the purest liquid to the most concentrated one.
Superficial cell walls, burst under the excessive internal cell pressure, caused by the penetration of rainwater, causing the damage visible on photos. Exploded epidermal cells, oxidize and take on a brown or blackish color, but without causing internal damage. The fruit remains perfectly healthy.
And now, once again, these fruits without real problem, will finish in the trash for "blemish", that is to say, for the offense of dirty mouth.
Weather problems sometimes hide in the most ordinary situations. An uneventful little spring rain, unintentionally turns into bad weather, with severe economic consequences.
Another silly food waste.
About the same subject, I invite you to read the following short article :
This initiative, debatable and debated by many actors in the fruit and vegetable sector, has at least the merit of bringing to light a real social problem.
Should we throw so many perfectly healthy foods, just because they are ugly?
Is the consumer really as stupid as some would have us believe, to the point of not being able to buy less beautiful products?
Can not we educate the consumer, or rather just give him the correct information ?
Isn't it possible to present, in the same store, a range of top quality products, normal, based on beautiful products, and a second range, cheaper, with products less beautiful or ugly, and just as good?
Isn't it certain economic interests that prevent this double shelving, to the detriment of the consumer and the producer, with the risk, again, to cause a decrease in the consumption of fresh produce, with all adverse impacts that it can cause to health?
In this time of "sustainable development" and "protect the planet" and "we will soon have to know feed 10 billion human beings", is it acceptable and ethic, to let, without reacting, destroy to nearly half of all fruit and vegetables produced?
On this subject, you can read again my publication No. 1 "food waste", of January 2014.
It always comes back to what I've already written, and I never cease to repeat: the consumer is taken for a fool, and is largely exploited.
I'll even show you in a few days, one even worse thing. Fruits disfigured by their quality, and put in the trash, because they are the best!
You are surprised and shocked?
Not as much as me, who produce them. I ended up getting used to, but it makes me sick.
But wait a few days more, I have to take some pictures of ripe fruits to show it to you.