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New Jersey lettuces available now

Cold weather in March and April has delayed many crops all over the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states, including the state of New Jersey. But the Garden's State's early lettuce varieties started the first week in May and will be increasing in volume in the coming weeks as the 2018 New Jersey spring produce deal goes forward, according to industry experts.Boston0366Boston lettuce is available now from New Jersey. Photo courtesy of the Vineland Produce Auction

Bill Walker, agricultural marketing specialist for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, said Friday, May 11, that on May 7, the state was harvesting "light to increasing amounts of Boston lettuce" with "very good quality." The state was harvesting "very light to increasing quantities of red and green leaf lettuce," and again, quality was "very good."

Carol DeFoor of the Vineland Produce Auction said May 11, "We had Boston the first day the auction opened this season," which was May 2. "Now we're seeing green leaf, red leaf, Romaine, endive and escarole." She added about all New Jersey lettuce, "It's fresh, it's safe, it's available and it's plentiful."

Jay Krichmar, president of Krichmar Produce Inc. in Vineland, NJ, said May 11, "The transplanted lettuces are available now, and volume will get better with this warm weather that we're getting now." Asked to describe quality on the early lettuces, he replied, "It's excellent right now. We have Romaine, green leaf, red leaf and Boston."

Thomas Consalo, general manager of Consalo Family Farms in Vineland, NJ, said, "Jersey lettuce is in full swing with promotable volume," referring to Romaine, red leaf, green leaf, Boston, escarole and endive. And volume will be on the upswing "over the next couple of months" as the new spring produce deal continues to ramp up, he noted.