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Market Watch: In hot pursuit of blueberries, figs and Persian mulberries
Last Wednesday at the Santa Monica market, rivulets of sweat coursed down the brow of Ron Cornelsen, a stone fruit grower from Reedley, and it was only 9 a.m. The previous day it had been 107 degrees in his orchard, and the monsoonal humidity made things so miserable that he had to pay his workers a 30% premium to harvest under such brutal conditions, he said. Even worse, after an unusual late downpour last week, much of his crop dropped from the trees and developed brown rot when it warmed up. When the heat takes such a toll on both humans and produce, it's time to appreciate those growers, like Cornelsen, who get up at 3 a.m. and drive in from the Fresno area to sell personally at farmers markets.
By David Karp, Special to the Los Angeles Times
July 8, 2011