( Photo courtesy Gabriel Ghnassia; Source Unsplash; Graphic by Brooke Park )

Peppers should be plentiful from California’s Coachella Valley this season.

Pasha Marketing LLC in Mecca, Calif., kicked off its green bell pepper program on April 23, said Franz De Klotz, vice president of marketing.

Red bell peppers will start May 11 and continue until June 15 in the Coachella Valley, he said.

The company also is offering eggplant until mid-June.

De Klotz said he is pleased with the quality of the bell peppers in the desert.

“Everything looks good this year,” he said. “They sized up nice.”

Read more about The Packer's desert produce coverage.

He expected heavy demand because Mexico was in the process of finishing its bell pepper deal.

“We should be one of the only areas up and running,” he said.

Prime Time International in Coachella started harvesting and packing green bell peppers on April 20, said marketing assistant Katy Johnson.

“We anticipate starting red bells around May 10 and yellows May 20,” she said.

Prime Time planned to start packing Anaheim, jalapeño and yellow chili peppers in late April.

Quality this season should be “off the charts,” judging from the early green bell peppers, she said.

“The peppers so far are big, well colored, solid and strong.”

Volume should be similar to last year.

Read more about The Packer's bell pepper coverage.

Prime Time’s desert pepper season lasts from mid-April through June, when the company transitions northward to growing locations in Bakersfield and Oxnard.

Peak season for green bell peppers from Coachella-based Peter Rabbit Farms began the week of April 27 and will continue through May before trickling off in June, said John Burton, sales and cooler general manager.

May should be a big month for bell peppers, he said.

Prices in late April were mostly $24.95-26.95 for 1 1/9-bushel cartons of jumbo and extra-large green bell peppers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The growing season was “perfect,” Burton said.

Peter Rabbit expected to start harvesting good-size elongated red bell peppers by early May and continue until mid- to late June, he said. 

 
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