Mollie Stone’s Director of Produce Operations, Tom, recently took a trip to the heart of San Diego County’s avocado growing region to visit Del Rey Avocado Company. Del Rey is a family owned business located in Fallbrook, California, that has been growing, packing and shipping avocados since 1969. The company partners with local growers from San Diego County north to San Luis Obispo county to source California avocados and currently packs 25-28% of all organic avocados grown in California.
Del Rey took Tom on a first class tour, and Tom picked up some interesting facts along the way that he shared with us. Keep reading to learn more!
California avocados are in season from early spring through late fall. Avocado trees grow up to 40 feet in height and consume up to 1,200 gallons of water per month, per tree. The avocado fruit does not begin ripening until it’s harvested. To determine whether your avocado is ripe, gently squeeze the fruit in the palm of your hand (not with your fingertips) and it should be firm yet yield to gentle pressure.
A sub-tropical tree, the avocado tree holds this year’s fruit while flowering for the next season. As a result, the avocado naturally produces heavy one year and lighter the next. Del Rey is perfecting new growing practices that use two leads with alternating crops in an effort to balance the annual production of these trees.
Thank you to Tom’s tour guide (left) who knew EVERYTHING there is to know about avocados. The owner of Del Rey Avocado, Bob Lucy (right), has been a great partner with Mollie Stone’s for more than 8 years. Del Rey has provided delicious organic and conventional avocados for our stores and we look forward to many seasons to come!