Why This Year's Avocados Are Tiny

This year’s Southern California avocados are so tiny they are selling eight for a dollar.

“I can’t ever remember a season when all the avocados were this small, and that’s over 30 years in the business,” says a farmer with orchards in San Diego and Riverside counties.

A post on NPR’s The Salt states three reasons for the golf-ball-sized fruit:

  • low winter rainfall in early 2012.
  • erratic bee activity during the late spring bloom period, resulting in late pollination of the fruit.
  • lots of unseasonably cool and cloudy weather in the year since.

What’s interesting is that there are more tiny avocados than there were large avocados last year, resulting in what’s actually a bigger crop. That’s because high July temperatures usually cause many fruits to fall off the trees. Since July was colder than usual in California, that didn’t happen.

Growers and consumers usually want avocados around eight ounces. This year’s crop is coming in around five or six ounces with some fruits weighing as little as two ounces. The fruits should be just as tasty as larger avocados, though, and fine to eat. They just take a bit more work.

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