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Russ Parsons
Those rising vegetable prices? Blame California's warm winters
Those rising vegetable prices? Blame California's warm winters

The display at the Weiser Family Farms' stand at the Santa Monica farmers market last weekend was sparse, even by early spring standards — potatoes, some green shallots and garlic, a little sprouting broccoli. The lilacs that signal the start of spring for many Southern Californians came and went weeks ago. But a couple of stalls down, a shopper could find cherries, apricots, and even peaches and nectarines that tasted like midsummer. That, in a nutshell, is the state of California's nearly $30-billion produce industry, which accounts for more than half of the fresh fruits and vegetables grown in America. Fruit has been ripening and ready to pick at almost shockingly...

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