Brace yourselves, you poor, sweet guacamole lovers, for this could be a rough holiday weekend. Last week, a heat wave accompanied by 30-mile an hour winds on the West Coast devastated Southern California avocado farms. The potential impact for avocado farmers, as well as for guac lovers (aka humans with souls) across the country, is almost too sad to even think about.
Many growers reported sunburnt trees and damaged fruit over the past few weeks leading up to the 4th of July weekend, when avocado sales usually skyrocket. The heat wave is just the latest in a series of blows to California's avocado industry, which has also suffered from the drought as well as a shortage of workers and growing competition from Mexican avocado farmers.
Apparently larger avocado farms are better equipped to handle these blows, but smaller growers could lose some major business this weekend. "There are not enough avocados in the industry right now to supply the demand,” Heath Shoup of West Pak Avocado, a packinghouse in Murrieta, told the LA Times. So guac lovers, if you're going to a BBQ this weekend, get there early and prepared to fight.
“We’ve been here for 25 years, and this has never happened before,” said Jeanne Davis, who runs an orchard called Coyote Growers. As far as the long-term effects? “There will probably be a minimal amount of avocados for next year because we think that some of the flowers didn’t make it," she said. “It’ll be a little bit of a wait and see. What else can you do really?”
How about whaling "I'll never love agaaaaaain!" into a bowl of bean dip?