Researchers in California are working on ways to make the avocado a year-round fruit in the U.S. The yummy green fruit grows year-round in Mexico, so why not see if we can make that happen here as well?
Npr reports that most California avocados are grown in the southern part of the state and on a narrow strip along the coast. But, what if they could grow in other parts of the state, too? Farmers could see an economic boost, and we could have more avocados right here within our borders!
One researcher, Mary Lu Arpaia, believes she has found an avocado tree that can handle the climate of Central Valley, where winters are cooler and summers are just plain hot. "There's a void of California fruit on the market in the months of November, December and early January," Arpaia says. "So if we can find different selections that maybe are unique that fit into that window, then we help the entire California avocado industry."
Hass avocados are the well-known variety that we tend to consume the most, but there's another variety that could grow even better in the U.S. It's called GEM, and it's considered the great-granddaughter of the Hass avocado. It's even been reported that the GEM avocado has beaten the Hass avocado in a taste test, so we don't have to worry about sacrificing good taste in making this switch.
The GEM avocados grow a little more round, or egg-shaped, when compared to the Hass. It's also said to turn dark as it ripens with the speckled pores turning a golden color, which is definitely something we're not used to seeing. This variety can be planted close together, isn't too tall, and has a high yield. Perfect for our needs!
There are two more avocado varieties that might be able to grow in the California climate year-round, one of which isn't named yet, but the other has been given the nickname "lunchbox," because of how small it is. Both types are said to peel very easily.
The goal is to have a type of avocado for each season, so we never run out!