Horticulturists in California have identified three avocado tree varieties that will yield fruit year-round in the state’s Central Valley. California produces 90 percent of American avocados which are currently harvested from February to September, and US avocado supply is heavily reliant on Mexican producers during California’s off-season. University of California, Riverside researcher Mary Lu Arpaia and her team have found that the GEM avocado—a species related to the popular Hass variety—grows lower to the ground and has a higher yield. Two more varieties—the diminutive “Lunchbox” and an unnamed variety—have also been found to grow in the Central Valley where winter and summer temperatures range far more than in Southern California, where most avocados are currently grown. Arpaia says the unnamed avocado variety “makes wonderful guacamole, and I found with a non-replicated test in my refrigerator the fruit doesn’t brown.” Establishing a secure American supply of avocados would prevent sudden spikes in prices due to unstable trade agreements with foreign suppliers.
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