Buckle Up for Sprouts,
Pumpkins and ‘Shrooms
(Local Corn is so Over)
Joe, I always look forward to receiving "Fresh Talker"...
Thanksgiving is here and I, for one, am thankful for so much. I’m especially thankful for the entire community at Town & Country Markets, with which I have the privilege and good fortune to be connected. The families, fellow workers, associates, growers and shippers who work together all year long to bring such great fresh produce into our markets are a true gift. Most of all I am thankful for all of you, our guests, without whom there would be no point to it all. You and your families are at the core of our greater community. I wish all of you a happy and joyful holiday with friends...
WOW. I just realized we only have seven weeks until Thanksgiving Day. I know we were just talking about the early end to the summer season, but it didn’t truly hit home until the drive to work this morning. Because today it got my attention – how late the sun is rising and how the colors of autumn have taken hold.
Now that we are in the peak of fall, we’re also in the peak of the Northwest apple and pear season. I think we have more variety than ever this year, especially with a few select heirloom varieties we’ve added to the organic section. In apples, the Spitzenburg, Golden...
Fall has come on fast this year. After such a long, hot, dry summer with nearly every crop coming in two or three weeks earlier than usual, it’s not surprising that autumn arrived with a bang at the tail end of August.
I did a little comparison on where we were with summer fruit and melons last year at this time. It’s clear we were still in a full-summer seasonal mode all the way through the end of September. This year, however, we’ll see many summer items coming to an end by the week of the Sept. 21. Peaches, nectarines and nearly all plums with be off the menu fol...
The 2015 summer growing season continues to throw out curve balls. The ongoing drought in the western United States and multiple rounds of temperatures hitting the upper 90s are changing the rules of the fresh produce game. And it’s only early August!
Many growers are saying the normal rules just do not apply this year. Most crops are maturing early or failing in some degree ranging from a shortfall to a complete loss. The most recent was when Turlock Fruit Co., our California melon grower, called last week and asked us to cancel our annual promotion of variety melons – their tr...
The Northwest growing season is well under way – some things are wrapping it up for the year, while some others are just getting started.
The berry season is all but done. We are at the tail end of Northwest blueberry season, although blackberries should continue for a couple more weeks. Washington apples are right around the corner as are Northwest pears – is it really that time already?
Our yellow and white flesh peaches and nectarines are now all Northwest grown and some of the best-eating varieties of the year are becoming available. This week, my favorite peach variety, “...
I visited Sterino Farms’ raspberry field in the Puyallup Valley on the last Friday of June and the news isn’t good. Jake Sterino tells me, in fact, that this year is a bust with a crop at about 25 percent of normal. He suspects an early freeze last November is to blame, although he’s not absolutely certain.
We are using Hayton Farms in Skagit Valley and another grower to try to fill in our raspberry needs, but those farms also are experiencing crops on the short side. In normal years, the peak of Northwest red raspberry season would fall around July 10. But I think we’ll be co...
Our Northwest strawberries have been a huge hit this last week. They’re from Hayton farms near Mount Vernon, where they’ve worked hard all year to bring these berries to market for just a few short weeks each June. Sadly, we’ve reached the peak for Northwest strawberries and the supply will slowly wind down over the next week to 10 days. I hope to see some resurgence in August with the Albion variety that was planted at Hayton this spring. The bonus is these will be certified organic.
Speaking of organics and Hayton, Donny Hayton said he thinks we’ll get some organic Obsidian...
Northwest summer berries are coming fast and furious. Sweet, local strawberries already are in our markets and will be peaking over the next week to 10 days. We are working with a new local berry grower this season – Hayton Farms in Mount Vernon – and so far, this looks to be a winning relationship. We have an excellent supply in traditional June-bearing varieties. This particular grower planted several acres of certified organic strawberries in May and we could possibly see a few come this fall. Stay tuned!
Both organic and conventional Northwest-grown blueberries arrive this wee...
Here we are in May and we’re looking at the approach of desert artichokes, sweet red cherries and stone fruit while enjoying Washington asparagus and California sweet corn.
For the first time in my 38 years in the fresh produce business, we’re seeing a lack of abundance of Green Globe Artichokes from Castroville, Calif. There are still ‘chokes available but we never really got that great value in the giant artichokes that we’ve typically seen in the past. We hear the acreage growing this particular variety had to be cut way down, and that costs more than doubled over last year...