Hatch Chilies are here and we will be roasting at nearly all our markets this weekend and next. We have the variety that made the Hatch chile pepper famous!
The “Big Jim” variety is a medium-hot chile (just about the perfect heat for me) and it is the one that started the craze. Many growers have stopped growing the Big Jim because the yield per acre is less than other varieties grown in Hatch, N.M. So we ask our partner to grow it specifically for us. It did cost a couple bucks more but we feel it was well worth it.
We’ll also have “Crazy 88” from New Mexico. This is...
A quick update from the road to sweeten the upcoming holiday.
I visited Dan Gunkel of Gunkel Orchards near the Maryhill Winery along the Columbia River yesterday. Dan had harvested some of his Robada apricots Tuesday and I wanted to see them, as well as check on his Private Reserve cherries.
These Robadas on the tree Wednesday might be in o...
While summer is slow in arriving, I did love that warm Memorial Day weekend. Warm, sunny and dry was long overdue this year. Speaking of warm and sunny, what about local berries?
I visited berry-growers in Skagit Valley about a week ago – Hayton Farms near Mount Vernon and Skagit Sun Farms near LaConner. I found we still had a ways to go. The blueberries look great as far as blossoms are concerned, but there were no actual berries when I was there. Our best guess for Western Washington blueberries at this poi...
One of the first signs we see as we move through the month of May and steam toward summer is the approach of sweet cherries from California.
Our first deliveries arrived this past week and what we’ve seen so far looks good. They’re a little lighter in color but they eat well for early California fruit. We see cherries getting even better as we approach Mother’s Day week...
California flooding during the second half of February interrupted the citrus and strawberry harvests so it has taken some hard work by our partner buyers to wade through those interruptions and find high-quality fruit for our markets.
The past several days, we’ve moved on to organic strawberries out of Arizona to escape the flooded fields and poor quality fruit we’re finding in California. We are starting to see some drying and warmer temperatures in the area, so we are hoping to see both supply and quality of California berries improve over the coming days.
When it comes to rain, it seems there’s either too much or too little and rarely just the right amount.
Rain halts the harvesting of citrus fruit, and then it generally takes a couple days of dry weather for the fruit to dry before harvesting can resume due to many reasons. For one thing, it’s difficult to move equipment around a muddy orchard. Then you’ve got blemishes that can occur when wet fruit is handled during harvest, increasing what is called clear rot. This is a spot on the fruit that is very difficult to see because it’s virtually transparent at first. But once boxe...
Let’s get cracking and enjoy what’s great in the markets now through the end of the year – since we were just talking about Thanksgiving. It’s nearly Christmas and Hanukkah already. As soon as we blink, it will be New Year’s.
We have several excellent Northwest apple varieties from which to choose. My favorite is the Fuji and we have brought in an extra-large size just for this holiday. They make great stocking stuffers (and take up lots of room, which Santa appreciates)! Other varieties that top my list at this time of year are the Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Braeburn, Opal and...
What happened to October? We are on the threshold of Thanksgiving and it seems like time has been flying over the last few weeks. So before any more time slips by, here’s the scoop in fresh produce:
Apples and pears are old news, but still excellent quality. The Honeycrisp, Opal, Kiku and Pink Lady apples are among my favorites at this time of year. But I do have to mention the Granny Smith because if apple pie is on your holiday menu, it’s a great choice. And we still have a wide selection of Northwest-grown pears to...
Our Produce Markets are full of the dark reds, deep greens and orange tinges of autumn.
The Northwest’s autumn apple and pear season is well under way with several varieties to choose from in both conventionally farmed and certified organic.
My favorite fall apple is the Fuji. I like the sweeter varieties when it c...