Autumn arrived in a big way this year…we went from smoky, warm weather to rain nearly overnight here in the Northwest. This coupled with heatwaves and wildfires in California is making for a rocky transition from the Northwest to southern growing areas.
Goodbye Berries, Hello Northwest Apples
All the rain we’ve had recently is putting a quick end to the local berry season. We might get lucky and see a few more local strawberries next week but don’t count on it. Northwest blueberries are done and we’re now importing from Family Tree Farms, our California partner who also grows out of Peru this time of year. We want to give a big shout-out to Hayton Farms in Mount Vernon for the incredible organically grown blueberries they provided all of us this year. Another shout-out to Dane Hulbert of Our Family Farm in Mount Vernon for the long, incredibly high-quality strawberry season they were able to provide this year.
New crop Northwest apples keep ramping up and we’re finishing the last of the Pink Lady and Rockit apples. These two late season varieties need a period of rest after the harvest to achieve their best flavor. All other varieties of apples currently in the markets are now Northwest grown.
We’re currently flush with Northwest pears, too! Bartlett, D’Anjou, Bosc, Starkrimson and Seckel — choose one or choose them all. Plus, pre-conditioned Bartlett pears will arrive around Oct. 7. What does pre-conditioned mean? The grower slowly brings the temperature up over time until it triggers the ripening process. Then they quickly bring the temperature back down and ship to our market. The result is a creamier texture, excellent flavor and a better eating experience. We’ll soon bring in pre-conditioned Comice pears, too. They’re simply the best eating pear of the year and the pre-conditioning process really brings out the buttery smooth texture. We expect our first arrivals in mid-October.
Rain is Good News for Mushroom Lovers
A few other items that have ended abruptly in the Northwest are green beans, zucchini and summer squashes, broccoli, cauliflower and cucumbers. We’ll source them all out of California for now and eventually Mexico. We expect to continue with Northwest lettuces and sweet corn but not for much longer. We still do our best to stay as close to home as possible, but we must follow the season south as we move towards winter. Rest assured we’ll head north in the spring as soon as possible as we always do.
One good thing about the sudden rain storms is the big boost it brings to the wild mushroom crop. It has been extremely dry up until now with very limited supply in chanterelle and lobster mushrooms. We expect to see that change significantly. Maybe we can put together a sale or two!
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, all our pumpkins have arrived. The display and selection is outstanding. This is a clear sign that the winter holiday season is just around the corner.
Until next time, be safe and enjoy.