August 21, 2012

Apple, Pears and Peaches – Oh My!
(& Berries and Grapes!)

NW Apple Season Begins


The 2012 Northwest apple season kicked off this past week with Gravensteins and close behind it will be Gala apples, which are being harvested and packed as we speak. We should see our first deliveries to our stores later this week.

Several other apple varieties are getting closer to harvest everyday as we move toward September. The long-awaited Honeycrisp apple is currently forecast to arrive sometime during the week of Sept. 10 – can’t wait! We expect the supply to be pretty limited in the beginning but the demand is expected to be high (makes sense – they taste delicious!). I am hoping we’ll have a good supply, and be able to offer some sales prices, later in the month.

NW Pear Season Coming


New-crop Northwest Bartlett pears arrive this week! For those of you who are into canning, the month of September is the best time for canning this variety of pear.  Right on the heels of the Bartlett will be the Red Starkrimson (named for their brilliant crimson color, they have a stocky stem and are known as a mild, sweet pear), D’Anjou, Bosc (crunchy but tender flesh and sweet-spiced flavor) and Asian (select those with a fairly strong, sweet smell since they’re still firm when ripe) as we move into September. This year promises to serve up an excellent crop of pears.

NW Peaches On Deck


When it comes to peaches, the best are yet to come! Goldendale orchardist Dan Gunkel says some of his best eating varieties of yellow- and white-flesh peaches will arrive in late August and be with us throughout September.

Wash. Organic Week Set


The week of Sept. 9-15has been designated Washington Organic Week by the Tilth Producers of Washington – a non-profit group that “promotes ecologically sound, economically viable and socially equitable farming practices that improve the health of our communities and natural environment.” We have decided to add extra emphasis on Northwest organically grown produce for two full weeks starting Wednesday, Sept. 5, and again Wednesday, Sept. 12. Look for excellent values in our stores on freshly harvested organic produce from Washington and Oregon.

Final Push for Berries


I just talked with Dan at Sakuma Brothers berry farm in Mount Vernon and he is thinking that his strawberries will have at least one more good push during the last two weeks of September. Weather permitting! On the other hand, his blueberries will continue to wind down. He feels we have maybe two more weeks of fairly good supply, but I wouldn’t wait! The 2012 Northwest blueberry season will end before you know it.

Sterino Farms berries (Puyallup) have been harder to get over the past few weeks, but things are looking up. Jake Sterino expects to be back in the berries for the month of September with his fall variety red raspberries and blackberries! Barring any adverse weather, he expects a great supply this year, meaning we are aiming to bring you some great values. Jake also mentioned that his pumpkins are coming along and looking great so far! Expect to see our Jack-O-Lantern displays starting the last week in September.

Best Seedless Grapes Coming


Last but not least, the best seedless grapes varieties of the year are just about here. The first to arrive will be the “Crispy Red” sometime during the week that begins Aug. 27. There is only one grower with this variety so supply is limited. The next will be the “Pristine” green seedless and the “Autumn Royal” black seedless grapes just after Labor Day. All three of these varieties are extra large as well as being very crisp and sweet.

Wine Grapes Available


We also will have several varieties of wine grapes available this year for the wine makers out there starting in late September. This is a hard one to pin down because each variety is harvest all at once and only when they are at their peak. All wine grapes must be ordered in advance in full-case quantities. Please check in with the Produce Managers for varieties and availability.

Until next time, have a great day!

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