July 20, 2012

Berry Report:
Some Winding Down,
Some Still Going Strong

(July 20, 2012) It’s time for a thorough berry roundup, now that we’re past the middle of July.
The raspberries and blackberries from Sterino Farms in Puyallup were a huge hit this past week.
We were able to offer the red raspberries at their seasonal peak, and the fruit is just outstanding this year.  Jake Sterino said he’s having the best berry season he can remember. The red raspberries will continue to be in good supply and of high quality well into next week.
We are on the downturn side of the Tulameen raspberry season for this year – these are large, red raspberries. The supply will wind down slowly over the next 10 days to two weeks – so enjoy them while you can!
Blackberries are just coming into their season and I expect a good supply well into September.
Gold raspberries continue to wind down and the tayberries (a cross between a blackberry and a red raspberry, and named for Scotland’s River Tay) are all but done for the year.
Blueberries from Sakuma Brothers Farms in Skagit Valley have arrived starting with the Earliblue variety. This is the first variety of the year from Sakuma’s Berry Farm. It has good flavor, but tends to be a bit smaller in size. We expect our first Duke Variety Blues to arrive this weekend with peak production in this variety next week.
I headed up to the Sakuma farm in Mt. Vernon on the morning of July 20 to check out the crop, but the rain from our latest lightning and thunder storm sent me back home as no picking was going to happen that day. I will try it again early next week, and let you know.
The Duke variety – the best of the entire year – has large, sweet berries with a firm texture. We target this variety for our annual Sakuma Blueberry Big Board Buys, which should start July 25 at a really excellent value. These are the berries you’ll want to freeze and enjoy all winter.  It’s great to enjoy blueberries while they are fresh, but it is even better when you can go to your freezer and pull out the best of the season regardless of the season. And it’s incredibly easy.

Check out our Blueberry Primer and Summer Berry Freeze Fest

Turlock Melons Don’t Disappoint

The Turlock melons are everything we expected and more. The organic  cantaloupe and honeydew eat very well.  The conventional cantaloupe is bursting with rich, sweet flavor. We also have Turlock’s heirloom cantaloupe and galia melons. The orange honeydew is my favorite. This melon will nearly take your breath away. It is truly the best of the best!
Next week, look for the sharlyn, hamI and canary melons, all of which have their own unique flavor. We would be more than happy to help you sample any melon you want.

Washington Peaches and Nectarines

The first of season, Washington-grown Rich Lady Peaches and Honey Blaze Nectarines arrive Monday July 23, from Gunkel Orchards (Maryhill brand) in Goldendale. These are both excellent varieties with full, rich flavors. We expect the supply to start up slowly and pick up as we move through the week.
I will be visiting Dan Gunkel on Thursday July 26 to get an update directly from him about the coming Washington peach and nectarine season. Watch for my next posts – I should have some great photos and some information on the season in general.
Have a great day!   


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