The warm weather is still trying to keep autumn at arm’s length but the calendar most certainly says we are closing in fast on the fall season. As we move into the second half of September many of our summer favorites are winding down. Northwest peaches and nectarines are in their final stretch. Organic are already done and soon the conventional side will be as well.
Northwest blueberries are winding down fast… looks like we will need to move to imported fruit from Peru by the end of September, although this fruit is still being grown by Family Tree Farms which is one of our California partner growers. They’re not only skilled at growing high-quality fruit but they really care for their farm workers and their families. Rest assured, we take our commitment to stay as close to home as possible very seriously, and we’ll move closer by late October as new crop Mexican growing areas come on for our blueberry supply through the winter.
Northwest Melon Crops Feeling the Heat
Melons are struggling sooner than usual this year because of extreme temperatures and wildfires raging in California, Oregon and our state. California, in particular, is really having a tough time. Temperatures have been hitting 115-120 degrees even in coastal areas, causing dangerous working conditions for farm workers. Add in thick smoke and ash from the wildfires and it’s not a good situation. Turlock Fruit recently lost two fields of cantaloupe thanks to the heat waves, wildfires and labor restrictions caused by COVID-19.
Washington Apples Coming, Could Use Some Fresh Air
September also brings new crop apples and we have several in the markets with many more on the way. Currently Honeycrisp, Gala, Fuji and Rome are all new crop and soon we’ll see Jonagold, Opal and MacIntosh with even more to come in October. However, we would love to see the late summer heat back off and usher in some cool fall nights to bring Washington apples into full swing. Apples do not like daytime temps in the 90s and dislike high night time temps even more. Cool nights really help apples finish the ripening process. For this reason, we will move to Northern Washington apples grown in places like Brewster and Chelan. Apple grown here just seem to have a little better crunch!
Autumn Decorations & Pumpkins
Let’s talk some good news… We have just received our first Fall ornamental deliveries, which means you have a wide variety to choose from to decorate your home. Mini Ghost, Hooligan and Orange pumpkins, giant gourds, and something new called a “Midnight” mini pumpkin…it looks like an acorn squash but it’s round like a pumpkin with a long stem. We will soon be adding ornamental corn, and Blaze and Tiger Stripe pumpkins. We’ll also have our huge variety pumpkin displays arriving in the markets the week of Sept. 20: Jack-o-Lantern, Sugar Pie, Ghost, Cinderella, Warty Goblin, Fairytale, Blue Doll and American Tondo. We should be full speed ahead on pumpkins and ornamentals by Sept. 25.
The best varieties in seedless grapes arrive in September and run all the way through October. These grapes are big, sweet and crunchy!
Sweet corn from Sterino Farms remains abundant through the end of the month and it looks like the locally grown strawberries from Our Family Farm in Mount Vernon will continue into early October this year, too.
Until next time…