Fresh Talker



Apples are Crawling,
Pears are Prepping,
Pumpkins are Plumping

The warm dry days of July and August along with the relatively warm nights well into September has slowed the apple season to a crawl. Apples need cool night-time temps to put the final touch on their color and crispness. Now that we’re trending toward a more normal weather pattern, we’re seeing more varieties of this new crop of Washington apples.  We have had Gala apples for a couple of weeks. Golden Delicious and Honeycrisp apples both arrived this week. Reports are for a big Honeycrisp crop this year and the market is starting off with costs well below last year. So look for …
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September Arrives
by Sea (Pacific Cod)
and By Air (Bees)

It’s been almost a year since we got to know Amelia Burns Stewart at Blue North and fell in love with the Pacific cod humanely harvested by her father and uncle, Michael and Patrick Burns. The Burns have been longline fishing in Alaskan waters for decades, and in the 90s they purchased a grass-fed cattle ranch in eastern Oregon. As admirers of Temple Grandin’s work around the humane treatment of cattle, they were inspired to consider better treatment of …
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Summer Winding Down
but Great-Eating Fruit
Remains (& Hatch Chiles)

The downhill side of summer is marked by the ending of the Northwest cherry season.  We are there, sadly, as we still have a few Sweet Red Cherries in the markets this morning, but I’d be surprised if we make it through the weekend. At least it was a banner year! As we move into the second half of August, a few late-summer items are over the top when it comes to great eating experiences. First on the list are jumbo-size Keitt mangos. Personally I think it’s the best mango of the year. The fruit is large with a thin pit and offers up a thick, creamy flesh. The tropical flavor is …
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August Brings Bounty:
Melons, Figs and Mangos

August already? But … wasn’t the Fourth of July only a minute ago? August brings an end to the local berry season from Sterino Farms in Puyallup. We’ll see a few blackberries over the next few weeks and a trickle of currants for another week or so. We’ll have an abundance of Northwest blueberries, but the wind down has begun already and the end is in sight. I’m also hoping for a few more strawberries out of Oregon, but I’m not holding my breath because the recent heat wave has forced us to …
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Brace for Blueberries;
Don’t Delay Rainiers!

Berries are still going strong, but time is running out on a couple popular varieties we get from Sterino Farms in Puyallup. Tayberries already are finished, and gold raspberries are winding down fast. Red raspberries have about 10 days left, but the supply shrinks with each passing day. Currants and gooseberries should be plentiful through the end of the month. As for blackberries, they will be plentiful through August and possibly into September. We will move through several blackberry varieties over the next several weeks. So far, it’s been another great year for Sterino …
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When One Berry Ends
Another Rises Up
(Blueberries Soon!)

We’re gloriously knee-deep in berries! It was a rough start for locally grown strawberries last week. But we quickly moved into sunny, warm weather over the weekend and it really brought out the sugar and flavor. Sadly, local strawberries already are winding down. Northwest blueberries will be arriving …
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Time for local produce
to take center-stage
and fill our markets

Summer officially arrives June 21 – but unofficially, many of us feel like it’s already here, even if the weather can’t decide. The warm summer-like weather we experienced at the end of May led us to think locally grown strawberries from Skagit Valley’s Hayton Farms might be here by June 5 or …
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Starting to Look Like Summer:
Local Berries, Washington Cherries,
Peaches and Melons

Seems like we skipped spring and went straight to summer with a wonderful warm spell over Mother’s Day weekend. But, not the case in California where recent weather has been on the cool side. As a result we’ve only been able to get G&S Farms White Sweet Corn so far, while normally the bicolor and yellow arrives about one week after the white. Glenn at G&S told me it’s been in the 60s and the corn has just not come along as anticipated. He does think we should see some bicolor and yellow sweet corn arriving before the Memorial Day weekend. Looking ahead a bit on G&S Farms …
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April gives way to May:
The avocados are gems
and the grapes pristine

I don’t know about you, but I’m downright giddy over the arrival of two – soon to be three – beautiful days. April’s cold damp seemed to drag on forever. Now I can talk about May – about what’s in our markets and what great, fresh food is right around the corner. Shake out your reusable grocery bags – the fields and orchards are gearing up. Gem Avocados We received our first Gem avocados this week – just in time for Cinco de Mayo. What are Gem avocados, you ask? We likely have had a few of these mixed in with our Hass avocados over the past few years.  They …
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Unpacking Spring:
Berries, Asparagus,
Grapes, Mangos, etc.

Now that we’re solidly into March and heading for Easter Sunday, it’s a good time to peek at what is on the fresh produce horizon. The blues are bustin’ out all over! Blueberries! The new crop of blueberries from Mexico has finally arrived in our markets under the “River Run” …
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