April 16, 2014

Berry Season Heats Up
as Citrus Winds Down

The California citrus season is rapidly winding down. The eating quality of what we have is outstanding, but will not be around for much longer. The increasingly popular Sumo mandarins have finished shipping and our last deliveries will be arriving in our Markets Thursday, April 17. We hope these will last through next week, but be forewarned – supply is limited to what we have and they will go fast!

California strawberries have finally completed their transition from the Santa Marie growing area in the south – moving 175 miles north to Watsonville, just south of San Jose. This move will give a little longer shelf life to these great-tasting berries.

Speaking of transitioning berries, Family Tree Farms blueberries will be in moving from their Mexico growing area to California over the next few weeks. We expect to have an excellent supply by mid-May, if not sooner.

Several summer fruit and veggie options are on the horizon – something we’ve been looking forward to! We soon will have our first deliveries of sweet corn from G&S Farms out of their southern California growing areas. The plan is to harvest this Friday with delivery to our Markets Monday morning. Only white corn is available at first, followed by yellow and bi-color in a week or two.

California stone fruit is being picked and packed as we speak. These are early-variety yellow and white peaches, yellow nectarines, apricots, apriums and cherries. As a rule, we choose to offer these fruits only when we feel they have achieved a flavor profile worth experiencing. So watch for the start of our summer fruit season as it unfolds over the next several weeks.

Summer melon season is also starting. We are loading seedless watermelons from Pasque out of Arizona as early as the week of April 28. This grower is one of the best in the industry and some of the best tasting watermelons arrive during the month of May. This is also the target start to the Yuma, Ariz., cantaloupe season. Look for these melons in our Markets during the first week of May. As always, if you would like to have a taste to decide if you want to buy, we’d be more than happy to cut and sample – just ask!

Sweet onions are also on the horizon. We’ll start with the Texas “1015” sweet onions, which are set to  arrive over the weekend. We generally try to offer the largest sizes in sweet onions to make it easy to cover that burger with one slice. The Georgia Vidalia sweet onions, one of the best of the entire year, will arrive during the last week of April. Looking a little farther out, the Walla Walla sweet onions arrive around the last week of June.

Last but not least, the Washington asparagus season is under way and in the store right now! Look for us to be promoting Northwest asparagus from the Columbia Valley during the month of May.

Have a great week! – Joe 

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