Fresh Talker



Chock Full of Cherries
& Buried in NW Berries

The summer fruit season is well under way as we move into the last week of June. The Independence Day holiday will be here and gone before we know! The good news is we are moving into peak-of-season season for California stone fruit and we’re on the brink of a whole variety of Northwest berries. Local Cherry Season Short But Sweet First and foremost let’s talk about cherries. The Northwest cherry season is only here for a short time and the peak of that short season is now upon us. …
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Calendar says Spring
But the Crops Say Brrr!

Spring (ahead) is here! When we set our clocks ahead this weekend, it’s proof that spring is just about here, even though below-normal temperatures persist (as I write this it is actually SNOWING). This cool pattern is not exclusive to the Northwest. We are seeing cooler, wet weather patterns up and down the entire West Coast. We’ve even seen freezing temperatures in Arizona and Mexico. What does all this mean? This volatility in the weather right now has an immediate – and potentially a future — effect. …
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Rain Causes Issues
but Citrus and Pears
Bring Us Holiday Cheer

‘Tis the season for challenges when it comes to fresh produce. A couple of heavy rain events in California and Arizona have created challenges in row-crop vegetables like lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cilantro and more.  Also affected significantly are packaged salads. When so much rain falls so fast, flooded fields make it virtually impossible to harvest until the water recedes. Two other crops hit hard by rain at this time of year are California strawberries and organic satsumas. For the berries, significant rain means growers must strip off all the …
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Thanksgiving Ready!
We Made a List
and Checked it Twice

To get ready to fill all your holiday needs, we’ve been reviewing our notes, conducting our research and making adjustments where needed. I do believe we’re as ready as we can be to help you put together your special celebration with family and friends. Strike Gold with Your Mashed Potatoes …
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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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