Local Produce Ramps Up
as Hatch Chiles Come In!

August already? That means there is a lot happening in your market’s Produce Market!

We’ll soon see the Northwest cherries come to an end.  Variety berries from Sterino Farms in Puyallup are all but finished for the year, although we’ll have some blackberries over the next three to four weeks.

A basket of Albion strawberries

Albion strawberries

We’re working with a new strawberry grower in Mount Vernon this year – Hedlin Family Farm. They’re growing Albion strawberries, a relatively new hybrid that rests in late June and early July but will come on strong as we move into August.

Albion plants can produce well into September and were developed to be heat tolerant and resistant to several common diseases known to damage strawberry plants. These berries are big and firm and because this grower allows the fruit to hang an extra one-three days, they’re bright red and sweet.

This is our first year working together and so far we’re seeing some of the nicest berries we have enjoyed in a long time. We hope to develop a long-term relationship with this grower to supply our communities with the biggest and best local strawberries on the market.

Cherry tomatoes from Durst Organic Growers are peaking as we speak (read?). There are up to nine varieties to choose from and they all have their own distinct flavor. All are sweet and eat like candy. My favorites are the Mini Charm and the Sun Gold.

Sterino Farm About to Come on Strong

Farmer Jake Sterino tasting his corn in the field

Jake Sterino tasting his corn last summer

Jake Sterino of Sterino Farms says his super-sweet yellow corn should start right around the Saturday, Aug. 10, and keep on going into September. Right now we’re getting green and red cabbage, leaf lettuce, cilantro, fennel and celery from Sterino.

As we move closer to September, we’ll also get their green peppers, leeks, and both jalapeno and poblano peppers. Looking out even further, Jake says the pumpkins are in bloom and we’re only about eight weeks from our first pumpkin delivery!!!

Walla Walla sweet onions will start to wind down as August unfolds. We do have a limited amount of a new crop of red Chesnok garlic arriving in the markets. Pickling cucumbers from Duris Cucumber Farm in Puyallup are just around the corner.

Hatch Chile Roastings Planned at our Markets

Hatch chiles coming out of the large roaster.

Hatch chiles fresh from the roaster.

Speaking of peppers, it’s about time for Hatch chiles to make their 2019 debut. We expect the first fresh Hatches to arrive tomorrow – Aug. 7 – and this weekend, our roasting events begin. Here is the complete schedule of roasting events, with all the fine print you’ll need. You’ll also see the event on your market’s Facebook page.

Believe it or not we just got our first quote on a new crop of Northwest gala apples available for next week. That means we should be seeing the new crop of Northwest Bartlett pears and Northwest tomatoes any time now.

Lastly, let’s talk melons. The Turlock Fruit Co. melons are here and peaking over the next two weeks. We have cantaloupe, green and orange honeydews, sharlyn, canary, hami and peil de sapo. All of them eat exceptionally and you should try them all. My personal favorites are the orange honeydew, peil de sapo and the sharlyn. We would be happy to provide samples – just ask!

I hope you are enjoying your summer. Be safe and have fun! — Joe

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