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Apples, Pears ‘Shrooms
Lead Autumn’s Approach

(Above: Pears in the Produce Market)

(Sept. 11, 2013) With Labor Day behind us, summer is winding down fast. I know the weather doesn’t say so … yet. But out in the fields, the transition to fall is already upon us.

We have had a fantastic Northwest berry season this year, but all good things must come to an end. The blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are finishing up fast. On a more positive note, we do have fresh “wild Mountain Huckleberries” available, but I wouldn’t wait too long to freeze up your needs for the holiday season. To freeze simply rinse, drain, throw them into a freezer bag and place them in the freezer.

Fresh figs have peaked, although they should be available for a few more weeks. The supply will shrink each week but we will keep fresh figs available as long as possible.

The Turlock melon varieties are all but done, but we will have cantaloupe and honeydew for several more weeks. The orange honeydew (the best tasting of all) will end soon without notice. I’m hopeful we will have them through Sept. 20.

But all that winding down doesn’t mean you have to give up fresh and seasonal! Northwest apples have started and new varieties arrive each week. Galas started a few weeks ago and we added the Honeycrisp and Jonagold apples over this past week or so. The new crops of Granny Smith, Golden Delicious and Fuji all arrive this next week.

A new crop of Northwest pears is showing up – the Bartlett, D’Anjou, Golden Bosc, Comice and Red Starkrimson have all begun to arrive. This kicks off several weeks of abundance in pears. If your favorite is the unique Northwest-grown  Asian pear, you’ve still got a couple of weeks to wait. In the meantime, we do have a fantastic California-grown crunchy golden Asian Pears available in the markets.

Chanterelle mushrooms are off to an early start this year and from what we’ve seen so far,  I think it is going to be an outstanding season. This is good news compared to the dismal year this wild mushroom had last year. The difference between this year and last? It’s all about the weather.  Last year we had low humidity and dry weather well into October. This year, the warm weather and high humidity in the lowlands has produced just the right combination of temperature and moisture that is perfect for these mushrooms.

Northwest winter hard squashes are already in the markets with more on the way. We will have a wide variety of these squashes arriving this coming week. This is a great time to experience new varieties and the subtle flavor distinctions they each bring to the table.

Sterino Farms pumpkins are ready and will arrive during the last week of this month. We will have all the unique varieties you have seen in the past, from Jack-O-Lanterns to Knuckleheads and Long Island Cheese Pumpkins. Build a family with all the shapes, sizes and textures and let’s celebrate autumn!

Have a great day! Joe  

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