Friday, August 24, 2007

Local Produce Runs Wild in the PSFC Produce Aisle

The organic tomato season is now at its peak. The heirloom varieties are far too numerous to mention, but they include red, yellow and orange brandywine, garden peach, green zebra, moskvich, lemon, cherokee purple, costoluto genovese and many more. The cherry tomato mix includes many different varieties as well. The appreciation of all of the tomatoes is experienced by sight, taste, and aroma, but I also find the numbers interesting too. We are providing for sale this week:

1,800 pints of cherry tomatoes
3,00 pounds of red tomatoes
650 pounds of heirloom tomatoes
1,050 pounds of plum tomatoes
875 pounds of orange and yellow tomatoes

Most of these tomatoes come from Hepworth Farm in Milton, NY, and some of the heirlooms are coming from Finger Lakes Organic Growers Cooperative.

The local fruit season is transitioning from stone fruits to apples and pears. The first local apples of the year are the minimally treated Paula Red, Tydeman and Ginger Gold from Hepworth Farm. Also from Hepworth, we have the Clapp Pear and from Finger Lakes, the organic Harrow's Delight Pear.

Other new items from local organic family farms:

Ground cherries (aka husk tomato or cape gooseberry)—a close relative of the tomatillo, looks like a miniature tomatillo but is a sweet tart fruit. Peel the papery husk and eat fresh or use in salads, like a tomato, or add to a fruit salad. They can be dried or made into jelly.

New York State Garlicis finally here. We are hoping for a much greater supply this year. These are the hard neck variety. They are superior to the easier cheaper to grow soft neck, and are absolutely packed with essence of garlic flavor, rather than just garlicky heat. Weigh a bulb in your hand, and you will find it to be surprisingly heavy

Purslane—In the USA this vegetable is considered to be a weed, but it is considered to be a vegetable elsewhere as in Asia and Europe. If you look it up in Google, you will find that most of the references relate to its eradication, rather that its culinary use. Use the leaves raw in salads or cook gently much as you would use spinach, or add it near the end of the cooking of soups or stews. This vegetable is valued for its high content of omega-3 fatty acids and is also a good source of anti-oxidants.

Japanese Turnips with tops have returned. They are limited now and will be sporadically available into the fall.

PSFC Produce Update for August 24, 2007: A Hill of Beans

All of the following beans are from local family farms. In addition to green and yellow (wax) beans, we are currently carrying:

Dragon Tongue Beans (limited)—similar to a flat Romano bean, but yellow with purple streaks. May be eaten raw or cooked like a green bean.

Purple Beans—like green or yellow, but a deep purple color.

Lima Beans (very limited)—to be shelled and cooked. Actually lima beans must be cooked as they are unsafe to eat raw.

Tongue of Fire Beans—I have read that the pod is edible, but I couldn't eat it. I would shell the beans and cook them.

On Tuesday we will add:

Edamame or edible soy beans- most of the soy beans grown in the USA are used as the base for tofu, soy milk, etc. A very tiny percentage of the crop are actually a distinctly different variety, the edamame, or edible soy bean.
As a fresh vegetable, they are very limited, and have a very short growing season. Boil or steam in the shell. Then press the bean out with your fingers or suck them right out of the shell.

Cannelini Beans—We will have these for the first time ever this Tuesday. They need to be shelled and cooked.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Notes from the PSFC Freezer Case, August 22 Edition

Some wonderful new frozen food options are now available in the freezer aisle. Check out:

Moosewood Spicy Penne Puttanesca — pasta in a vegan tomato sauce with kalamata olives, capers and cayenne

Fairfield Farms Kitchen's Lemon Chicken Piccata with Wehani Rice —organic!

Fairfield Farms Kitchen is affiliated with Moosewood, and they use many Northeastern-grown ingredients in their dishes. -Click here for more info-

The Coop is now carrying three items from the Berkshire Bakery:

Four Cheese and Roasted Garlic Pizza
Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Pizza
Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

The Berkshire Bakery is a small bakery nestled in Western Massachusetts. Word on the shopping floor has it that these pizzas are pretty tasty.

For those of you looking for a non-Amy's burrito alternative in the frozen burrito section, check out PJ's Burritos. We've got two kinds: Chicken Burrito and Breakfast Burrito with Sausage. These burritos are made with organic ingredients.

We have another Morningstar Farms fake meat product available now as well: Griller Crumbles. Ground fake meat for all your ground fake meat needs.

Have you been hankering for a gluten free frozen bagel? Why not try: Glutino Plain Bagels.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Summer Meat Sale!

Gargantuan, Gi-Normous Summer Meat SALE!

Frozen Meat Only!

ALL LOCAL MEAT in the Aisle 3 black freezer is on sale for $2.99/Lb.

(Priced as marked. Sale does not include Stonewood Turkey.)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

PSFC Produce Update for August 8, 2007

New items this week:

3 new minimally treated local fruits from Hepworth Farm this week are the shiro, a small juicy yellow plum, and the prune type plum. We have beautiful donut peaches, the first we have ever gotten from Hepworth and they are a sweet juicy treat.

The Sycamore label of non-organic honeydews have arrived. Many members are aware of this August honeydew, generally the best of the year.

We have fresh organic lima beans from Burkholder Farm in Pennsylvania.

We have a tiny amount of organic All Blue potatoes from Busy Bee farm in Pennsylvania.

Organic rhubarb, a difficult crop in the very hot weather has returned for a brief run.

Brand new item from Hepworth farm is the organic Mexican sour gherkin which we will be marketing as a mini gherkin. For description and photo of this heirloom cucumber see

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

PSFC Produce Update for August 2, 2007

Fair Trade Organic Bananas—We are at our summer low level for organic banana sales, averaging only 180 cases or 3.5 tons per week. For over a month now, we had enough access so that all of them have been Fair Trade.

Organic Red Tomato—While supplies last we have field run early harvest local ripe red organic tomatoes for only $.74 per pound.

Ginger from China—The California Department of Health has warned consumers not to eat fresh ginger from China after the California Department of Pesticide Regulation detected aldicarb sulfoxide, a pesticide not approved for use on ginger. The Coop does not carry this ginger, or any fresh produce from China. We did get in a couple of boxes at the beginning of this year, and it was not very good ginger. Fear not, if you think you had some back in January, as the flu-like symptoms of contamination would have occurred within the first hour of ingestion and disappeared quickly, within a few hours. In the spring, having heard reports of questionable integrity or purity of Chinese fresh produce, we stopped buying any of it. That occasionally has meant that we had no organic garlic at all, as most of the springtime worldwide supply of garlic comes from China.

The local produce items tally today: 97 local items, 72 of which were grown organically on small family farms.