Friday, November 25, 2011

Produce notes from Allen.....103 Local Items!

I'll start with a couple of members' questions:

Q- KB asked, " I haven't noticed any local, organic Brussel Sprouts at the coop the last few weeks, just the "USA" variety and some smaller ones from Holland.  It seems a bit early for the season to have ended.  Will we be getting more? " 

A- " It is not so much that it ended, but that it may not exist at all.  Last year we had so many local Brussels Sprouts Stalks offered, by so many farmers, that we were unable to make any of them happy, (but we were!)  This year, only one of our farmers had any, but the stalks were so poor, that they sent us only the few sprouts that they were able to salvage.   Even those few sprouts were so poor, that we had to reject them, because they turned yellow so quickly.  We see none at all coming.  The crop failed because....rain, floods, hurricane, you name it. "  

For Thanksgiving week, we were able to package some very expensive Organic Brussels Sprouts; I hope everyone got what they needed. 
Q- " We haven't had any kind of Melon in the past few weeks.   The supermarkets + produce stores in the area all have Cantaloupes + Honeydews.   What's happening? "

A- " The seasons for USA Cantaloupes and Honeydew ended and that is when we stopped carrying them.  We are willing to carry imported Melons, but there is a reason why we are not carrying them now.  The headline of "The Packer", the national produce newspaper for 11/10 was 'Market Uneasy after Cantaloupe Outbreak'.  We have not gotten a favorable report for Honeydew flavor yet, not even from the suppliers who want us to buy them.  If you find a good one in a store, let me know, but unless I have assurance of safety and good flavor, you don't want me to buy them.  We received a favorable flavor report, and had not heard of any recalls of Organic Cantaloupes, so we added Organic Mexican Cantaloupes this week. "

We were able to find 60 pounds of Organic Turmeric from Hawaii.  Turmeric with 2 r's, not tumeric with 1 r.  We do not carry tumeric, because there is no such thing. *

Now that the local Tomato season is over, I calculated the total pounds of tomatoes we bought from Hepworth Farms this year:
39,960 pounds of Mixed Color Cherry Tomatoes
30,075 pounds of Red Tomatoes
27,100 pounds of Heirloom Tomatoes
17,875 pounds of Plum Tomatoes
6,225 pounds of Yellow or Orange Tomatoes
121,235 pounds in total, or 1,082 pounds a day!

We have had our first arrival of Organic Florida Grapefruits.  Sorry California, this demonstrates the difference between good and great.

We may have received our last Organic Grapes of the year.  The quality is going down and the price is going up.  We reached the same decision last year, also on the day after Thanksgiving.  Of course, if we learn of a great late season grape, we will try them. 

Q- "I love Grapes; what am I going to eat?!"

A- Something else.  Be positive about it; try something new when the season of your favorite fruit 

Allen Zimmerman - Produce Buyer - General Coordinator 
* Except in the Yogurt Case 
(Information Courtesy of Kris)