Friday, November 04, 2011

Produce notes from Allen.....146 Local Items!

New additions to our local Apple menu are Cortland, Cameo, Ida Red, Jonagold and Stayman Winesap, bringing total number of local apples to 14.

Members who are craving Clementines are seeing them in many stores.  I have had many requests for them, but have never bought them before the end of November.  At the urging of a supplier who said that they had good ones from Chile, we tried a box.  Here is what I wrote to the supplier who asked if we liked them.  "First, they didn't taste very good.  Second, they were extremely gas-ripened, to the point that some of the skin was gas burned.  Third, they were a variety of early Murcott Tangerine, and not Clementines.  They are  a 'clementine' for stores that don't care about how good their food tastes.  I do thank you for offering them, because I have been getting curious anyway.  I think I will be waiting for the first good one from Spain, and that probably is 2 or 3 weeks away."  
So eat the Fallglo Tangerine instead.  They are sweet and flavorful enough to enjoy and very juicy.  Good now, they will be improve with each picking over the next couple of weeks.
Blueberry prices have plunged.  They are now $1.75 per cup.  Organic is still over $6 for a small cup, so we are waiting for them to become more reasonable.
A couple of weeks ago, I explained our Papaya plan and then, of course, Hawaiian organic Papayas disappeared completely.  They have now returned and supply for the near future looks strong.
Not so with the Rainbow Bunched Carrots.  Apparently we can eat them faster than our suppliers can bring them.  We are trying to encourage stronger supplies.
We used to call it "Indian" Corn, then started calling it Ornamental Corn.   Now we call it Popcorn, because although you may use Popping Corn as an ornament, you can eat it.  It pops very nicely.  Put an ear in a paper bag and microwave for about a minute and 20 seconds (times vary, depending on the microwave).  You may remove the kernels and prepare as you would any other Popping Corn
Coop member James asks, "Where are the Enoki Mushrooms?"  We stopped carrying them when domestic growers stopped growing them.  Now most of the US supply is flown in from Korea, and we didn't think that made much sense.  What do you think?
(Over)abundant supplies at the end of the local Organic Green Pepper season will bring the price down to $.89 per pound beginning next Tuesday!
It now looks like we may not see enough Pie Pumpkin to last through November, possibly even not through next week!
Now that we have made a mountain of one million tons of Butternut Squash up front near the Bananas nobody can find them any more.
We have probably received the last of the Local Cherry and Heirloom Tomatoes from Hepworth Farms.  A few odd cases may trickle in next week, but it is very unlikely.  The next Tomato we will try will be the New England grown Hothouse Tomato grown by Deep Root.  They will be kind of pricey, but they are likely to taste better than most of what we will be able to source until next summer.
It's getting cold outside, but we still have 146 locally grown items!
- Allen Zimmerman . Produce Buyer . General Coordinator