Every year when August rolls around, our staff gets really excited for the abundance of falls crops - apples, pears, persimmons, winter squash, cider, and more. We geek out at the news from local and regional farmers and distributors. We plan how to display, pair, and create recipes to get our community involved in switching from a summer diet rich in watery, sweet foods, to creamy, earthy root vegetables.
This year is no different. The cider finally arrived. Persimmons is on the list. Squash is starting to come into the store. We are all looking forward to soup season.
We know that eating seasonally and locally as much as possible helps us maintain optimal health and supports the environment, and our communities. I will be sharing on our blog some recipes to go with these autumn treats. We hope to inspire you on your journey of good health.
Here is what else is going on in the organic produce marketplace (courtesy of Four Seasons Produce) and reports from local farmers.
Apples: Good news is that despite what we reported last week with apple shortages (due to fires in Washington state is adversely effecting harvest and shipment), apples are coming in plentiful and looking great!
Bell Peppers: A few weeks ago we mentioned there would be some issues with bell peppers coming up. Due to seasonal transitions, green peppers will experience some out of stocks and tight pricing until Florida's crops are available mid to end of October.
Berries: No change to last week's news. Reports continue to show that berries will have shortages and high prices over the next month and a half (or more) due to weather issues.
Broccoli: Four Seasons Produce reports "High heat and smoke-filled air caused issues with the plants, quality (dehydration, hollow core, and pin rot), and has really damaged yields. Expect very high pricing, limited volumes, and occasional prorates or out-of-stocks through much of October."
We are hoping our Pennsylvania farmers will be able to provide some yields.
Citrus: News remains the same. Crops will be tight with out of stocks until end of October.
Cucumbers: It looks like cucumbers are finally going to turn around! Look for better quality and prices to drop over the coming weeks.
Greens: East Coast is looking good for greens this autumn. Kale, Collard Greens, Bok Choy, Chard, and more should be plentiful.
Lettuce: The news remains the same as last week. Romaine lettuce is in very short supply due weather issues while Green Leaf lettuce is starting to pace well. We have been working on sourcing locally and as the weather continues to cool here in south central PA, we will see a larger yield available that might hold us through.
Mango: Due to crop issues and location rotation mangoes will be unavailable until mid to end of October.
Squash: We are so happy to partner with Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op to have local, organic winter squash. While some local farmers lost crops due to last week's frost (or had difficult growing seasons due to this year's weather), we seem poised to be able to bring in a variety again this year. Squash curry anyone?