Greetings Tri-States! We have been so busy down here in the Millwork District and boy, has it been an exciting growing season thus far! I’ll be talking about all things local for the most part, because let’s face it—we have such awesome farmers in our area and they really deserve some recognition! Because we have access to such clean and local food, I’ll also be sharing some of my favorite summertime recipes!
Local Produce News
Kate from The Kitchen Garden in Mt. Carroll, Illinois has been dropping off some of the most beautiful veggies! She is our second Certified Naturally Grown producer and we’re proud to able to carry her products. Kate’s snap peas have that crunch to them that makes you reach for another before you’ve finished the first one! Also coming from The Kitchen Garden are beans (green, yellow and purple), fennel, and cucumbers. Speaking of which, we’re now carrying slicing and pickling cucumbers AND in our bulk herb section we carry pickling spice. Stop on down and get going on those pickles you’ve been dying to make!
The carrot season is rolling along nicely as well. The Dubuque Food Co-op is proud to carry bulk and 2 lb. bagged carrots from Two Onion Farm located in Belmont, WI. Adam’s Garlic in nearby Cassville, WI just delivered their first round of dragon carrots. But hey, don’t let the name scare you—they’re purple and flashy, with a great crunch to them. They’re great with dips or any other dish you’re looking for some color!
Honey Hill Organic Farm in Potosi, WI has been producing like a champ! We’ve had their cherry tomatoes in the store for a couple of weeks now and we just love ‘em! Their first round of broccoli came in last week as well. If you haven’t had freshly picked, local, organic broccoli, I suggest you come down and pick some up. It just doesn’t compare with the ‘other stuff’. The Honey Hill family also has been providing pink radishes and green onions. In the coming weeks, we’re excited to see more from the Honey Hill family!
Other local folks are getting their first round of tomatoes in and we’ll see slicing tomatoes hitting the shelves very soon! King’s Hill Farm located in Mineral Point, Wisconsin has been supplying us with petite celery, zucchini and cucumbers. The quality is flawless and you can tell they put so much love into growing their produce!
Other Produce News
What about the stuff that comes from further away? Avocados are starting to creep up in price as we start to see the California avocados supply dwindle. According to market reports, the Californian avocado season will finish sooner than anticipated with a lull before the fruit starts arriving in from Mexico. Mango production is going extremely well and we’re seeing great prices which means we’re running a mango sale until prices increase, so come on down and grab a couple. You won’t be disappointed.
The fires in California have been calmed by record rainfall but unfortunately it’s not enough for the golden state. Farmers are consistently having challenges growing the lush produce that we’re used to. Along with that comes price increases. I believe we’ve moved into a new era of food prices because of this drought out west and the damage it has caused all of the hard working farmers. California supplies a majority of the US with produce and we’ll likely see that reflected in prices in the years to come.
Because we’re in the height of our local season, sometimes it can be difficult to figure out just what to do with some of those veggies. I’ve included some links to some of my favorite recipes below. Go ahead, check them out, print those bad boys and make some delicious summer food for friends and family!
-Leah, Produce Lead
- Tequila alone can be so boring…But how about cucumber watermelon margaritas?
- Looking for another way to incorporate quinoa into a meal? Cucumber and bell pepper quinoa might do the trick!
- Need a colorful and attractive appetizer? How about incorporating zucchini?
- Instead of deep frying, check out these baked zucchini fries!
- Broccoli and bleu cheese anyone? Sounds like a match made in heaven to me!