Greetings tri-states fruit and veggie lovers! Thanks so much for stopping by. Today, I have lots to share with you including our local farmers transition from summer crops to early fall crops, along with some interesting news about the apple scene in the US, and followed by some of the great things going on here regarding transparency.
Where does the time go? It’s already September and that means school is starting up and soon we’ll see the leaves changing here in the Dubuque area. With that, many farmers are transitioning to their fall crops. But WAIT—that taste of summer can still be found down here at the co-op. We still have outdoor grown slicing tomatoes from Kings Hill Farm in Mineral Point, WI. Pepper season is also just getting off the ground too! Adam’s Garlic in nearby Cassville, WI has been providing us with green bell peppers and we’ll have orange and red ones arriving in soon. Peppers absolutely adore the humid, sunny weather we’re having now so get ready! Slice ‘em, grill ‘em or stuff ‘em peppers are oh so versatile (psst! You can even freeze them for use later on in the winter!) We’re also so excited to announce that Tree of Life Gardens in Cuba City, WI delivered their first round of celery last week. It’s just hit the shelves so come on down and grab a bundle or two—the flavor is outstanding!
In my last blog I ended with asking about spaghetti squash and yep, it’s in the HOUSE! We’ve received in some beautiful spaghetti and acorn squash in from Sunnyside Produce in Wilton, WI. Next up arriving in will be a staff (and customer) favorite—delicata squash. Did you know that delicata squash was once called “lazy mans” squash because you don’t have to peel it and the skin is edible? It’s an heirloom variety that was almost wiped out during the commercialization of squash as it was susceptible to disease so it was almost forgotten about!
The Apple Associations annual meeting took place just two weeks ago in Chicago, IL. The verdict: a decrease in the amount of apples forecasted to be harvested this season. Last year, was a record setting year with 272 million bushels harvested whereas this year is expected to be near the 235 million bushel mark. Out West in Washington, the first round of early season apples are starting to arrive at the store. Come and check out our Ginger Gold Apples. These apples are a cross between a golden delicious and a Pippin. One of the earliest harvested varieties discovered by Ginger Harvey, hence the name. Here in the driftless area, we’re hearing good reports from local orchards and yes, we will be carrying local eating and baking apples in just a few weeks! There is nothing sweeter than the first local, organic apple you bite into at the start of the season! Stay tuned on our apple scene because there will be a lot to report as the season gets going!
Did you know that when we get deliveries from locals or our distributors our product moves right out onto the shelves? We order in small quantities and hold as much as we can out on the sales floor instead of holding it in our back cooler. This way, we ensure you have the freshest produce possible going home with you and your family. Our growers also follow rigorous guidelines in terms of growing whether it be the organic label or Certified Naturally Grown. Not only is it super cool to see EXACTLY where your local produce is coming from, but also where those hard to find, seasonal items are coming from. At first, I thought most citrus came from the great sunshine state, but I was wrong. Majority of our citrus indeed comes from California. We love being transparent down here at the co-op, so if you have any questions about sourcing, growing conditions or where exactly that pluot came from, or what day your rainbow chard was harvested please don’t hesitate to ask, and we’ll be happy to share the information with you. Transparency is especially important in today’s world and it’s a value that we hold dearly here at the co-op. We look forward to serving your produce needs down here. See you soon!