Local Produce Update

Adam Calder, Produce Manager

The current strain and unpredictability being placed on world and national food distribution channels is taxing to say the least. As such, local food systems have seen a renewed sense of purpose and urgency over the past couple of months.

The Wheatsfield Cooperative Produce Department strives to stock as much high-quality local produce as we can, and every week brings more local availability. Our local asparagus will be around through about mid-June, so there still is time to enjoy some of this springtime vegetable. We get butter-crunch lettuce every week from Nebullam aeroponic greenhouse, as well as an assortment of lettuce, baby kale and radish bunches from Lee’s Greens depending on what he has available from week to week. Our micro-greens from Organic Greens are a customer favorite and steady seller, and they go great with some Nebullam or Lee’s Greens lettuce. We also recently got in some certified organic local rainbow chard, collard greens and radish bunches from Flint Ridge.

We still have a great selection of seedlings this year, and due to incredible demand from customers we have brought in seedlings from a couple of new sources this year: Seed Savers Exchange and one of our very own co-op employees, Joe Lekowski. Joe works as a cashier, front-end supervisor and produce clerk. He is passionate about horticulture and wanted to try his hand at selling seedlings, so I worked with him to help him get his product on our shelves. He has sold us some unique flower and herb seedlings we have never carried before such as luffa gourds, zinnias and calendula.

The seedlings from Seed Savers are certified organic and come in biodegradable peat-pots. When you plant them, all you need to do is gently tear off the bottom tip of the peat-pot, and then plant the seedling wherever you wish, pot and all! The peat decomposes as the plant grows, nourishing the seedling and leaving no garbage behind.

As we move on from spring to summer, keep your eyes peeled for blueberries, raspberries and strawberries from the Berry Patch as well as more variety from Flint Ridge. This year we will try as hard as ever in the produce department to source as many local produce items as we can, and we will do our best to support and strengthen local food systems.