September Produce Parable
By Adam Calder, Produce Manager
The first nip of autumn air was late coming this year, with temperatures into the eighties well into the end of the month. As such, it might seem like all of the great Iowa produce you’ve come to expect in the Wheatsfield Cooperative Produce Department will be around forever. Alas, it cannot be so, and as the seasons turn then so to must the local produce items we stock.
Gone until next year are the flower bouquets bursting with their bright crayon-hued zinnias and beaming golden sunflowers. So too are the slicing tomatoes, and with them they’ve taken all their plump, crimson grandeur. Bid farewell to those delicious assorted gems also known as heirloom tomatoes, which in a good year already have a shorter season of availability but this year were even less available due to poor tomato growing weather.
Not gone, but nearly so, are the aronia berries and red cabbage. We have received our last deliveries of both of these items for the season so what we have in stock is all we have and once they are gone, they are gone until next year.
We still have local organic cucumbers eggplant, cilantro and zucchini. We should have those items in stock through the end of October. We also have plenty of local organic kale and assorted colors of bell peppers which we should be able to carry consistently though the end of November.
The local organic green cabbage should be available through March of 2019, and the local organic red beets will likely be in stock until June of 2019!
The summer produce may be winding down, by the autumnal produce is revving up! We currently have local organic: acorn squash, butternut squash, delicata squash, spaghetti squash, yellow onions and red onions. Our local honeynut squash is as cute as it is delicious.
We’ve also got local decorative gourds and jack-o-lantern pumpkins available a little earlier this year than in prior years. The wet summer produce a crop of some particularly large pumpkins, so this year you can really carve up a masterpiece.
The local apples have begun to appear, with bushels of honeycrisp arriving by the week. We’ve even been able to get our hands on some local Bartlett pears here and there, so stop in often over the next month to check and see if we’ve gotten some more. You don’t want to miss out on an Iowa grown Bartlett pear, as the chance comes but once or twice a year and the taste of these sweet drops of autumn sun is a true experience in simple pleasure.
As the seasons ebb and flow, so to do the varieties of produce we carry at Wheatsfield. Stop by often and ask a produce employee what we have new in local produce, and also please feel free to ask what might be nearing the end of the season. We are a friendly, knowledgeable lot in the produce department and are delighted to share our local produce knowledge with you!