By Adam Calder
Wheatsfield Produce Manager

Summer is wrapping up, and autumn will soon be upon us. As we do this time of year, our department is saying good-bye to summer produce and hello to the fall harvest.

Because of the derecho’s devastation, we had an unfortunately short run of local cantaloupes this summer. We were told to look forward to a bumper crop too, and all of that was destroyed during the storm in August.

The drought in Iowa has also had a negative effect on produce yields, so we did not see high volumes of local berries this year. We only got two deliveries of local organic aronia berries before the plants stopped producing. The local raspberries and blueberries also saw similarly short runs in the produce department.

We still have ample supplies of local organic zucchini, yellow summer squash, cucumbers, eggplant, bell peppers, hot peppers, chard, collard greens and kales. Our local mushroom grower has caught back up after the derecho put him behind schedule, so we have oyster mushrooms back in stock. Our local buttercrunch growers are also back up to speed supplying us with weekly deliveries of lettuce.

Local apples have begun to trickle in, with some delicious honeycrisps coming from The Berry Patch. Local organic winter squash is also now readily available. We have butternut, spaghetti, kabocha, acorn, delicata and carnival squash just waiting to go home with you to gradually fill your house with the warm, enticing autumn aroma of slow-roasting squash.

It’s always hard to say goodbye to summer, this year especially so with the prospect of a socially distanced and locked-down winter. I was reading some Robert Frost poems the other day, and one struck a particular cord with me. I’m not sure why, perhaps it is the time of the year, perhaps it is this particular year. It struck me with a truthful eloquence, maybe it will do the same to you.

Nothing Gold Can Stay
By Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay