AUGUST 2017 - WHAT'S GROWING, WHAT'S SLOWING?

 

What can we expect from Organic Fruit in Aug?

Not a whole lot, unfortunately, we still have the winter staples of Apples, Pears and Citrus. Although we are certainly transitioning to the late season varieties in all three of these categories. I will encourage people to step a little outside of their comfort zones if they want to mix this up.

Try buying Tangello’s instead of oranges, revisit grapefruits, both ruby and yellow. Introduce the family to lemonade fruit and different varieties of mandarins rather than just the Imperials. Expose yourself to different tastes and nutrients. Keep winter at bay by eating a Kiwi Fruit a day; they are much higher in vitamin C than oranges.

 

Notables in August fruits are:

Blueberries: it’s early season they are a little tart (Keep them out of the fridge for a day or two) prices are high, but they should come back towards the end of the month. They are a superfood and will definitely be featured in my pending pie.

Kiwi Fruit: There is a lot around even though the local season wasn’t great this year and is finishing earlier than usual. The NZ product has filled this gap and early indicators suggest that they have a good crop. Expect good quality and great prices, through to the end of September at least. Good in cereals, salads and desserts.

Red Papaya: Good supply from our grower in Cook Town, try a half with lime juice and the cavity filled with passion fruit, it is the breakfast of champions. Do not confuse these with your stock standard Yellow Paw Paw; they are worlds apart. This grower also has an awful lot of Honey Dew Melons that they need to move, so do a farmer a favour and get some Honey Dew on your plate.

Reasonable stocks of Pineapple and Passion Fruit available from Bundy region.

Bananas always get a little short in mid-winter, so supplies haven’t been great during July. I think the worst is over and supplies should start getting back to normal especially towards the end of the month.

 

What can we expect to finish in Fruits in August?

Nashi Pears have had a good run, but should finish before the month is up.

Apple options will start to thin out, Granny’s have been short and will finish pretty soon, as will Red Del’s followed closely by Gala’s. The good news is that they will be replaced by late season varieties like Sundowners. Apple quality will start to decline from late Aug/early Sept., but we should have some sort of apple offering right up to the beginning of December.  Last year it was beyond Christmas, but all indications suggest that this season will be shorter.

 

What’s Growing in Vegetables in August?

It was a mild start to the winter season, this meant that supply was high and prices low for a lot of the traditional winter vegetables, this was a consequence of the southern growers production overlapping the northern season. That trend has now finished, with the cold weather putting an end to the southern season and in fact impacting the northern region with an unseasonal slow down as well. You may has seen a recent spike in prices of cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, this will settle down as we move into Auguast.

The Lockyer and Brisbane Valley carrot growers should reach full production by mid to late August, so carrot supply should be good at least through to October.

Also from this region are all of the brassicas, expect good quantities at good quality and great prices. There is lots of cabbage, red and green; cauliflower, broccoli, broccolini and some Brussel sprouts. Kale cavolo and curly will be in plentiful supply also.

Local beetroot is available, I mentioned last month to make sure you eat all of your colours. Research suggests that the purples are the most important, try using beets in salads and burgers, red cabbage in coleslaw and eggplant as one of your go to veges. Troy Huggins is growing a beautiful purple cauliflower that retains it’s colour even after it has been cooked.

Capsicums are around in the full spectrum of green, reds and yellows, though supply a little short. Celery is in good supply as well as all of the Chinese suite of vegetables. Look out for Golden Shallots; they make me want to get out the French cookbooks every year and tell your Nanna that she can buy some Choko’s if she really wants to; as well as shelling peas if she wants to go 100% old school.

Garlic, turmeric and ginger are all available with prices on turmeric significantly lower this year than in previous seasons, due to an oversupply. Spinach stocks are coming back; they were very short last month but weather conditions down south have settled, and local growers have also started to supply.

If you do get the French cookbooks out you will need Crimini mushrooms, these are a brown mushy with a richer more provincial flavour; they also retain their texture better than the whites.

Use these with a white bean dip on sourdough as a winter style bruschetta, I will dig this recipe out it’s a very easy winter starter.

Expect asparagus to make an appearance before the month is up.

 

Not much slowing in Vegetables

Tomatoes are usually a little tight but some new growers have come on from up north and are helping to supply the market with rounds and cherry toms, romas are still a rare commodity. Hopefully that will change about halfway through the month. Sweet corn traditionally gets short as well, but we did see that trend mid to late July, so hopefully August will remain quite stable on this product. Beans traditionally shorten up, with red potatoes tightening in the short term as well.

That said, certainly more coming on than going off in the vegetable sector so we should be spoilt for choice.

Enjoy August and look out for great winter recipes.

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