September 12, 2016
Hello there and welcome to September’s Produce Forecast! Today Ace’s Director of Produce Sales, Allison Bennet, is joined by Paul Guarino, Ace’s Director of Produce Procurement Logistics. According to the two of them, summer may be over but that doesn’t mean that Ace’s supply of organic, farm fresh produce will be dwindling. In fact, it seems to be just the opposite! Read on to learn about all of the exciting new offerings that autumn will bring…
With autumn coming, what changes can we expect to see in Ace’s produce offerings?
The early fall is a time when summer crops are at their peak. We will see amazing local tomatoes through the end of October. Of particular interest are the mini heirlooms from Hepworth Farms. They consist of 8-10 varieties of multi-colored miniature tomatoes in all different shapes and colors. They are sold in quart baskets and are beautiful to behold–and every bit as flavorful as they look. There are also plenty of local beefsteaks and plum tomatoes. Usually, we have peaches and plums aplenty, but the northern crops were damaged by the premature warm weather this past spring, followed by a frost that froze all of the fruit blossoms. However, west coast peaches and plums should last until mid-October.Late summer brings us new crop potatoes, hard squash, and onions. We have wonderful Yukon gold potatoes from Lancaster Farms in Pennsylvania and more varieties will soon be ready for harvest including russets, fingerlings, blue potatoes and red potatoes. Red and yellow onions are coming in this week from Farmshed Harvest in central New York. Hard squash is available from farms throughout the northeast and we have already stocked local butternut, acorn, delicata, kabocha, and spaghetti squash.Dark leafy greens love cool weather and will be plentiful in a couple of weeks. Our farm partners have planted new crop kale, spinach, collards, and chard that should be around until early November. Cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are just coming in. The Hepworths are sending us their first load of cauliflower this week and we hope to have a healthy supply up until Thanksgiving. Cauliflower can actually withstand the cold as long as it is cut after the sun has melted the early morning frost. Keep tuned for a special treat-Brussels sprouts on the stalk that can be roasted whole and plopped right in the center of the table for a fun, rustic presentation.
Apples are the name of the game in the fall, of course, and the variety of our offerings is ever increasing (including juicing and retail skus of each). However, please note that there are very few east coast organic apples due to the humid climate (it’s a breeding ground for pests). The west coast fruit is grown in arid, desert-like conditions void of the vegetation that harbors disease and bugs, making it much easier to grow apples organically. Early crop apples include McIntosh, Ginger Golds and Paula Reds. Then come the Fujis, Galas, Honeycrisp and Granny Apples.
Wow it sounds like there’s a lot to be excited about! What can we expect in terms of citrus for the coming month(s)?
Citrus will be in short supply and pricey until the new crop is ready for harvest in late November. If we’re lucky, we will see clementines just in time for Thanksgiving.Which items have been selling especially well lately?
Our biggest sellers are the juicing items, with locally grown kale at the top of the heap. In fact, as I said earlier, locally grown products are killing it across the board–more so than last season in terms of offerings. Corn, carrots, beets, cucumbers, gold potatoes, peppers, squash, eggplant, fennel, cauliflower, watermelon, herbs, and greens of all types! Our local tomatoes are so beautiful and delicious, and they are selling really well. There are also quite a few weeks left in the local season for them.
Are there any new items we’ve never carried before that we can expect to see in the next month?
The only expectation is the addition of more products. We have long accepted that our product line will always be increasing, because the demand from customers to stock new products and from farmers/importers to try new products never ceases to broaden.Do we have any new partners/farms we’ll be working with in September?
No one new………the triumvirate of Lancaster Farms (PA), Marolda Farms (NJ), and Hepworth Farms (NY) seems to be fitting the bill right now!
Thank you so much, Allison and Paul! We hope this guide helps you stay up to date with all of Ace’s produce offerings. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below!
Images via Instagram: @lancasterfarmfresh + @hepworthfarms