Weekly Availability List
Each season seems to have its color: spring is green, summer… well, maybe summer is red like tomatoes, but fall – fall is definitely orange. From butternuts to carrots to the elusive turmeric to the fallen leaves, shades of orange illuminate the season. Thanks to Chaia in DC for the wonderful image of our sweet potatoes. Here’s a cranberry question: We normally are able to offer organic fresh cranberries in cases with 8 oz bags. This year, our cranberry supplier is only able to do 30 lb bulk bags, which we’ll be selling for $240. We have heard that it was a poor year for the cranberries, which is why they are at a higher price than in the past. Please let us know if you are interested in purchasing cranberries, and if so, how many cases you would want. We will be placing the order by early next week.
BROCCOLI: STILL GOING STRONG on broccoli. Do your part. Eat some broccoli. I have been eating some every day! Roasted, steamed, soup, pizza – a versatile, delicious and healthy seasonal item! Contact us for special bulk pricing!
JALAPENO & POBLANO PEPPERS: Eric Lichty at Shoestring Acres still has lots of these peppers. Eventually, he won’t (although seems like these peppers are lasting forever, right!). We’re happy to offer these in 20 lb cases for those interested in a larger order.
GARLIC: Red, white, and purple-striped garlic varieties are all still available! Support your local garlic grower!
WILDFIRE BABY LETTUCE MIX: Lots of folks love our sweet & spicy mix but I want to give a shout to our wildfire mix – it’s a mild blend of red and green baby lettuces. Perfect for a quick salad base with a silky smooth and crunchy texture.
Last night was Trick or Treat in my town, so I rushed home from work and got out the candy stash. As a new homeowner, I’ve never actually been the one to hand out candy before and made a key amateur mistake: letting the kids pick out their own candy (some grabbed HANDFULS!!). But I learned fast and became stingy, just giving out one or two pieces tops. I noticed lots of kids dressed as Mario and Luigi..throwback costumes? One little girl was dressed as a Pokemon Go character, which she told me when I asked (I thought she was just a fox?).
Anyway…we’ve reached peak fall – it’s almost November and we’ve filled our coolers with lots of winter squash and potatoes. Please let us know if you are planning to place large orders of any items for Thanksgiving – Natalie is working on special pricing.
CARNIVAL SQUASH: Averaging a little over 1 lb, these beauties are a hybrid of acorn and sweet dumplings –perfect for single servings. And so cute and colorful!!
TENDER YOUNG SPINACH: We’re finally seeing some spinach come in! Our tender young spinach is great for fresh eating or cooking.
CELERIAC: We’re getting celeriac from a couple growers and one of them, New Morning Farm, had a big harvest this week. We’ll have this flavorful root veg all season long, as long as it lasts. Great for purees, soups, or roasts.
I realized this morning that I was actually cold: and then I saw the temperature on our town’s clock and it was 41 degrees! Wow. It’s truly the fall now. Most of the trees outside the window have lost their leaves and the ones that remain are looking quite yellow and pale. We are seeing our fall crops strengthening in number: broccoli, winter squash, sweet potatoes. We are starting to think about Thanksgiving orders – if you know you’re looking for fall items for the holiday, please let us know and we can start working on getting that produce for you.
CHERRY TOMATOES: We will have another round of those beautiful late cherries for Friday delivery BUT not that many!
BROCCOLI: Still going strong!! In fact, even stronger than before. Lots of broccoli available. Please check with us if you’re interested in special pricing.
HEAD LETTUCE: Cool nights and low autumn lights make for tasty, crisp head lettuce. We’ve been short on this product for most of the season but it’s back now! Red leaf, green leaf, and green romaine all available in quantity.
JALAPENO PEPPERS: Our growers are out harvesting the last (??) of their peppers before it frosts tonight. Eric Lichty of Shoestring Acres has a bounty of fall peppers – help us help him! Let’s sell out of these jalapenos (and poblanos, too).
CELERY: Ok, I mentioned this last time but it’s seriously SO GOOD. Great for fresh eating or cooking!
I actually got over to Path Valley this week to visit Sunny Ridge Farm with Lisa from Washington’s Green Grocers. We took a shortcut up and over one of the ridges in the area and the drive was just fabulous – red, orange, and yellow leaves fluttering around, the sky clear and blue. And then the visit with Daniel and Barbara was illuminating – Daniel showed us his new strawberry patch, tucked into his low tunnels, hoping that his berries will beat the field berries by a week or two (so do we)! We saw his 1/3 acre tunnel where he grew his heirloom tomatoes, and discussed his plans to try some early cucumbers. It’s always a pleasure to get out to the growers and see what they are doing and planning.
Our lovely photo comes from Arthur at DC Harvest restaurant on H St NW – of the beautiful Red Kale coming from Help From Above Farm!
CHERRY TOMATOES: This is not a drill! A grower, Abram Stoltzfoos, called us out of the blue and offered us 50+ cases of cherry tomatoes. He reports that they are a mix of mainly pink and red tomatoes. We are excited to meet him and see these cherry tomatoes – I guess that warm spell earlier this week brought them back into production!
SWEET WHITE TURNIPS: Great time of year for these sweet turnips. They aren’t a storage turnip, so we will only have them during the fall. With a sweet and mild flavor, these turnips are a versatile item for your fall dishes.
GREEN BELL PEPPERS: Still hanging on! Help us get rid of these green bell peppers!!
BABY ARUGULA: One of my personal favorite greens, our baby arugula should pack a punch, albeit a mild punch. I love its peppery, crisp flavor. We have baby arugula available in 1.5 lb and 5 lb cases as well as bagged to your specifications (4 oz bags are popular!).
A note on potatoes: across the board, our growers all had a bad potato year, mostly attributable to the dry conditions. Although most of them irrigate, many had to prioritize crops when they saw their wells, ponds, and streams running low, and the potatoes didn’t make the cut. Our growers only have small potatoes and we know that our customers sometimes want larger ones! We searched far and wide within our network of growers and couldn’t find anyone with larger potatoes. So this year we are ordering in potatoes early from our friend Jim Gerritsen at Wood Prairie Farm in Maine. Our first delivery comes this week, 49 cases each of Gold and Red LG potatoes, all certified organic, of course. The potatoes are clearly identified as from Maine for those of you who do not want to source from that far away.
HIGHLIGHTS: CELERY: Jake Stoltzfus at Sunrise Farm is growing our celery this fall – we are excited to be able to offer this crop as it is not an easy one to grow! But it is so worth it. Local, seasonal celery is so much more flavorful than what you can get at the store, and it’s much brighter in color because we don’t blanch it. This is a short season crop so be sure to STALK up now!
SPECIALTY SWEET POTATOES: Dan Landis at Landisdale Farm grows a wide variety of sweet potatoes, including the very popular Deep Purple Sweet Potatoes (purple through and through). He spoke with me last week about his harvest and said he preferred to offer the Deep Purples in 10 lb cases this year due to a poor harvest. We will still have the Japanese (purple skin with yellow interior), the White Hammons (white inside), and the Hernandez (similar to standard but very flavorful!) in the 20 lbs cases.
ONIONS: We were running low on sweet onions but we are getting in another delivery from a far-flung PA grower. We will have these as long as they hold up!
Imagine being a humble orange sweet potato, growing through the hot summer season. You’re harvested and then sorted into a case labeled #2 – you’re a bit on the ugly side, but still usable. You get sold to a restaurant, hoping to be put to good use (maybe some fries? Or a mash?) and then, wow. You become this beautiful sweet potato flan at Gunther & Co. in Baltimore! What a lovely surprise. We at Tuscarora love seeing where our produce ends up!
You’ll starting seeing some new items on the list soon – now that we’ve had a couple of frosts, we’re bringing in some parsnips and rutabagas. We hope to have cauliflower soon too.
Even though they’re off the highlight list, we still have LOTS of baby greens. Many are being offered in 5 lb cases. If you’re interested in large orders or a standard pre-order each week, please talk to us about pricing!
FENNEL: Fall is a perfect time to integrate some fennel into your life. It thrives in these cool temperatures and shorter days, and add a little something special to the plate.
GREEN BELLS: Getting in what might be the last burst of them. Expect peppers to start falling off the list soon.
SHALLOTS: Our shallots aren’t what you’re used to seeing at the store, those tiny puny cloves. These are SHALLOTS, big, flavorful orbs to deepen the taste of whatever you’re making. Great addition to a market box, too.
HERBS: Shout-out to the herbs this week. Many herbs struggle in the summer temps and now that it’s cooled off, they are growing again. Our growers are seeing large quantities of parsley and rosemary especially!
Woke up to this morning to a sure sign of the season: FROST. First of the fall. Hard to believe we’re already back to the cold season!
We’re all getting into the fall spirit here in the office: cooking up butternuts and broccoli, enjoying the crisp flavors of arugula and mizuna, and getting wrapped up in comfy sweaters.
This weekend is the big festival in McConnellsburg, where I live about 25 minutes from the office. There’s a huge flea market, lots of church breakfasts with homemade pancakes, art displays, a chili cookoff and other events. They even give the kids a day off school on Friday.
LONG ISLAND CHEESE PUMPKINS: Farmer Solomon Beiler at Limestone Acres had a bumper crop of Long Island Cheese Pumpkins – sizing at about 10 lb per pumpkin – these heirloom squash have a great flavor (and a fun name, too).
BROCCOLI: Well, the flush is on: we’re looking to move a LOT of broccoli. Peak season!
EGGPLANT: This might be the last eggplant of the season!!
GARLIC: We’ll have garlic through the winter but now’s a great time to start buying – local, organic garlic is worth it.
What a busy week! I spent Wednesday morning in State College at the White House Rural Economic Forum and actually had the amazing opportunity to speak about my experience being a young farmer, living in rural America, and what cooperatives can mean for the future of agriculture and local food. Then, in the afternoon, several officials from the USDA came down to the coop to visit and present our partner, Keystone Development Center, with their new Cooperative Development Grant. It was quite an exciting day!
Meanwhile, back in the office, we are all working hard on next year’s plans: Shelly is preparing to build our commitment chart for 2017-2018 and the growers are evaluating what they plan to grow. Shelly is being assisted this year by our new field consultant, Sarah, who is visiting each grower and helping them with new techniques and methods to improve their yields. This process will take the next several months to complete and forms the basis of our supply next year. We’re starting earlier than ever this year because we want to have the most complete, varied, and interesting product list for as many months as we can.
BABY GREENS: STILL GOING STRONG, especially on the baby mustards!! Flexible pricing on sweet n spicy mix, baby kales, baby mustards, and wildfire mix in 5 lb cases. Contact Sales for details! Best time of year for baby greens!
PEPPERS: We still have a nice supply of sweet and hot peppers! But they won’t last forever. The night lows are dipping into the 40s and that means only one thing, which may end our pepper season. Make hot sauce, freeze the bells, do what you can!
DELICATA SQUASH: Lots of these delightful winter squash available. Quick to cook, tasty to eat!
Without Emily in the office, yesterday was a little more hectic for Natalie and me (Taylor) than a normal sales day. Even so, we do hope that she is enjoying Cleveland! Today, I am trying to help Natalie finish the availability list, by helping with the coversheet. You can finally put a face to my emails and calls; the picture (to the left) is of me from about 3 years ago, when I worked on Wollam Gardens in north-central Virginia. I am not working in the fields very often now, but luckily I still get to help in the fields two days a week at New Morning Farm!
BABY GREENS: We have a good number of baby greens coming in from our growers, which will include baby broccoli raab (rapini), baby Siberian kale, and baby mixed kale. Also, we will have plenty of sweet and spicy in the coming weeks!
ROMA TOMATOES: Even though our supply of mixed heirloom tomatoes is dwindling, we still have a good supply of Roma tomatoes, which are an excellent sauce tomato. I have not had any chili this year, but it is definitely feeling like it is time. I am planning to have a big cooking day for myself tomorrow, so maybe I should be making chili as well.
WINTER SQUASH: Our growers are starting to call with larger quantities of butternut squash, as well as a few other varieties of winter squash. Honestly, I am not a good cook at all, but I may have two pots going tomorrow morning. I may have to try my hand at a butternut, carrot, ginger soup. This cooler, rainy weather is helping to put soup on my brain.
NON-ORGANIC, ALL NATURAL LOCAL CHICKEN EGGS: AVAILABLE IN MEDIUM, LARGE AND EXTRA-LARGE, 15 DOZEN BULK. PLEASE CALL TIM DERSTINE AT HARES VALLEY GROWERS AT 814 448 2784 FOR GREAT EGG PRICES.
*Uncle Matt’s (UM) – Clermont, Florida*Spring Thyme Herbs (STH) – Hockessin, Delaware*Mushroom Specialties – West Grove, Pennsylvania*Kauffman’s Fruit Farm (KFF)-Bird In Hand, PA *Homestead Organic Farms (HOF) – Homestead, Florida*Foote Brook (FB)-Johnson, VT*Cranberry Hill Farm (CHF) – Plymouth, Massachusetts*Wood Prairie Farm Potatoes - ME *Kiwi Korners – Danville, Pennsylvania*Porter Farm – Elba, New York
Finally feeling the fall vibes around here, although we have started to notice that it’s getting dark awfully early!
Steve from Let’s Grow Local shot this pic of abundant sweet potatoes (and an inquiring pup) and it’s made us all so hungry for sweet potatoes! And look at those lovely pumpkins up top – I heard from grower Solomon Beiler of Limestone Acres that he’s had a large harvest of Long Island Cheese Pumpkins. We’ll have these available in large quantities (and in cases) next week.
I will be out of the office Thursday and Friday at a meeting in Cleveland, OH—Natalie and Taylor will be holding down the fort.
BABY ARUGULA: Seeing an abundance of this mildly spicy green. We dropped the price a couple bucks so work this item into your fall menus!
BROCCOLI: As the weather cools, the broccoli will be sweeter and takes on a darker green color. The broccoli this week is coming from Martin’s Homestead, a grower farther north, and from New Morning Farm. We also have several cases of florettes – cut fresh from the plant, small “heads,” great for soup making or for market sales.
POTATOES: We’re starting to get in fall harvest potatoes. We are hearing from our growers that we won’t have many Large potatoes available this year due to poor growing conditions. We’ll be offering MEDIUMS through October and then we do plan to order in some cases of LG potatoes from our friends in Maine. This will be clearly marked on the list and I’ll give a head’s up when we are starting to make those available. For now, our potatoes will be on the small side!
PARSLEY: Just a quick note that there’s a mistake on the list showing Parsley available in 1 lb units – we only have it in ½ lbs and bunches (but we have a good bit of it and it’s great this time of year!)