September 22, 2016

  Market Notes
September 22, 2016



        Fall decorative items and Hard Squash deals are ramping up for 2016 Push.  Ornamental Gourds, Mini, and large size Indian corn, strawberry Indian corn, mini orange pumpkins, mini white pumpkins, Pam pumpkins, wee bee little pumpkins, stem sparkler pumpkins, Tiger pumpkins, wheat bundles, Cinderella pumpkins, knucklehead pumpkins, autumn gold pumpkins, racer pumpkins, Charisma pumpkins, summit pumpkins, green acorn squash, red acorn squash, white acorn squash, butternut squash, kabocha squash, spaghetti squash, delicata squash, and Red Kuri squash. Although we have not seen it yet, this year we are expecting pumpkins with molded faces.  Like they do in Japan by having a pear grow into a Buddha mold pumpkins will grow into Frankenstein faces and skulls. If that’s not enough, by special order we still offer about five to six jumbo pumpkins out of western Pennsylvania. They are 975 to 1250 pounds and prices are fob with no logistics provided.


         Baby squash are particularly tight on the west coast. Baby green zucchini, baby green patty pan and sunburst are all scarce and available quality is questionable. East coast is a better bet for filling your baby squash order but even there the sunburst is limited. French beans are easily available on both coasts. Snow peas and snap peas are also fine on both sides but you will pay a lot less loading east. Baby beets are a west coast get but while the red and candy stripped are easy, the baby gold beets are tight. Baby white turnips are easy.  Baby tomatoes are abundant and the freshest are at peak in central California where you will find the freshest quality and best variety.  Organics thrive here too.  Baby peeled orange carrots are steady and cheap on both sides but if it is the rainbow you are looking for east coast loading is was less expensive. Baby lettuce is kicking butt in California and the central valley deal remains the best bang for your buck. Baby Cauliflower is a west coast exclusive and is readily available in three colors and as a mix.


       I don’t pump blood and I never mastered that sleight of hand trick.  Although I am often not the center of attention, I am always the center of the tree.  While I have over 40 relatives only half of us are capable of producing this.  Enjoyment of my soft velvety texture requires total annihilation of my parent plant, and complete removal of my center.  In South America I am grown for this exact purpose, but the rest of the world obtains me through felling.  On some Indian reservations (the only place I can be harvested in the United States) I am simply a slice of the tree and often bussed to my destination. Talk about culture shock!  It takes us ten to fifteen years to grow and you will destroy me for one or two pounds of product.  Then, you have the audacity to complain about my cost. I am located at the base of my large leaves and my entire part can be up to 32 feet in length and weight over 6 pounds.  But, by the time you remove my inedible fibrous husks to reveal my sought after pith, a couple pounds remain. I am extremely delicate and provide a wonderful crunchy smooth texture and nutty flavor. Blanch me first to avoid any bitterness. Often served fresh as a salad by myself with a drizzle of Hollandaise or vinaigrette, I can also be cooked in my leaves, pickled and fermented to form a sort of cheese, braised, sautéed, fried or steamed. While I am most convenient when canned, today I can be found fresh in vacuum-packed bags or in water. My external layer turns color very fast when exposed to fresh air but with a quick outer layer peel I am bright and new again. While my trees are steadily dying, my popularity is steadily growing.


Answer To Last Week’s Quiz…HARICOT VERT (FRENCH BEANS)…Congrats To All Winners

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