market report

IN SEASON NOW

This week our produce of the week is gold kiwifruit from New Zealand. Gold kiwifruit is much sweeter and the pulp is softer,  thus, people feel like they are eating a mushy fruit salad. The gold kiwifruit also contains slightly more nutritional benefits than the green kiwi. Kiwifruit is extremely versatile and there are all sorts of recipes but for us the fruit is best halved and spooned out. Like all fruit, kiwifruit benefit from being served at room temperature - the fridge's cold temperature suppresses its sweetness and so its flavour. On a hot day however, the coolness can be refreshing and welcome. Choose kiwifruit that are tender, even (there should be no wrinkles) and feel heavy for their size. Keep in the fruit bowl or to extend freshness, in the fridge. 

FRUIT

Imperial mandarins from Queensland have started and are now in store and online. The season is in full swing and the flavour is now great. The Gayndah area of central Queensland is the perfect place to grow imperial mandarins. 

On the berry front, raspberries are the pick of the berries at the moment with good growing conditions leading flavoursome raspberries that are fantastic value. The last flush of the raspberries is now being harvested however so unfortunately the season will be ending soon. The size of the strawberries have become rather small due to the heat in February, but we are still getting some larger ones. Blueberries on the other hand are in very short supply, and I will only buy them if they are ok. We have had days where we have been out of stock of blueberries due to poor quality and high prices. 

With the arrival of Autumn, we also welcome chestnuts. Freshly roasted chestnuts are a real treat, just remember to cut one end of the chestnut so they don't explode in your oven or pan.  Our chestnuts mainly come from Growlers Creek Organic Chestnuts. 

Local grape varieties are still eating well, but as the season is getting towards the end, the grapes do fall off the stem quite easily.  

Hass avocados are just about non existent at the moment but the Shepard avo season is in full swing and the fruit quality is good. Shepard's don't change colour on the outside when ripe, but gently press on the stem end and if there is "give" they are ready to eat. We do have some Hass this week and they will get better by the middle of next week.  

Pomegranates are in season and local. The popularity of pomegranates has increased in the last 4 years and the growers are producing more and the quality is great. 

All of our plums are tasting great at the moment, and are fantastic value. All other stonefruit has finished. 

All apples are now new season, as are the pears. The william pears are lovely and sweet, and ripen reasonably quickly so the growers don’t store them. New season pink lady's have started this weekend and we have 1kg packs of unwaxed pink lady's available. We also have Kanzi apples which are a lovely sweet crunchy apple. 

With all of the media regarding the rockmelon scare, our rockmelon/cantaloupe grower is suffering. Our melon grower is the Pfeiler Family from South Australia and are not the growers in question, the affected melons are from NSW. 

VEGETABLES 

Local sweet corn is still great and the flavour is almost as great as the price. Enjoy it as the local season will finish soon.

Our locally grown Victorian beans, snowpeas, sugarsnap peas and green peas, as well as shelled peas, are now in abundance, and are fresh and delicious. We also have baby zucchini's and zucchini flowers now in store. 

The organic carrots from Daylesford are amazing at the moment, they really taste great. Most people may think a carrot is a carrot, but these carrots taste like what a carrot should taste like. 

Organic broccoli is plentiful this week and a great price, so we are only stocking organic. Organic cauliflower is still in short supply. 

On the salad front, most leafy veg are in good supply. Our organic kale, curly kale and red kale are excellent value at the moment as is our fennel and baby fennel. We are also stocking nice organic iceberg and cos lettuce, not to mention a full range of salad leaves such as baby spinach, wild rocket, snowpea tendrils, chard as well as cut raddichio for you to add to your salad dish. We also have abundant bunches of green spring onions in store at the moment.

We also have a new leafy green called baby rapa, also known as Crima di Rapa or broccoli ri rape. A winter green that has started this week is a very popular green cooked all over Italy, often wilted and tossed in oil, garlic, salt and pepper then cooked until softened. 

We also welcome candy striped beetroot. Smallish in size but big in flavour, once cut in half lengthwise they reveal their beautiful candy striped centres. They are mild in flavour but tender and sweet when compared to regular beetroot. Simply saute or steam with a pinch of salt and pepper. 

Organic Barbara pumpkin is the pick of the pumpkin although all the pumpkins are great at the moment. We also have organic yellow carrots in store to complement our range of carrots. 

Our herb bunches continue to be fresh and abundant this week, packed full of flavour, the bunches are all of a decent size. At the moment our basil is limited due to growing conditions, however we still have enough stock - this also applies to our basil pots and organic basil. We do however have purple basil available should you wish to add some colour to your plate as well as our range of edible flowers which can brighten up any dish. This week we even have a special on organic yellow flowers, so grab them while they're still available and add some colour to your plate!