by: Betsy Peirce, Produce Manager
Local produce season is ramping up with warmer than usual spring and early summer temperatures. It should be a great year. We are working diligently to offer local produce at a reasonable price from many of the same producers you see at farmers market. We also work with many other growers who do not sell their wares at market. Remember Oneota Community Food Co-op as your every day local produce stand.
We are working on another Michigan Blueberry deal. This year we have found an organic farm in Holland Michigan called Blueberry Heritage Farm. Wayne Kiel is a third generation blueberry farmer who has been picking blueberries on his farm since he was “knee high to a duck,” (“and before there were child labor laws,” he adds) They have 48 acres of certified organic berries and they also source from a couple other organic farms who have 32 combined acres. They sell organic and conventional blueberries to Hy-Vee and Whole Foods. Wayne can really wax-on about the flavor of his blueberries. This year he tells me they are ranking higher on the Brix scale (the measured sugar content) than the conventional berries.
The Co-op will be offering an opportunity to pre-order these organic blueberries in 4 # clam shells. We will advertise the exact delivery date once we know it, but it will be sometime mid-July. The pricing on these organic berries is looking comparable, if not slightly cheaper, than the conventional berries we had last year. We will post approximate pricing info in the sign-up sheets as it becomes available. We will also order a lot of berries to sell in-store, so if you are not ready to commit until you taste them, there will be lots to try. Word is that many who ordered blueberries to freeze last year say that they did not order enough (that’s how good they are!). The sign-up sheet will be at the customer service desk. Come in person, or call 563-382-4666.
Stay tuned for a possible Michigan unsprayed, in-transition to organic, peach pre-order deal as well. We are still working out the pricing and shipping arrangements. The farm we are working with has lots of other orchard fruits as well.