Ahhhh spring. The sound of birds chirping in the morning, the sight of bees buzzing around newly flowering trees, and the scent of asparagus gently floating in the air. Yes, we said asparagus. While we’ll have showy newcomers like ramps and floral bouquets this season, we want to take the time to reintroduce you to some of the spring produce you thought you knew well.
Meet our Asparaguests
Once upon a pre-COVID time, undersized asparagus went to restaurants, hotels, and other foodservice settings. But now, with so many businesses shuttered or seeing reduced traffic due to the pandemic, a whole lot of little asparaguses are at risk of going to waste.
Always the supporter of the little asparaguy, we’re proud to be an option for growers who have produce they can’t sell elsewhere. And in our opinion, smaller produce just means more flavor and exciting new culinary uses!
Mangoes with a juicy story
For most growers, keeping the bugs out is the main concern. But at Ciruli Brothers orchard, it’s all about keeping the “beneficial bugs” in. Critical to growing their beloved Champagne ataulfo mangos, pollinators like bees are free to set-up shop throughout the orchard. The bees build their buzzing hives in the tree canopies, and in return for shelter and an abundance of food (all mango diet, anyone?), the bees pollinate the flowers, which grow into plump, juicy mangoes.
To keep their bees happy and aplenty, the growers must keep the soil healthy, the waterways clean, and the wildlife corridors protected. So next time you’re cutting into your ataulfo mango, remember how much went into making it mango-nificent!
What’s that Brown Spot on my Artichoke?
What brown spot? Oh, that one, it’s nothing! Ok, lettuce explain. Some of our artichokes experienced a touch of frosty weather which left the tips of their leaves a little worse for wear. But who among us could spend a night out in the cold and come out unscathed? Not so frosty, but imperfect in their own right, we’ll also have teeny little artichokes and rather large purple ones from JAS Family Farm.
All these artichokes almost went to waste for their “frost-kissed” leaves and undesirable sizes, but what’s it to us if they’re just as delicious? After a little trim and a quick roast in the oven, you won’t be able to tell the difference either.
It’s in our Blood… Oranges
For citrus growers like our friends at Fruit World, between 5% and 20% of a harvest may not live up to grocery stores’ strict cosmetic standards. Too big, too small, uneven color, slight scarring; all this nitpicking keeps tons of delicious fruit from being enjoyed. Even blood oranges, the vibrant summer-salad-stunner, can’t escape the judgment of the Goldilocks grocery buyer. Sweet Harvest offers us their blood oranges that would normally have been left on the tree or sent to the juicer for pennies on the dollar. But when we work together, we get to offer you a sweet deal on premium quality blood oranges, and Sweet Harvest doesn’t lose out on their slightly unsightly citrus.
Well, get a whiff of all of that! We hope you meet and/or reacquaint yourselves with a few of our favorite spring produce items this season.