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Archive for September, 2018

Bright Red Pomegranates

Look for pomegranates with a full bright red to dark red color. You also want fruit that feels heavy for their size, which means they are super juicy. The outside of a pomegranate is very hard and only the inside arils which cover the seeds in a red translucent material are edible.  It may seem like a lot of work to get to the arils, but it is well worth it. Cut off the top and bottom of the fruit, score the fruit and then open it into two halves. Place the halves in a bowl of water and use your fingers to gently separate the seeds from the white, spongy membrane. The inedible white membranes will float to the top of the water and leave you all the delicious arils at the bottom. Be careful not to get the juice on your hands and clothes because it will stain.

Pomegranates seasonal eats

Wonderful Pomegranante Grower Paul Pafford. Fresno County, California

Wonderful Pomegranante Grower Paul Pafford. Fresno County, California

Earl’s Organic Produce Buyer’s Notes September 23rd

Happy Fall! Equal Exchange fair trade avocado season has officially arrived and organic pumpkins are now available!

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Earl’s Organic Produce Buyer’s Notes September 16th

Specialty grapes available now are Concords from Heinke in Paradise, CA  and the incredible flavor of the wine grapes from 3 Sisters with Grenache, Carignane and Columbard in 8/2# clamshells and will be available until September 21st.




Seckel Pears Perfect for Snacking

Seckel pears, also known as sugar pears, are only a few inches long but packed full of sweet flavor. The olive green skin has a dark maroon blush. Perfect for snacking, they are in season through January. Seckel pears are difficult to find so count yourself lucky if you find them in your grocery store.

Seckel Pears cropped

Pears ripen from the inside out. Ripen them at room temperature until the area near the stem yields to gentle pressure. We recommend eating them immediately. You don’t want to ripen the pear first and then put it in the refrigerator or it will turn mushy.

If you would like to keep them longer store them in the coldest part of your refrigerator until you are ready to eat and then ripen them at room temperature. Unlike many pear varieties, Seckel’s don’t turn brown immediately upon cutting.

Kiwi Berries: The Pop and Go Snack

It is Kiwi Berry time again! The season is very short, end of September through the beginning of October, so you don’t want to miss out. Kiwi berries are a member of the Actinidia genus family, the same as a regular kiwi and have been described as a cousin of the kiwi we all know.  Kiwi berries are also known by the name hardy kiwi, artic kiwi or baby kiwi. They taste exactly like a kiwi but they are about the size of a grape, fuzzless, with edible seeds and you just pop them whole into your mouth. Like kiwis, they are acidic until ripe.   


Kiwi berries are native to China, Korea, and Russian Siberia, much like the kiwifruit.  It is a fast-growing, hardy, perennial vine, in need of a frost-free season of 150 days. Each vine can grow up to 20 feet in a single season! Because of their seasonal requirements, they are well suited for areas of the North East and North West, and in fact, have become somewhat of an invasive weed in certain areas because of their rapid growth. Earl’s kiwi berries are grown in Wilsonville, Oregon about 30 minutes south of Portland.

Kiwi Berries are a nutritional powerhouse and a healthy food source containing over 20 nutrients. Each 6 oz portion contains twice the amount of Vitamin E of an avocado but with only 60% of the calories, 5 times the Vitamin C of an orange and more potassium than bananas.  Kiwi Berries are also high in fiber and rich in folic acid.

In order to bear fruit, both female and male kiwiberry plants must be present. While the plants are maturing bugs and animals will not attack the fruit because it tastes terrible. Vines start to flower in May, and fruit is available to harvest in autumn.  One plant can produce up to 100 pounds of fruit a year! The fruits are picked hard, and ripened off the vine.

Kiwi Berries ripen at room temperature and are ready to eat when they are soft and the flesh yields a bit. A small amount of wrinkling can occur with ripening, but don’t let this trick you into thinking its old it just means it will be perfectly sweet! You can store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks but if you are like me they won’t last that long.

Kiwi Berries can be used in a variety of ways, from being preserved as jam to being used as a marinade (kiwi berries are an excellent meat tenderizer). Try them in a salad, on a tart or cake, or just pop them in your mouth as a delicious sweet snack!


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