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Archive for October, 2020

Cranberries are America’s Original Superfruit

All fresh cranberries are dry harvested once a year between mid-September through early November.  Cranberries grow on vines planted in bogs with a mixture of moist acid peat soil and sand which allows them to thrive in harsh weather conditions. Unlike wet harvesting where the cranberry bogs are flooded so that the fruit can be harvested while floating, dry harvest vines must be completely dry.  The pickers drive self-propelled harvesters (think vibrating lawn mower with conveyor belt to burlap bag attachment) over the dry vines.  The fruit is then taken to the packing shed to be graded and screened based on color.  Lastly, the berries are bounce tested.  Good berries will bounce because of their air pockets and the soft berries that do not bounce are discarded.

Cranberries were introduced to the English settlers when arriving in Massachusetts in the early 1800’s. Over half of the United States crop is grown in Wisconsin. Massachusetts is the second largest producer followed by New Jersey, Oregon and Washington.  Canada is also a big player with more than 80% of the organic cranberries are grown in Quebec. Eastern Canada’s cooler weather is especially ideal for growing organic cranberries. Earl’s Organic Patience cranberries are grown in Quebec and the Greenbelle biodynamic organic cranberries are grown in Wisconsin.

Cranberries on the vine

Cranberries grow on vines planted in bogs

Fun Facts:

  • Cranberries will last for a year in the freezer and can be frozen in the package they come in.
  • Cranberries are one of the few fruits native to North America and many of the cultivars have been propagated directly from these ancient wild super-foods.
  • They were initially called ‘craneberries’ because the flower, stem and calyx resembled the neck, head and bill of a crane.
  • Cranberries boast many nutritional benefits including promoting urinary tract health, protecting beneficial gut microbial and providing a wide range of phytochemical and micro-nutrient for overall immunity and health. Learn more on the health benefits.
  • Organic cranberries are free and devoid of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers.

Recipe Ideas: 

*Toss a handful of fresh cranberries with pears or apples for a delicious sweet/tart salad
*Muddle fresh cranberries with your favorite vinegar and blend with olive oil for a tangy salad dressing.
* Make a holiday shrub with cranberries, sugar and vinegar. Perfect for cocktails at home and the perfect holiday gift. Add seltzer water to any shrub for a refreshing drink anytime.
*Add a few mandarin slices and fresh cranberries to this delicious Hot Spiced Cranberry Cider.
* Dip fresh cranberries in milk chocolate and freeze them for 5 minutes.

Cranberry shutterstock beverage photo

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes October 25, 2020

Broccoli Ninos are the  side shoots harvested after the main crown on a broccoli plant has been harvested. These florets are tender, have a nice mild almost sweet flavor and are packed with nutrients! Have you tried our new lineup of personal sized squash! Angel Hair Squash- Mini Spaghetti, Butterscotch Squash -Mini Butternut, Shokinchi – Mini Kabocha.  Fioretto Cauliflower- A hybrid of broccoli and cauliflower. Its tiny florets sit atop thin, pale green stems. Much more delicate than standard cauliflower, the flavor is mildly grassy and faintly sweet. The raw florets are crisp-tender and make great vehicles for creamy dips. Cuyama Crimson Gold Apples. Download the weekly buyer’s notes each week for the latest organic fruit and veg updates! 

Jonathan Kitchens and Carson Evers Promoted

Earl’s Organic congratulates Jonathan Kitchens on his promotion to Purchasing Manager and Carson Evers on his promotion to a Buyer position.

Jonathan will be responsible for team leadership and overseeing all product categories to ensure their alignment with the company’s mission and goals. Jonathan began his career in produce in the late 1990’s as a driver for The Box – Bay Area Organic Xpress – one of the first all organic home delivery companies in California.  Before coming to Earl’s, he was the produce buyer for the Good Earth Natural Foods stores in Marin county where he worked for 5 years.  He has been with Earl’s for 2 ½ years as a fruit buyer. Jonathan is passionate about Earl’s, organic agriculture and sustainability. His knowledge and his personal commitment to our industry makes him uniquely suited for this new role in the Purchasing team.

Jonathan Kitchens Promoted to Purchasing Manager

Carson will be responsible for product procurement and the profitability of select organic commodities.Carson began his career at Earl’s in QA/IC in July of 2015.  After a couple years in Operations, he was promoted to a Sales Representative.  Carson has continued to lend a hand in Operations and other areas as needed, he has great knowledge of the business from his experience in different departments.  Carson also brings sales and produce experience from his past, including a Sales role at Driscoll’s Strawberries.

Carson Evers Promoted to Buyer

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes October 18, 2020

New this week! Mini Winged gourds and Mini mixed pumpkins, Cranberries,  Pomegranate Arils, Rambutan, a small and juicy tropical fruit related to the lychee but juicier and sweeter, Quince and the small Lady Apple, perfect for eating out of hand or baking, great for applesauce! Download Earl’s Pepper and Hard Squash Guide along with the weekly buyer’s notes here.

 

Two Main Varieties of Persimmons

Hachiyas and Fuyus are the two main commercial varieties of persimmons in the United States and are eaten very differently.  Hachiyas are tapered and shaped like an acorn. If you accidentally tried a piece of Hachiya before it was completely jelly soft, the astringency and bitterness would leave a fuzzy taste in your mouth. Hachiyas need to be fully ripened until they are almost translucent and EXTREMELY soft. If you think any part of the fruit is still firm you need to wait. Cut a ripe Hachiya in half and scoop out the delicious fruit or use the pulp in cakes, muffins or our favorite, the James Beard Persimmon Bread!

Fuyu’s are short, squat and non-astringent and when ripe they have a sweet flavor with a hint of cinnamon and apricot.   You can eat them raw when they are firm or soft and they do not need to be peeled.  Fuyu’s can be eaten like an apple, cut up and eaten on their own or great in a salad.

Fuyu persimmon (1)

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