The official start of summer is still 3 weeks away, but summer fruit has already hit our shelves. We love this time of year! All of the amazing growers that we’ve built relationships with over the years get a chance to shine, and our produce crew loves to share the flavors.
Local Fruit Season is now! Our Monday Night Produce Stands kicked off this week with Swanton Berry Farm. Farmer Al from Frog Hollow will join our own Lawrence Wilson on Monday June 6th from 4-8 pm to celebrate his cherries. On June 20th, Johan from Hidden Star Orchard will be our guest.
The best local cherries are just getting started!
- Frog Hollow Orchard in Brentwood is known for their tree-ripe stone fruit. No better way to start the month of June than a big delivery of Rainier Cherries.
- Even though Hidden Star Orchard lost a large percentage of their cherry crop due to cold weather, rain and high winds, we still plan to highlight Johan’s cherries whenever we get a chance. Look for special varieties like the Chelan, Bing, Rainier and Red Lac cherries all month long.
Yellow & white peaches, yellow & white nectarines, and everyone’s favorite doughnut peach is finally here! We’re fortunate to have a handful of farmers who grow fruit that is so juicy and flavorful, we can’t get enough.
- Balakian Family Farm in Reedley (210 miles south of Bi-Rite) has been delivering to our doorstep for over 10 years. It’s always exciting to get their early spring report that “this is going to be a great stone fruit season”. Balakian is always planting new trees, so each season they introduce us to new varieties.
- Blossom Bluff Orchard, also in Reedley, has just started up with their peaches. Their super rich yellow peach is always a tasty way to start the stone fruit season
- Frog Hollow and Full Belly are expecting to harvest their first peaches in mid-June. These two growers are masters of letting the fruit develop their sugars on the tree without exploding with goodness.
We’ve been enjoying the early season apricots and apriums (apricot crossed with plum) and can’t wait for the plums and pluots (plum crossed with apricots) to get started later this month. One of the benefits of these farm-direct relationships is that we get to offer a lot of the same varieties of stone fruit grown by different farms. Weather is a factor along with differences in the soil, so the texture and flavor usually vary from one location to the other.
Berry season is in full swing–I can’t wait to make another blueberry pie!
- We’re very excited about our new farm-direct relationship with Yerena Berry Farm in Watsonville. They got their start from a sharecropping deal with Driscoll as a result of the Ceasar Chavez movement. Their first delivery of organic raspberries is here, and we’re excited to see them sweeten up as the weather warms up. They’re also the only grower in Watsonville of an extra juicy and sweet “Éclair” Strawberry.
- Wow–Hidden Star Orchard blueberries have the best flavor that I can remember. They’ll be in house for the rest of the month; when they end, look out for Bi-Rite Farm blueberries from Mom and Dad’s ranch in Placerville.
- Swanton and Blue Moon have been sending us some really nice Chandler strawberries. We plan to have these berries until the Fall months.
We work hard for our Avos, O’ so hard for our Avos!
We are in the middle of Cali avocado season, and one thing always holds true: avos are harvested green and rock hard, no matter what time of year. This allows growers not to worry about the fruit over-ripening before it gets to the marketplace. Each week we get up to 30 cases, and it takes a lot of Bi-Rite muscle to keep these avos ripe and ready for our guests. Stehly Farm in Valley Center, CA is our main avocado grower right now. Their avos have nice oil content, and eat well even when they are a bit firm.
Don’t forget to eat your veggies!
- We’re lucky to have fresh crop garlic from Full Belly Farm; this will be our go-to garlic for the next few months.
- Local snap peas are crispy and sweet, and if the weather stays cool they should be around for the entire month.
- Wild picked morels from Mt. Shasta in Northern California have been beautiful–tis’ the season!
- We have an abundance of local “fresh crop” potatoes like the German Butterballs and Mountain Roses. Oh yeah, I can’t forget about the Fingerling Potatoes from Capay Farm.
- Heirloom Tomatoes may be the truest sign of summer (yes they’re fruits, I know). We just brought in some Cherokee Purple and Red Vintage Wine varieties from Capay, and the robust flavor is there!
- Local summer squash from Happy Boy in Freedom, CA has started up and we’ll have a bunch of different varieties throughout the summer. We also love to offer the delicate squash blossom, so ask our produce staff for some cooking tips.