BY MARY ANNE
There is nothing quite as exciting in a grocery store as summer in the produce department. Enhanced by our new re-set, the fruits and vegetables more than ever stand out in all their yumminess. It’s been a bountiful year so far. The berries have been exceptional and the yellow peaches and nectarines are better than they’ve been in several years. We’ve graduated into the California melons, and they are also coming on really sweet and juicy. The orange honeydew, the mini sweet watermelons, and the orchid (orange) watermelons are the best! Mango season is about to end and we have also bid farewell to the excellent Formosa papaya which was new to our department and a really fantastic piece of fruit from Mexico. Local strawberries from Redwood Valley are now certified organic and definitely tops for quality and taste—just like something you would pick from your own garden. Local vegetables are also starting to trickle in. We have Irene Engber’s succulent lettuces, fresh-picked zucchini, and garlic. We have also started to get some produce from the Mendo-Lake Hub when available. Covelo Organics has not started up their wholesale business yet, but when they do, they will be sporting a new Renegade Organic certification.
We are very excited to be giving our kitchen a boost with the installment of a gas stove and an Ancil system which will allow us to expand our cooking abilities. Our deli is really busy and we hope to be able to crank out more” grab and go” items to stock our high-demand cold cases. We are also tentatively planning on adding a self- serve salad bar but that will require some logistical re-evaluating of our seating area.
Look for lugs of O’Henry or equivalent peaches to arrive the first week of August. These delicious stone fruits are freestone and tops for flavor. An excellent peach for canning, or preserving, it is one of our most popular summer fruits.
At the end of August we will be celebrating our 37th anniversary. This year we are planning on a Saturday party to allow more people to attend. As usual, this will be a customer appreciation day with discounts, raffles, demos, and lots of food, beverages, and fun. We are planning for music to last all day. The date will be August 27th. Save the date!
Have a safe and relaxing summer and eat lots of fruits and veggies. Now is the time!