It’s a new year and whilst summer is here it’s unlike any summer we have experienced in the past with the local and interstate bush fires effecting fresh produce supplies with many farms being wiped out, smoke affected or unable to transport produce through road closures.
Australian Avocado supplies are currently reliant on Western Australian crops. This year we are experiencing low yields due to gaps in picking cycles. Furthermore, road closures have also affected supply into South Australia exacerbating the supply issue. As you can expect, as demand remains strong, we have seen prices increase for this ever popular fruit.
New season Shepard Avocadoes (available in the coming weeks) are likely to help the situation however it won’t be until new season Hass are available later in the year that price should ease. The Shepard avocado has a more delicate, slightly nutty flavour with a distinct green skin and elongated shape.
Asparagus is in very short supply due to a combination of weather, drought and seasonality. It is expected Australian Asparagus will end its season short this year, ending in the next few weeks. This will see a sharp lift in prices as supply becomes increasingly volatile. Prices are expected to hold even into the start of imported Asparagus which is due to start towards the end of January. If this is a line of interest make sure you get your order in early to secure best available produce.
Lemons prices have increased largely due to our local Adelaide Hills season coming to an abrupt end due to extreme weather conditions and fires. As a result we are now very reliant on Queensland grown fruit. Due to road closures throughout the East Coast we have seen limited fruit coming into South Australia.
Whilst limited supply of Australian lemons is not uncommon for this time of year, due to the fires it has caused infrequent supply issues.
In filling the gap American grown citrus such as lemons and oranges have started to filter through and are generally better priced than our Australian fruit currently on offer. This is due to USA fruit being at the peak season of their season and the high trading price for
our Australian citrus. We can expect to see a drop in price as more imported fruit becomes available toward the end of January.
We will continue to run with truss tomatoes indefinitely.
Our truss tomatoes are grown in a controlled environment (with set heating and cooling) enabling fruit that is consistently of outstanding quality and readily available in spite of the erratic weather conditions and recent heat wave.
Field grown tomatoes will start to show affect now as they go into ‘stress mode.’ When tomato plants stress the fruit quality naturally deteriorates as the plant restricts feeding fruit the nutrients required for optimal taste and fruit health. This in-turn affects the plants yield, fruit
quality, and shelf life.
Like our Truss Tomatoes our cherry tomatoes are grown in ideal conditions and unaffected by the recent soaring temperatures. Produce has great colour and taste, as you would expect from a summer tomato making them a great addition to the menu.
Sweet Potatoes are a product line to watch at this time of the year as produce is particularly unstable in both supply and quality. We will continue to grade out produce in supplying best product to market – however this may mean switching to smaller sized potatoes, where
larger sweet potatoes are of poor quality or unavailable.
If you’ve been thinking about adding Australian Natives to your menu now is possibly the perfect timing. Varieties like Crystal Ice Plant, Karkala and Warrigal Greens are absolutely thriving at the moment, and make for an interesting addition to the menu.
Warrigal Greens large, lush leaves can be used instead of Spinach – with the leaves treated in much the same way. Warrigal Greens are great in Quiches, with pasta, stir fries or served as a steamed vegetable.
Karkala has a juicy, sausage shaped leaf which is harvested on a trailing stem. Karkala is perfect in soups, stir-fries and pickles.
Crystal Ice Plant is an annual ground cover with huge succulent leaves. Each leaf has glistening, slightly salty tasting bubbles on the underside of the leaves and stems. In Summer, the leaves turn to a small grey form with attractive pink flower buds and white
flowers. Crystal Ice Plant makes a fabulous, edible display on a platter as well as a spectacular table talking point.
All our natives are sustainably cultivated and HACCP certified so you are guaranteed consistent, quality of produce.
Honeydew, Rockmelon and the Piel De Sapo (or Santa Claus Melon) are all in season and in fairly good supply. Now is a good time to experiment with some different types of melons whilst the local season is at its strongest.
There is some good news with our locally grown Seedless Watermelon still in great supply.
The quality of produce is at its absolute best with a crunchy sweet flesh that has plenty of flavour. Now is a great time to buy as you will find watermelon is extremely well priced for the quality of produce that is on offer.
Also look out for New Season Champagne Melon. As the name suggests, Champagne Melon has a stunning yellow flesh which is quite unique. Available Champagne Melons are smaller in size to our traditional Seedless Watermelon with the flesh being less crunchy. However the flavour remains true with this melon making a great visual display when cut and served fresh. Yellow watermelon is at its most flavorful when
chilled before serving with a particularly fruity flavour.