Posts Tagged “Fourth of July”

Northwest-Grown Sweet Cherries are on Shelves Now

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DSCN9636By Northwest Cherry Growers

YAKIMA, Wash. — This year’s crop of Northwest sweet cherries is arriving on grocery store shelves in full-force across the U.S., putting the classic Americana fruit front and center.   Volume was good for the Fourth of July holiday and will be even better in the weeks ahead.  Despite a late start due to one of coldest winters in the Pacific Northwest in decades, growers in the Northwest anticipate a record crop size lasting through August.

“A lot of risk and investment by our growers throughout the five states allow for different orchards to be picked at different times as the summer progresses,” said James Michael, with the Northwest Cherry Growers, a growers’ organization collectively representing Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Utah.  “Together with a cold-chain that typically starts in the orchards and a top-speed packing and distribution system, that means our growers are truly delivering their peak of the season onto grocery shelves all summer long.”

The Northwest is known for seven varieties including Bing cherries, the most popular cherry in North America, and the unique golden-blushed Rainiers, born at Washington State University in 1952 and celebrated each year on July 11 as National Rainier Cherry Day.

A beloved Independence Day treat for baking pies with less sugar or eating fresh from the stem, sweet cherries can also be enjoyed year-round by simply rinsing, packing and freezing them.  To freeze cherries, select four to five pounds of firm, ripe cherries. After rinsing and draining, spread whole cherries with stems in a layer on a baking sheet, freezing until firm and then packing into freezer-proof containers or plastic freezer bags being sure to remove excess air and cover tightly.  Add frozen, pitted cherries to smoothies or juices, defrost and put in hot cereals, pies, turnovers, cobblers, or enjoy frozen as sweet late-night treat.

For more information on sweet Northwest Cherries, seasonal and preservation recipes, health information and more, visit www.nwcherries.com.

About Northwest Cherries and Washington State Fruit Commission

Washington State Fruit Commission is a growers’ organization funded by fruit assessments to increase awareness and consumption of regional stone fruits. The organization is dedicated to the promotion, education, market development, and research of soft fruits from Northwest orchards. It began in 1947 and has since grown to include five states – Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana. For more information, visit www.nwcherries.com or www.wastatefruit.com.

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Summertime Shipping Update for Garlic, Watermelons and Walla Walla Onions

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Christopher

It’s summertime in overdrive and here are some loading opportunities you might not have thought of including garlic, watermelons and sweet onions.

Watermelon Shipments

Nationally summertime watermelon shipments have been decent so far this season, with heavy volume available for shipments arriving at destinations in time for the Fourth of July holiday.  Strong shipments will continue in the weeks ahead as several states are just starting, or will be soon getting underway.

Georgia is leading U.S. shipments averaging around 5,000 truck loads per week.  Volume will start declining in a few weeks.  However, South Carolina’s watermelons shipment are underway and increasing.  Carolina moved nearly 400 truck loads in the past week, but volume will be higher with each passing week.

Texas is in a similar situation, particularly in the eastern part of the state.  It shipped about 400 truck loads last week, but volume is rapidly picking up….While the desert areas of California are winding down with watermelon loadings, the San Joaquin Valley, particularly in the southern area around Bakersfield, is building.  Around 500 truck loads were shipped a week ago.

Onion Shipments

Sweet onions shipments out of Walla Walla, WA started in mid June and this season there should be more normal conditions in terms of volume and and timing, at least compared to 2016.

Last year, Walla Walla sweet onions had an early start and finish to the season

Garlic Shipments

California garlic shipments got underway in mid June and will continue until mid September.  Christopher Ranch of Gilroy, CA, as well as other operations were off in volume 15 to 20 percent last year.  However, shipments this year are expected to be more normal with fewer quality issues.

Christopher Ranch is celebrating its family owned farming heritage with colorful, new boxes for its 2 lb. and 3 lb. fresh garlic bags. The new box is in full color using custom artwork representing a California garlic field.

It is hoped by the shipper that the new  look will make it easy for consumers to find fresh California Heirloom Garlic in the midst of all the other shipping boxes.

The company has the only garlic in the U.S. commercially grown from heirloom seed, the same seed discovered by Don Christopher in the 1960’s.

Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $5400 to Chicago.

 

 

 

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What to Look for with Produce Shipments for the Fourth of July

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DSCN9472Wanting to spend the Fourth of July with family and friends instead of on the road?  Here are some of the better opportunities for produce shipments leading up to the celebration of our nation’s 241st celebration of independence.

Avocado Shipments

Avocado loadings will be good, but certainly not great.  When you take Mexico pretty out of the mix, because this time of year shipments are at a seasonal low, you are pretty much left with Southern California, as well as imports from Peru arriving at various ports.  Still there will be 40 to 45 million pounds of avocado across the U.S. being shipped weekly.  We’ll also mention Southern Florida avocado shipments.  Florida’s biggest avocado shipper, Brooks Tropical of Homestead will be having its heaviest loadings in two years.

Blueberry Shipments

New Jersey blueberries will be in peak season, mostly from the Southern part of the state.

If you loaded British Columbia blueberries last season in time for Fourth of July activities that won’t happen this year.  BC  blues are a month later, which is more normal, and shipments won’t get underway until the first week of July.  The region should ship about 170 million pounds this season, lasting into mid September.

Strawberry Shipments

On the West Coast, Mother Nature has been kind to strawberries from the Watsonville area.  Heavy shipments are now occurring and will remain that way through mid July.  There also will be much lighter loadings of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, which will start hitting stride around the Fourth of July.

Salinas Valley berries and vegetables – grossing abut $7900 to New York City.

Watermelon Shipments

Early season watermelons from Texas have probably been the best quality in a few years and that hopefully will continue with maturing fruit coming on in Oklahoma…..Meanwhile, Northern Florida and Georgia are looking to have a decent amount of shipments, although volume has been heavier in some other years.

Central Florida watermelons – grossing about $2800 to New York City.

Vegetable Shipments

Decent supplies of vegetables are coming out of Southern Georgia.  For example, the Moultrie area is loading items ranging from sweet corn to squash, cabbage and green beans……North Carolina vegetable shipments are ranging from bell peppers, hot peppers and eggplant….Moving to California, the Gilroy area has some of the state’s largest shipments of sweet corn…..The roller coast ride for Salinas Valley head lettuce has continued since last spring.  Shipments should be a little more steady now, with volume better than last year time, but still not heavy.

Southern Georgia vegetable shipments – grossing about $2000 to New York City.

 

 

 

 

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Some Interesting Facts about Independence Day

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Tkpicfor47As we prepare to celebrate our Nation’s 237th Birthday on Thursday, here are some interesting details about how we have observed this holiday through the years.  Source:  Wikipedia

  • In 1777, thirteen gunshots were fired in salute, once at morning and once again as evening fell, on July 4 in Bristol, Rhode Island. Philadelphia celebrated the first anniversary in a manner a modern American would find quite familiar: an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts, 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews, and fireworks. Ships were decked with red, white, and blue bunting.
  • In 1778, General George Washington marked July 4 with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute. Across the Atlantic Ocean, ambassadors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin held a dinner for their fellow Americans in Paris, France.
  • In 1779, July 4 fell on a Sunday. The holiday was celebrated on Monday, July 5.
  • In 1781 the Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration.
  • In 1783, Moravians in Salem, North Carolina, held a celebration of July 4 with a challenging music program assembled by Johann Friedrich Peter. This work was titled “The Psalm of Joy”.
  • In 1791 the first recorded use of the name “Independence Day” occurred.
  • In 1820 the first Fourth of July celebration was held in Eastport, Maine which remains the largest in the state.
  • In 1870, the U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees.

In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.

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Here are Some Unique 4th of July Grilling Ideas

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IMG_6554The grilling season continues with the Fourth of July holiday, and Frieda’s, Inc. has some delicious and different holiday favorites.  These colorful suggestions will make your produce department stand out.

“Fourth of July grilling is all about summer traditions like hot dogs and burgers, but consumers are also looking to change things up a bit and make their menu a little healthier by adding more fruits and vegetables,” said Karen Caplan, Frieda’s President and CEO. “They look to Frieda’s to add more flavors and colors to their summer barbecue.”

The grilling season, which kicked off with Memorial Day, continues with Independence Day and concludes on Labor Day weekend. 

Here are some of Frieda’s featured Fourth of July grilling items that shoppers will be looking for in their favorite retail stores:

Star Spangled Spuds

Nothing says Fourth of July like red, white, and blue potatoes!  Parboil them and finish on the grill. Or follow a delicious recipe for potato salad on the package.

Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes

Our brilliant colored tubers will liven up any gathering. Cut into wedges or ½ inch-thick slices, toss in olive oil, and put them right on the grill.

Fresh Ghost and Trinidad Scorpion Chiles

No chile lover would pass up the opportunity to test their limits with two of the world’s hottest chile peppers. Use sparingly in a salsa or homemade hot sauce as a condiment on grilled meat and vegetables.

Maui Onions

Brushed with olive oil and grill or served up fresh, no hamburger is complete without these sweet, pungent slices. 

Angelcots®, Fuyu Persimmons, and Fresh Figs

Grilling adds depth to sweet and succulent fruits. They are transformed altogether once wrapped in bacon and grilled, lightly brushed with balsamic vinegar.

Yellow Seedless Watermelons

Simply brush slices with honey and grill until marked. Make into a salad with feta and fresh mint, or just finish with a squeeze of lime for a refreshing dessert.

 About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Inc. celebrates more than 50 years of innovation in fresh produce. Founded in 1962 by Frieda Caplan, Frieda’s was the first wholesale produce company in the U.S. to be founded, owned and operated by a woman, and is still a family- and women-owned business today. With the mission of changing the way America eats fruits and vegetables, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 specialty items to U.S. produce departments, including Kiwifruit, Spaghetti Squash, Habanero Peppers, Black Garlic and many more. Frieda’s officially declared 2013 as The Year of Purple. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce and www.friedas.com.

Source: Frieda’s Inc.

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Will Produce Rates Increase for Fourth of July?

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Normally we would see a bump in rates for hauling produce as the Fourth of July holiday approaches – when Independence Day falls on any day but Wednesday.   This is not to say there will not be a increase in produce rates, but some observers are saying it may not be as high, or may not even occur this year for the holiday.  Regardless, strong demand for refrigerated equipment will continue before and after the Fourth, and rates are expected to remain healthy in the coming weeks.

In Southeastern Arkansas, peak tomato shipments are continuing.  While it has been an excellent growing season, triple digit temperatures have moved in.  If the extreme heat continues the mid July conclusion to tomato shipments may happen even before that.

In Virginia, some are not aware the state ranks fourth nationally in tomato shipments, and 6th nationally in potato, apple and snap bean volume.

Moving to the Northwest, Washington state cherry shipments are in heavy volume.  Loadings should continue until September and the state is on a course for record shipments.

In California, rates have had only minor fluctuations since early June.  The Salinas Valley has lighter than usual volume with broccoli and cauliflower, plus lettuce shipments have been hampered as East Coast receivers took advantage of coastal shipping areas such as New Jersey, which started weeks earlier than normal.  This put Eastern lettuce shipments on a collision coarse with West Coast lettuce shipments.  Eastern receivers could save $7 to $8 per carton on lettuce, just on shipping costs, when they purchased eastern lettuce as opposed to that product from California.

Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $8500 to New York City

 

 

 

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