Tomato Blight Doesn't Bite Consumer
The late tomato blight of 2009 in the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast is real, but it does not appear to have impacted availability and prices, at least so far. Prices for local field tomatoes at the Reading Terminal Market range from 99-cents to $3.00 a pound, in line with last year.
According to the most recent (Aug. 11) report from Penn State, the blight has yet to hit home gardens in Philadelphia, Bucks, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, York and Adams counties in Southeast Pennsylvania, nor commercial growers in Adams, York, Delaware, Lebanon, and Northampton.
Iovine Brothers Produce, as normal, had the least expensive tomatoes, 99-cents a pound for Jerseys. Fair Food wanted $3 a pound for organically grown field tomatoes, $4.95 for yellows. Red and yellow ield tomatoes at Kauffman’s Lancaster County Produce were $2.59, heirloom cherry tomatoes $4.95 pint; conventional red and orange cherries $2.95 or two for $9. Fair Food’s red and sun gold cherry tomatoes were $5/pint. I used some red cherry tomatoes earlier this week, halved, atop a crustless quiche and as a pasta sauce.
Peaches, nectarines and plums continue to be juicy, tasty and abundant. Fair Food’s Saturn (donut) peaches were $2/pound, both the yellow and green varieties, green in this case meaning their color, not state of ripeness. Yellow and white peaches were $1.75, nectarines $2, plums $2.50, and pluots $2.75. Kauffman’s was selling peaches and nectarines for $1.99. All the stone fruits at L. Halteman’s were $2.19, or $1.99 in five-pound lots. Iovine’s continues to sell Jersey and Maryland peaches for 99 cents and pluots and plums from afar for $1.49. I didn’t see any local stone fruit at OK Lee.
Apples are appearing in greater variety and Bartlett pears are solidly here. Kauffman’s offerd Sanza, Gala and Ginger Golds for $1.95, while Rambos and Ginger Golds at Fair Foods commanded $1.50. Iovine’s had a selection of commercial apples from further afield from 79 to 99-cents a pound. Bartletts were $1.50 at Fair Food, $1.99 at Kauffmans. Pints of blackberries are still available at Kauffman’s for $4.95/pint, two for $9.
The first of the winter squashes are appearing. Fair Foods had beautiful buttercups today for $2/pound. They also had leaks for $1.50 each. Eggplants continue to be plentiful. Iovine’s string beans were 99-cents, while OK Lee charged $1.49 for string beans, $2,89 for favas and $2.69 for crnberry beans.
Back at Iovine’s, limes and lemons were four for a buck, and seedless grapes in all colors 99-cents.