Sunday, July 01, 2012

Cherries Almost Done

Jostaberries at Beechwood Orchards
Dave Garretson of Beechwood Orchards, selling today at Headhouse Square Farmers' Market, says don't count on seeing any local cherries this time next week. In past years he's brought in some from New York State, which run a few weeks later than ours, but he's goint to skip extending the season that way.

Today he was the only vendor I spied with cherries -- none were visible at Three Springs Fruit Farm, the other usual stall carrying them and where I picked up a quart of Montmorencey pie cherries last week. Garretson had both sweet and sour cherries today. The red and rose sweets were selling for $4/pint or $7.50/quart.

I took advantage of the sour cherry season while I could, since they tend to be here for only a few weeks: three quarts of sorbet, a couple cobblers, and a tart. Time to move on to blueberries and blackberries. (The raspberries look good, but too pricey for anything but a garnish or mixed with yogurt when they're $4.50 for a half pint.)

The last few weeks fruit vendors have been featuring a number of different gooseberries and their close relations. Last week Beechwood had Jostaberries, a triple cross of North American coastal black gooseberries, European gooseberry, and black currant. Best in cooked applications or jams and preserves.

Some of Beechwood Orchard's stone fruits
Other varieties of stone fruit are supplanting cherries now: peaches, plums and apricots. The peaches I picked up yesterday at Fair Food (from Beechwood) had good flavor, though just a tad watery. I expect they'll intensify with the weather we've had lately.

Although they don't usually show up for another week or so, since every other crop is advanced this season, why should apples be different? Beechwood had Lodis (best for sauce and cooking rather than eating out-of-hand) for $2/pound today.

North Star Orchards, which specializes in apples and pears, usually doesn't start selling at Headhouse until August. Maybe if their crops are as early as everything else seems to be this season, we'll see them back in a few weeks.

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