Organic Picks of the Week 07/24/12

Best if Used By 07/31/12

Organic Picks of the week for July 24th, 2012 features
Heirloom Tomatoes, Galia Melon, Cauliflower,
Broccoli and Hass Avocados

Organic Heirloom Tomatoes


Boy, do I love summer produce, especially Organic Heirloom Tomatoes from my home state of Pennsylvania! Earthy, robust Russian Black Prince Tomatoes wedges sprinkled with a touch coarse salt and cracked black pepper plus shredded fresh Basil is hard to beat. Maybe a large, meaty slice of juicy, sweet and tangy Pink Brandywine with a slice of sharp cheddar on a potato roll could top it. And homemade Peach Salsa made with a variety of Organic Heirloom Tomatoes is sublime. Organic Heirloom Tomatoes season is for people that want their Tomatoes that taste like something.

Local, Organic Heirloom Tomatoes: Soft, scarred, mis-shapen… yet beautifully delicious.

What exactly are Heirloom Tomatoes? Most conventional, round Tomatoes have been hybrid-bred for consistency of size, shape, color, shelf-life and firmness – all so that they can safely make it through the supermarket supply channel and into your kitchen without getting soft or going bad. Heirlooms, on the other hand, are old and diverse varieties, some commercially produced since the 1940s, others passed down over the years by a family and others created through natural cross-pollinations. That certainly ties in with the values of organic growing. Each has special taste, texture, shape, size and color characteristics that make them unique and wonderful in their own way.

Here’s the deal: Organic Heirloom Tomatoes are soft to begin with – you should expect them to have a little give. Oh, and they’re ugly by most normal standards, … but the flavor, whether sweet, earthy, bold, tangy or bold – is always beautiful! Organically grown Heirlooms Tomatoes are starting in peak season here in the Mid-Atlantic, so try some for yourself this summer to discover the tapestry of Tomato flavor out there.

Organic Galia Melon


What is a Galia Melon? It is a cross between a European-style Cantaloupe and Honeydew developed by a plant breeder in Israel several decades ago. The skin is green to straw-colored with fine webbing and darkens as the fruit ripens. Inside, the flesh is green to creamy white in color, juicy and quite sweet. The best judge of ripeness is when you begin to smell a pleasing fragrance when the melon is at room temperature.

When Cantaloupe met Honeydew the sweet Galia Melon was born.

Organic Galia Melon is fantastic to eat by itself as a snack or dessert. It’s tropical-melon flavor enhances salads and can be brilliant as a gazpacho-style soup. Late July and the month of August are the peak season for luscious Organic Galia Melons from California that arrive to the East Coast by truck. There are also tasty Galia Melons grown organically in Spain that have arrived to the eastern US by boat.

Organic Cauliflower


Cauliflower doesn’t have to be just a cold weather veggie. Perusing some recipe pictures may inspire a summer dish idea for you, and the rest of July would be a great time to try it. Why? Organic Cauliflower prices swing way up and down dramatically throughout the year based on exaggerations of supply and demand. Right now, supplies are plentiful, bountiful, from certified organic farms in California, thus driving prices down. Keep an eye out for affordable prices and in-store specials.

Organic Cauliflower is a summer value right now.

Organic Broccoli


Here’s some cool stuff you might not have known about Broccoli. Not only is it loaded with Vitamin A and C, but did you know that calorie for calorie Broccoli has more protein than steak? It has calcium and folic acid too. Organic Broccoli is an important turn crop for Organic Strawberry growers to rotate plantings into their fields since the cruciferous vegetable helps to prevent many pathogens from setting up shop in the soil. Eat more Organic Broccoli for your health, for your eating enjoyment… and to allow for sustainable Organic Strawberry production – yum!

Calorie for calorie – as much protein as steak.

There is an abundance of Organic Broccoli from California right now. Prices may be lower than normal where you shop the next few weeks, allowing you to try some new raw recipes. Better pick some hummus for dipping too!

Organic Hass Avocados


Creamy, nutty, rich and delicious – gotta get some Hass! Guacamole for the picnic, sliced onto your sandwich or cubed to add to your Heirloom Tomato and Avocado Salad? ..oh, yeah! Organic Hass Avocados are in peak season from California and Peru right now allowing for reasonable prices. How do you know when your pebbly skin Hass Avocado is ripe? The skin will start to turn from green to cocoa brown and the fruit will give just slightly to gentle thumb pressure. When the fruit is at this stage, you should cut it right away or put it in the fridge to slow the ripening process for a day or two.

Peak summertime Organic Hass Avocados are here from California and Peru.

What is Organic Produce?

Certified Organic Produce meets a set of standards for growing, handling and labeling that is governed by the USDA’s National Organic Program. Organic fruits and vegetables are grown without the use synthetic chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers. The terms “Natural” and “Local” are not the same as “Organic.” Learn more about Organic.

Buy Smart. Shop Healthy. Live Organic.

The Produce Geek, Jonathan K. Steffy

Forward this to a friend if you think they’ll like it – Here’s to fresh!