As we enter the third month of winter, let’s see what’s in season this month!
There are still plenty of apples available, but a few varieties will start to drop off later in the month. That said, it has been a good season for the apple growers, so expect to have some apples through to the start of the new season in Jan 2023. South Australia has finished with Gold Dels, and Granny Smith’s are getting short. Tasmania still has good stocks as do the Stanthorpe growers. Traditionally apple prices rise towards the end of the year, as quantities drop and demand grows.
Pears, like apples, are also shortening, all of the red and early season varieties are finished. There should be good stocks of Packham pears and a few brown skin varieties. Buerre Bosc coming out of South Australia, the Packham’s will last at least till spring.
In stores this month you will see good stocks of bananas, rockmelons and honeydew coming from North Queensland. You’ll also see plenty of citrus, such as Eureka and Meyer Lemons, Tangelos, Navel Oranges and Limes. Mandarins are the hero fruit of August with good stocks of Imperials, Ellendales, Honeymurcott and Amigos.
Plenty of yellow grapefruit are available, with ruby grapefruit a little short on supply. There are few blood oranges and cara cara around, traditionally these have a very short season, so be quick and grab them while you can. Some nice blueberries coming up from the Adelaide Hills, supply is pretty short and prices are high. This will change as more local berries will be coming out of the Bundaberg region as the month progresses.
Nothing has changed on the avocados front, still plenty around at low prices. Jap and butternut pumpkin are also in good supply and at good prices. As we touched on last month, North Coast strawberries shortened up a little with the wet weather but expect them to recover as things get drier and warmer. Lots of red papaya coming out of North Queensland, as well as a reasonable supply of passionfruit, pineapples and watermelon.
August is mid-winter and peak growing season for Queensland farmers. Unfortunately, for the Queensland growers, it has been another challenging year with some regions flooding twice already. This has resulted in gaps in the planting schedules, which has seen shortages of just about everything.
Thankfully the southern guys have had it a little easier, so we have still been able to source produce from Victoria and Tasmania. Still, expect these shortages to extend at least till late spring, when the southern season kicks off properly.
There is produce around, but it is short, they are certainly not in the quantity or the quality that we would normally see at this time of year. Silverbeet, kale, salad varieties and cauliflower are all in good supply, but prices are higher than we would expect, due to the reduced production.
The Queensland carrot season has started late and slow, with growers in the Brisbane and the Lockyer Valley harvesting. Meanwhile our Victorian and Tasmanian growers are getting ready to shut their cold rooms off and finish up for the year. I expect prices to stay high, for the reasons previously stated.
You will find plenty of cabbages, brussel sprouts and leeks around. Chinese veg has shortened supply with the cold weather down south and will remain short until things start to warm up a little. Lettuce and rocket have similarly been impacted, so don’t be surprised if you notice the quantity and quality of these veggies to be somewhat less.
Potatoes coming from Queensland have been challenged by the wet, it will be a short season for them this year. Sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, and green beans are available from North Queensland but in shorter supply than normal for this time of year. Onions are around, but expect prices to increase and quality to decrease, until the southern growers start again. The Queensland onion season has been pretty much non-existent this year.
Tomatoes are still in short supply, as are cucumber and zucchinis. We will need to see some warmer, drier weather before this situation changes. We will all need to be a bit more forgiving on our quality expectations this season. If we do that, there is still plenty of produce around, albeit at prices higher than we are used to.
Have a nice August and remember to eat all of your colours!
The Team at United Organics
Image: McMahon Bros Organic Farm