It’s officially winter and one of the wettest ones on record. Let’s find out what’s in season this month!
Winter fruits are all about the basics – rather than enjoying loads of variety, enjoy the quality and consistency of the basics such as Apples and Citrus.
This is the best time of year to eat a truly spectacular Apple and you have so many varieties to choose from. Pears are the same, take the time to savour the ordinary and get creative with them.
When we think of winter, we think Citrus and there is lots to get excited about at this time of year. Lemons are coming on strong, Mandarins have just started, Navel Oranges are on, and Cara Cara will start soon. Tangelos from North Qld are in abundance and Pomelos will start towards the end of the month. Limes are in abundance with good quality and great prices.
Citrus fruits don’t really like to get wet. So, while there are plenty around now, expect a shorter than average season, with higher prices and lower quality.
Strawberries and Blueberries have been hit hard by the weather and will stay in short supply for the whole month, or until everything has dried out.
The availability of Rockmelon, Watermelon and Papaya will improve throughout the month and there will be reasonable quantities of Dragon Fruit and Pomegranates early in the month.
Winter is usually the peak vegetable growing season for Queensland, with the full range of Brassicas coming out of the Brisbane and Lockyer Valley areas. We would normally see great quality Cabbages, Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli, and Cauliflower, all at good prices.
But not this year unfortunately. Vegetables will be very short, the quality will be rain-impacted and prices will be high as a result. Broccoli for example is trading at approximately double the price it usually is for this time of year. Zucchini, Cucumber and Celery are seeing similar shortages and similar price rises. A lot of the Queensland growers have flooded twice this year, with massive stock losses. Also, it has been too wet for them to replant.
Queensland Carrots and Potatoes are due to start by mid-June. We are predicting shortages and quality issues with both lines. Carrots fare slightly better in saturated ground, but the potatoes will degrade quickly in those conditions. Tomatoes from North Queensland have started and pretty much finished due to the wet, as have Eggplant, Zucchini and to a lesser extent Capsicum.
Southern Onions have pretty much finished for the season, while Queensland onions aren’t great this year for all the reasons previously mentioned.
Short story is, I am not speaking to any farmers who are enjoying 2022 – we have seen record breaking rain and unseasonably cold temperatures. This is when we are reminded where our food comes from, and the difficulties faced by those who produce it. I believe we will see produce shortages in June and they will continue until the southern guys start their seasons at the end of winter.
We can reduce how we are impacted in the meantime by being more forgiving on quality and more expansive and flexible in what we choose to eat. It’s important to support local growers come rain or shine, but here’s hoping we see plenty of the latter in the months ahead.
Enjoy the cooler weather in June, and remember to eat all of your colours!
The Team at United Organics