Bountiful bags and long lines. That brings a second thought to my mind. Sorry about the waits the last month on the bags. Some bags are much more time consuming to pack than others. Last week's bag was possibly the worst we've ever had. All the bags were bursting, but the larges and vegetarian bags had 24 items in them! As you could tell, they didn't even fit in the bags...and you should have seen the back of the trucks! Sadly, this happens to be the luck of the draw because when the crops are ready to harvest, we have to take them.
Further, last week's bag contents cost more than what you paid for the bag! We'll have to make that up in the last 6 weeks so I'll try to shop wisely for you over the next few weeks.
This week, we lucked out and the cool weather slowed some things down. This week's bag will be significantly easier to pack with fewer ingredients and fewer variables between the bags.
Upcoming Events. As we close in on our winter season, we do still have a few events coming up. We have the emails scheduled to come out gradually over the remainder of the season, but here is a "save the date" list:
Sunday, Sept 21: Uptown Popup Dinner with Chefs Parker Bosley and Adam Lambert. A few seats remain. Details and registration HERE for Uptown Popup. Here are some photos from last week's Raw Vegan Popup Dinner: Photos Here.
Sunday, Sept 28: Customer Appreciation Pig Roast and Potluck. Lots of family activities, a free event, and a day full of fun. Please join us. Details and registration HERE. A deposit is required so that we can plan accordingly for staff, tables, and our dish.
Monday, Oct 6: Ethnic Eats with Chef John Selick. More details to come as we work out the menu, but expect some good eats and info. Registration link (with limited details) here: Ethnic Eats
Monday, Oct 14: Cabbage Mania with Parker Bosley. I'm really looking forward to this one as cabbage is a favorite vegetable of both Parker and I. More details about the menu to come, but registration is open at this link: Cabbage Mania
Monday, Nov 10: My favorite event of the year, Thanksgiving Beer Dinner. It is just what it sounds like. A full T-Day feast with multiple preparations of turkeys, countless sides, and delicious sides. We'll demo several of the recipes and answer questions from the attendees about how to master their Thanksgiving feast. Full dinner and beer included. This one sells out fast. This year's menu to come later. Registration link here: Thanksgiving Beer Dinner
Photos from last year's Thanksgiving Beer Dinner.
There may be a few more surprise popup dinners coming this fall. I'll let you know soon.
Put 'em up! This is the time of year to start processing veggies for the winter (if you haven't been doing so all along). Below are some ideas and things you can find on our website, many available for pickup this week:
Roma Tomatoes: tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, oven dried tomatoes (like sun dried), dehydrated tomatoes, frozen tomatoes (to sauce later or use in stews). $20 per half bushel (approx 20#)
Hot Hungarian Peppers: hot pepper slices, stuffed hot peppers, pickled hot peppers, Italian hot peppers in oil, pepper butter (like a homemade mustard). $18 per half bushel
Apples/Pears: apple/pear sauce or apple/pear butter. Pears are in now and again at the end of the month, then apples should continue to come in most of the winter thanks to controlled atmosphere storage. Pears $20 per half bushel. Apples $32 per bushel (45-50#). Both will include an additional $6 crate deposit.
Cabbage: make your own sauerkraut! $2.5 per large head.
Speaking up "put 'em up," fellow customer Peggy S from Solon has been working hard at putting up her organically grown pickles. Peggy started a cottage industry business creating refrigerator pickles. Her dill pickle spears are crunchy with a nice acidic zing and a light dill hint. Peggy's Pickles are not canned; instead, they are fermented and are sold as refrigerator pickles. This means you must keep them cold and the benefit is that there are live, healthy enzymes in the pickle due to the fermentation process.
Peggy sells her pickles by the 32 oz jar (quart) and each jar is $6.50. The supply is limited this year to about 100 jars and they may be preordered at http://csalogin.freshforkmarket.com
Winter Season. The Fresh Fork Market winter session starts the week of November 3rd. For those who have done it before, you can attest to the fun. We start with 3 consecutive deliveries then start every other week schedule to skip the holidays. The winter season is 15 deliveries and it lasts until mid-May. There is only one size bag (essentially the summer large bag) and no vegetarian or vegan options available (such options wouldn't be a fair value in the winter). The bag comes out to $45 per delivery, which is every other week.
We've been working hard to get ready for the season. A few weeks ago I made an impromptu drive to upstate New York to buy an automatic bean snipper. This machine trims the tails and tips off of green beans and wax beans at a rate of 1,000# per hour! This made is possible for us to buy Jonas Hershberger's 6,000# of beans last week. Yeah, we put a few beans away already. Here are a few photos of it in action.
We've also been using the corn husker and cutter that I bought last fall to process sweet corn. We've already put about 15,000# of sweet corn into the freezer for the winter.
Other frozen vegetables include peas, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and diced heirloom tomatoes. Clark Pope and some of our other producers have been working hard as well to "put up" tomatoes into sauce and other preserves for you this winter.
Full details about the winter season and registration can be found here: Winter Season Details
Salmon Club 2014: Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon
Ok, now I got your attention. Clearly not local, right? Well there are some things that we will never source local here, and some fellow Fresh Fork subscribers have turned me on to a truly fantastic product.
Jill S and her friend Freddy organize a "buying club" in Cleveland for the Wild Salmon Company out of Asheville, NC. Heidi, who lives 9 months of the year in Asheville, grew up in Seattle and her family has always fished salmon in Alaska. At age 15, her dad bought her a commercial fishing permit for one of the fisheries in Alaska. Today, she has fished every summer for 20 years in Alaska.
Heidi and her boyfriend catch the fish and even sort them for quality and package them for sale. The product is sushi grade, IQF frozen. It is fantastic and very reasonably priced (since she is selling direct).
Last winter, Allyson and I traveled down to Asheville to help Jill and Freddy out and pick-up their salmon. We were very excited to meet Heidi and learn about her operation. It was fascinating. And because I have no control, I decided to bring back 200# for last winter's customers to try. I get emails weekly to this day asking when we'll have more. It is really that good.
This year we worked with Heidi in advance to buy a whole pallet and ship it back to Cleveland directly from the processor in Seattle. This year's fishing season just ended and Heidi is in Seattle now sorting and grading the flash-frozen fish. The salmon will arrive in Cleveland in October and will be distributed during the week of October 13th.
Because we were able to work with Heidi before she started packaging, we were able to get the cream of the crop - all center cut filet portions graded by size. Usually she sells random weight boxes. I know that is a recipe for disaster when you need to split them up. So we worked to get you all the same size portions.
The center-cut, wild caught Alaskan salmon filet portions are available by the piece and by the 10# box. The pieces average about 6 oz each. They are $18.50 per lb, so $7 per serving. For those who know they will eat it, think about buying a whole 10# case and saving. 10# cases are $165 per box and average about 26 portions per box.
You can purchase this preorder via http://csalogin.freshforkmarket.com.
When shopping, we didn't want to create a special category just for fish. Look under Meat. This is a once per year opportunity and once it is gone, there won't be any until next year.
Note: This is a preorder and the product will ship during the week of Oct 13. Please keep your confirmation email, print it out, and put it on your fridge to remind you to get it the week of Oct 13th.