Not all grapes are created equal. Green Thompson seedless Biodynamic® grapes from Marian Farms are an end-of-summer favorite that stands out for its taste and quality. This variety is thin-skinned, sweet, juicy and flavorful. But what makes Marian Farms’ grapes so good?
Marian Farms, located in Fresno, California, grows grapes using Biodynamic® agricultural practices and hand picks the grapes at peak ripeness. Grown on 90-year old vines, the grapes are harvested when they are at their sweetest which ensures ripe, full, and attractive clusters that range in color from translucent green-yellow to golden-amber. Unlike both organic and conventionally grown grapes, they are never treated with gibberellic acid which is often sprayed on seedless grapes to increase grape size and yield.
Once the most widely planted grape in California, and still grown primarily to make raisins, Thompson seedless can be considered an heirloom variety. Originally from Turkey, they were established here in the 1890s. Current popularity has shifted to new table grape cultivars offering larger, greener berries with strong crunch. But like many heirlooms, the flavor and sweetness can’t be beat. Don’t fear the amber color, it means the grape is at full sugar!
Banana Merchandising Tips
Bananas are your produce department VIPs, your number one selling item, so it’s very important to store, handle and merchandise properly. For retail stores, aim to stock #4 color and #5 color bananas and possibly a few greener #3 color bananas. Bananas are fragile and should be handled with care. They need to be placed delicately on the display table and not stacked too high to prevent damage and bruising. Here are a few tips to help keep your bananas looking sharp!
- Upon arrival, open the cases and pull back the plastic to allow air flow. This will keep your bananas from sweating and becoming over ripe.
- Clean and rotate your banana display. Wipe down the display surface and keep it clear from any build up and debris.
- Display bananas with rounded side down.
- Place greener fruit on the bottom and top with riper fruit
- Don’t stack too high. Two layers high is perfect!
- Bananas are fragile, handle with care.
- If you are hanging your bananas on a rack, hang with rounded side facing out
Not sure about which color correlates to banana ripeness? Check out our Banana Ripening Chart.
New & Exciting!
Apple: Cox’s Orange Pippin, Ribston Pippin (below), & Smitten are starting up. Apple season is just getting started; new specialty and heirloom varieties arriving every week!
California Grown Bosc Pear: Lovely russet color with pleasantly sweet taste
Pomegranate: Purple Velvet poms are here now. Sweet and bursting with flavor and deep red color! The next variety will be Early Wonderful as we head into pomegranate season.
Purple Stoke Potato: Coming soon! With their vibrant purple skin and deep-hued flesh, these sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin C (almost 4 times that of an orange sweet potato.)
Red Kuri Squash*: creamy yellow flesh with a smooth texture and taste similar to cooked chestnuts. Dry farmed for more concentrated flavor by local, woman-owned Sea to Sky Farm in the Santa Cruz area.
Seckel Pear: small, chubby fruit with sweet, spicy flavor. These pears ripen from the inside-out so the center softens first. Popular with chefs and bakers, this pear can stand up to cooking and remains firmer than other pears.
Banana: September is GROW Month. Take this opportunity to promote the Organic’ Unlimited’s GROW program which features fairly traded bananas to support their worker communities in Ecuador and Mexico.
Bartlett Pear: sharp pricing with strong supply. Very aromatic, gorgeous green color and has that definitive “pear” flavor.
California Grown Keitt Mango*: delicious at the peak of the season! This variety stays green even when ripe; give ‘em a light squeeze to see if they are ready. These also have a longer ripening time; try placing in a paper bag for a few days to ripen faster.
Jujube (right): Pronounced joo-joo-bee and also known as a red or Chinese date. Sweet with similar consistency and taste to an apple. High fiber and low calorie, these make for a delicious healthy snack!
Grape*: Concord, Hamburg Muscat, Biodynamic Green Thompson, Bronx and so many more delicious varieties are tasting great and in steady supply. Stock up and showcase the season’s bounty!
Passion Fruit (below): Sweet, tart and ready to eat! Cut one open and scoop the seeds and pulp out with a spoon. High in vitamins and nutrients, this tropical fruit is a superfood that can also help lower cholesterol!
Pepper: chili peppers are still coming in hot! Hatch, Serrano, Jalapeno, Red Korean Kimchi and more varieties available. Make the most of the end of summer by whipping up chili jam or hot sauce to enjoy all winter long!
Green Kiwi: limited until local supply starts up in October.
Valencia Orange: supply is erratic; prices are going up