Although dried figs are available most of the year, nothing compares to the unique taste of fresh figs. Fresh figs have the perfect balance of sweet taste, chewy texture and their seeds provide a satisfying crunch.
The first mention of figs can be traced back as early as the Bible and other ancient writings. They are thought to have been first cultivated in Egypt and made their way to ancient Greece around the 9th century BC. They were later introduced to other regions of the Mediterranean and brought to the Western Hemisphere by the Spaniards in the early 16th century.
Figs grow on the Ficus tree, which is a member of the mulberry family. They have an opening, called the “ostiole” or “eye” which helps the fruit’s development, aiding it in communication with the environment.
Figs differ in color and texture depending on the variety (more than 150!) Some popular varieties include: Adriatic, Black Mission, Brown Turkey, Candy Stripe, and Kadota. The California fig season usually lasts June through October so get some fig action before they’re gone!
Produce Storage with Eric Yuke at Terra Firma Farms
In addition to his role as Sales Manager at Terra Firma Farms, Eric Yuke, also has years of retail experience. On a recent farm visit, Eric shares his go-to tips on storage, temperature and displaying product.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are best stored around 45-55 degrees. This temperature holds the fruit, so it does not continue to ripen or deteriorate the texture of the tomato. When tomatoes are stored lower, they change texture, and it will result with a mealy consistency. When merchandising, continue to keep out of refrigeration. Placing the fruit stem down shows off the colors nicely.
- Summer Soft Squash: Store in your regular cooler. These will hold best when merchandised in a refrigerated dry rack. They also look great on non-refrigerated table displays but keep an eye out as you may experience an increase in shrink by doing so.
- Onions / Hard Squash/ Garlic: These items should be stored outside of refrigeration in a dry area away from sunlight with good ventilation.
- Leeks: Store in the cooler until you’re ready to place on the sales floor. When merchandising, these should be placed with your other wet rack vegetables. Trimming a ½ inch or so off the greens on the top makes them look nice in your displays.
- Bunched Beets and Carrots: Store in your cooler until ready for the sales floor. Merchandise these on your wet rack either laying on their side with the root facing outward or stand them up. If you have loose beets and carrots, cut the ends to remove the remaining stem and lay down with the trimmed end facing out.
- Green Beans: Store in your cooler until ready for the sales floor. Keep these with your other refrigerated dry items in bins. Alternatively, place outside of refrigeration on your sales floor, either in paper tote bags or open topped boxes.
If you find yourself experiencing any quality issues or product having a short shelf life, try moving the product around and checking to see if the product is being stored correctly in the back stock area. Also remember, excess air flow is not a friend of fresh produce so always look for ways to protect your product from too much air flow.
New & Exciting!
- Candy Snap Grape: Oh snap! This red seedless grape has very fruity flavor with hints of strawberry. Sweet but with some tartness.
- Gooseberry: Round grape-like berries with similar texture and taste to grapes but more acidic.
Did you know…Gooseberries grow on spiky bushes that can bear fruit for up to 20 years
- Green Quip Grape: Fun name and shape! Long finger-like berries with sweet, crisp flavor; seedless. Very high brix!
- Hosui Asian Pear: Delicious sweet and tangy flavor! Locally grown from EARTHseed Farm in Sonoma, California.
- Kiwano Melon: Otherwise known as Horned Melon. Grown near Santa Barbara, these colorful and exotic fruits are related to cucumbers!
- Shinseki Asian Pear*: Mild and sweet with some tartness. Crisp and juicy flesh. Also known as New Century Pear. New from up-and-coming local grower EARTHseed Farm.
- Bartlett Pear: Crunchy, juicy, smooth, buttery texture with a sweet flavor. California-grown fruit is available now.
- Blackberry: Plump, jammy fruit. Steady supply and sharp pricing.
- Cabbage: good volume on green and red cabbage. Great for summer salads, slaws or kim-chis for a probiotic kick!
- California Grown Hass Avocado: peak of season for flavor, richness and quality. Get ‘em now before prices go up!
- Gala Apple: Steady supply and tasting great. Bags are a great choice for back-to-school displays; the small size fruit is perfect for little hands!
- Heirloom Tomato*: Strong quality and supply. Delicious varieties from local VV exclusive grower, Veliz Organic Farm are available now. Check out straight packs of Chocolate Stripe, Persimmon, Brandywine, Cherokee, Solar Flare Sunrise, Marvel Stripe or try a mixed pack!
- Melon: Summer melons are readily available. Good volume on watermelon and honeydew from VV exclusive grower, Rundle Family Farms. Sweet and crisp! Specialty varieties still here but not for long!
- Pepper: Chili peppers are in abundant supply! Talk to your Account Manager to stay in the loop with all the varieties that are coming on. Check out our Chili Pepper Varietal Guide.
- Pluot*: Abundant supply and tasting fantastic. Many varieties to choose from including: Flavor Grenade, Honeypunch, FlavorKing, and more!
- Red & Yellow Onion: Good quality and supply from local growers
- Sparkle Red Seedless Grape: Juicy, firm with high sugar content. Available in sustainable paper fiber baskets.
- Yellow Peach: in good volume with promotable pricing. Just in time for end-of-summer jams, pies, ice cream or eating fresh!
- Baby Bok Choy
- Green Leaf Lettuce
- Red Butter Lettuce
- Soft Squash
Done for the Season