Fall is coming!
Summer is winding down here in the North Carolina Piedmont, but what an epic summer it’s been for fruit! The strawberries were early and had a great run, the blueberries and blackberries were gorgeous and plentiful and we even scored some black raspberries in the NC mountains. I recently talked to one of our peach suppliers, Johnson’s Peaches, and they said they’re expecting to have peaches all the way through October! We’re not quite done yet though, we’re just waiting on the persimmons, so keep an eye for the perennial favorite, Local Persimmon Marmalade in the next few months.
One of the harbingers of fall for us is our annual trip up to the Leelanau Peninsula of Michigan to visit family. The Leelanau Peninsula juts out about 30 miles into Lake Michigan and is sometimes referred to as Michigan’s little finger. The microclimate that exists on the peninsula is excellent for growing fruit, especially apples and cherries. So each August when we visit we bring back a little of whatever fruit is available, sometimes it’s black raspberries, maybe even currants or gooseberries, but we ALWAYS bring back apricots and tart cherries. This year is no exception and we’ll have both for sale at our next Carrboro Farmer’s Market on August 26!
Although we had a great year for fruit here in North Carolina, it was a really tough year for farmer’s in Northern Michigan. Most of the crops were several weeks late due to the cool, rainy weather in the early summer. The cherry farmers, in addition to struggling with weather and pests, are also struggling with pricing and trade issues, forcing them to literally dump large portions of this year's harvest. Many of the orchards are going up for sale or going out of business after dealing with these issues over the last 4-5 years, it’s predicted that if these tariff issues are not resolved soon that the Michigan tart cherry industry will cease to exist in as little as 10 years. That’s 75% of the nation’s tart cherry’s a $54million crop! There have been several interesting articles addressing the issue, here’s a recent piece from the Wall Street Journal.
With the abundance of fruit this summer we’ve had the opportunity to experiment with some new flavors. Based on sales and customer feedback it looks like our new Blueberry Honey Butter, Salted Caramel Peach Butter and Strawberry Honeysuckle Jelly will be moving into our regular rotation.
We’re rolling into our busiest time of year for events and markets, we’re really looking forward to events like Pittsboro’s Pepperfest and so many more through the end of the year. We’re also starting to book our holiday markets and already have the Patchwork Market in Durham on the calendar. Here’s a link to our schedule through the holidays, come out and see us at one of these fun events or markets!
Where to Find our Products/Online Store
Did you know that we have an online store? We do, and it’s just been restocked. You can also find our products locally at all 4 Weaver Street Market locations (yes there are 4, the new Raleigh store will open in September!) as well as several other locations throughout the Triangle, here is the latest list!