Sweet Surrender Grapes

Tis the season for grapes! It’s not that long agao that for me grapes were grapes. There was nothing special about them, nothing seasonal, nothing to look forward to over any other time of year. But now I know better. I get excited for the late summer months, for when grapes of different sizes, shapes, and flavors will be invading my local stores. I am glad that people aren’t just settling for red, black, and green as their grape varieties and going for Champagne, Cotton Candy, Witch Finger, Thomcords, etc. A lot of the excitement about grapes has come from the amazing work being done at the Grapery. Their Cotton Candy grapes have made waves across the country. They aren’t the only thing their offering.

Sweet Surrender Grapes

What are Sweet Surrender Grapes?
Sweet Surrender grapes are an early season black grape. They are sweet with a plum like flavor. They may not be as unique as a Witch Finger or a Cotton Candy grape however they are the best tasting black grape I have ever found. That counts for something. They are available from about July 20th through Labor Day.

The Sweet Surrender grape is part of the Grapery’s Flavor Promise Line. Each Flavor Promise bag comes labeled with this commitment “My commitment is to grow and harvest the most delicious, flavorful grapes you’ll ever eat. Let me know what you think.”

Where to Buy Sweet Surrender Grapes in 2014
Below you will find a list of stores that will carry Grapery grapes in 2014. Check stores for availability. You may or may not be able to find each variety at every store. I purchased mine at Hiller’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan for $2.49/lb

Alabama
Publix
Rouses
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Alaska
None

Arizona
AJs
Sprouts
Sam’s Club

Arkansas
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

California
Sam’s Club
Sprouts
Raley’s
Gelson’s
The Fresh Market
Whole Foods
Sequoia Sandwich Shop (Bakersfield, CA)
Sully’s (Bakersfield, CA)

Colorado
King Soopers
Sprouts

Connecticut
Fresh Direct
Nathel & Nathel (Distributor)
The Fresh Market
Whole Foods

Delaware
TMK Produce (Distributor)

Florida
Publix
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Georgia
Sprouts
Publix
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Hawaii
None

Idaho
Yokes Fresh Market
Pacific Coast Fruit Company

Illinois
Schnucks
The Fresh Market
Target
Treasure Island Foods
Hy-Vee
Niemanns

Indiana
Kroger
Schnucks
The Fresh Market

Iowa
Hy-Vee
Niemanns
Schnucks
Sam’s Club

Kansas
The Fresh Market
Sprouts
Hy-Vee
Sam’s Club

Kentucky
The Fresh Market

Louisiana
Rouses
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Maine
None

Maryland
Wegmans
The Fresh Market
Whole Foods
TMK Produce (Distributor)

Massachusetts
Wegmans
The Fresh Market
Whole Foods

Michigan
The Produce Station (Ann Arbor, MI)
Kroger
Hiller’s
Busch’s

Minnesota
Lunds/Byerlys
H Brooks
Hy-Vee
Target

Mississippi
Rouses
Sam’s Club

Missouri
Hy-Vee
Niemanns
Schnucks
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Montana
None

Nebraska
Hy-Vee
Sam’s Club

Nevada
Sprouts
Raley’s

New Hampshire
The Fresh Market

New Jersey
Wegmans
Sonoma Produce
Baldor
The Fresh Market
Nathel & Nathel (Distributor)
TMK Produce (Distributor)

New Mexico
Sprouts
Sam’s Club

New York
Fresh Direct
Nathel & Nathel (Distributor)
Baldor
The Fresh Market
Wegmans
Whole Foods

North Carolina
Publix
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

North Dakota
None

Ohio
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Oklahoma
Sprouts
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Oregon
Roth’s Fresh Markets
Pacific Coast Fruit Company
QFC

Pennsylvania
The Fresh Market
Wegmans
Sonoma Produce
Sam’s Club
TMK Produce (Distributor)

Rhode Island
None

South Carolina
The Fresh Market
Publix

South Dakota
Hy-Vee

Tennessee
The Fresh Market
Publix
Sam’s Club

Texas
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club
Publix
Whole Foods
Green & Fresh
HEB

Utah
Sprouts

Vermont
None

Virginia
The Fresh Market
Wegmans
Sam’s Club
TMK Produce (Distributor)

Washington
Town and Country Markets
Yoke’s Fresh Markets
Pacific Coast Fruit Company
QFC

West Virginia
None

Wisconsin
Schnucks
The Fresh Market
H Brooks

Wyoming
None

What Stores Sold Recalled Peaches? (2014)

in Fruit & Vegetables

Harrow Diamond Peaches

It seems every few months we are hearing about another food recall involving a potential listeria infection. The latest recall is on conventional and organic yellow and white peaches, yellow and white nectarines, plums, and pluots that were packed by Wawona Packing Co from June 1, 2014 through July 12, 2014, quite a wide window. Wawona is one of the large stone fruit packers and you can find their fruit all over the country. This is a mighty big recall.

The good news is that so far no one has been reported sick. Wawona is taking precautionary measures by recalling all of this fruit to hopefully prevent anyone from falling ill. According to a report in the Packer, a produce industry news source, 3 peaches that were exported to Australian tested positive for listeria. The amount was so small that it was not considered a risk to the public. However in the United States there is a zero tolerance policy in place, therefore any listeria in any level is grounds for a recall. A private lab did discover listeria on two peaches and one nectarine.

Value Added Products
Some stores used stone fruit from Wawona to make value added items – cut fruit salads, cakes, pies, tarts, etc. So if you have an item like this from any of the effected stores I will give them a call and see if they may have used Waona’s fruit in any of their value added products.

Here is a list of the stores that I know are affected by this recall. You can also check out this PDF from Wawona that will show you what the stickers look like toward the end of the file.

Whole Foods Market
They sold both organic and conventional stone fruit with the Sweet 2 Eat sticker on them. They also sell other stone fruit distributed by different companies, so not everything is recalled. It is a lot of their organic supply. Hard pressed to find organic peaches and nectarines currently at Whole Foods stores this week.

Kroger
I saw a sign posted at a Kroger store in Ypsilanti, Michigan mentioning the recall and they did sell some fruit with the Sweet 2 Eat labels.

Trader Joe’s
The recall for them includes both looses stone fruit as well as 3 bound boxes that had the Trader Joe’s name on the side but were from Wawona. The boxes look like the one in the photo below:

Honey Fire Nectarines

The Fresh Market
They have a notice up on their webpage. You can return the fruit to them for a full refund.

Other stores that received Wawona Packing Co stone fruit (this is by no means a complete list, just what I was able to find out, will add more if I find more):

Store States
BJ's Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Maine Maryland Massachusetts New Hampshire New Jersey New York North Carolina Ohio Pennsylvania Rhode Island Virginia
Costco Nationwide
Sam's Club Nationwide
Wegmans Food Markets New York Pennsylvania New Jersey Maryland Massachusetts Virginia
Dierbergs Missouri and Illinois
City Market's
King Soopers
Giant Food Stores
Martin's Food Stores
Aldi Nationwide
Hiller's Michigan
Ralphs
Food 4 Less

A Word About Organic
This recall effects both conventional and organic produce. This shows that just because something is organic doesn’t mean that is completely safe from these kinds of problems. When you have a large operation like Wawona runs you are more likely to have these kinds of outbreaks. I personally feel better about buying local from a small farm even if it’s not certified organic.

Where to Buy Witch Finger Grapes in 2014?

in Fruit & Vegetables

Witch Finger Grapes 2014

Ladies and gentlemen – it’s time! All grapes lovers get ready to run to your local store to pick up some of the world’s tastiest and unique grapes, offered by the Grapery – in my opinion the premier grape grower in the country. Their Witch Finger grapes are now beginning to pop up in stores across the country. These grapes are red in color, look like long fingers, and have an amazing crisp bite and flavor. The season runs from July 20th to September 20th. The actual harvest began on July 8th, 2014.

My Journey to Find Witch Finger in 2014
My own personal journey to seek out these grapes in 2014

Here in Michigan I have two potential sources – Kroger and Rocky Produce (which is a distribuitor out of Detroit, Michigan). They supplied the Hiller’s store I bought them at last season. I first checked on Friday, July 18th at Hillers – no grapes – but I did find these cool Saskatoon Berries. Monday, July 21st, I walked out of Kroger with some Salted Caramel Ice Cream and milk, but no grapes yet.

Witch Finger Grapes

Where to Buy Them

This page is your source for where to find these grapes. I will be updating with confirmed locations as the season progresses. I hope I can successfully guide to grape bliss! You will find a basic store listings below and where you see a particular city that is a location that has been confirmed to have them.

Store Listings by State

Alabama
Publix
Rouses
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Alaska
None

Arizona
AJs
Sprouts
Sam’s Club

Arkansas
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

California
Sam’s Club
Sprouts
Raley’s
Gelson’s
The Fresh Market
Whole Foods
Sequoia Sandwich Shop (Bakersfield, CA)
Sully’s (Bakersfield, CA)

Colorado
King Soopers
Sprouts

Connecticut
Fresh Direct
Nathel & Nathel (Distributor)
The Fresh Market
Whole Foods

Delaware
TMK Produce (Distributor)

Florida
Publix
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Georgia
Sprouts
Publix
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Hawaii
None

Idaho
Yokes Fresh Market
Pacific Coast Fruit Company

Illinois
Schnucks
The Fresh Market
Target
Treasure Island Foods
Hy-Vee
Niemanns

Indiana
Kroger
Schnucks
The Fresh Market

Iowa
Hy-Vee
Niemanns
Schnucks
Sam’s Club

Kansas
The Fresh Market
Sprouts
Hy-Vee
Sam’s Club

Kentucky
The Fresh Market

Louisiana
Rouses
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Maine
None

Maryland
Wegmans
The Fresh Market
Whole Foods
TMK Produce (Distributor)

Massachusetts
Wegmans
The Fresh Market
Whole Foods

Michigan
The Produce Station (Ann Arbor, MI)
Kroger

Minnesota
Lunds/Byerlys
H Brooks
Hy-Vee
Target

Mississippi
Rouses
Sam’s Club

Missouri
Hy-Vee
Niemanns
Schnucks
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Montana
None

Nebraska
Hy-Vee
Sam’s Club

Nevada
Sprouts
Raley’s

New Hampshire
The Fresh Market

New Jersey
Wegmans
Sonoma Produce
Baldor
The Fresh Market
Nathel & Nathel (Distributor)
TMK Produce (Distributor)

New Mexico
Sprouts
Sam’s Club

New York
Fresh Direct
Nathel & Nathel (Distributor)
Baldor
The Fresh Market
Wegmans
Whole Foods

North Carolina
Publix
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

North Dakota
None

Ohio
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Oklahoma
Sprouts
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Oregon
Roth’s Fresh Markets
Pacific Coast Fruit Company
QFC

Pennsylvania
The Fresh Market
Wegmans
Sonoma Produce
Sam’s Club
TMK Produce (Distributor)

Rhode Island
None

South Carolina
The Fresh Market
Publix

South Dakota
Hy-Vee

Tennessee
The Fresh Market
Publix
Sam’s Club

Texas
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club
Publix
Whole Foods
Green & Fresh
HEB

Utah
Sprouts

Vermont
None

Virginia
The Fresh Market
Wegmans
Sam’s Club
TMK Produce (Distributor)

Washington
Town and Country Markets
Yoke’s Fresh Markets
Pacific Coast Fruit Company
QFC

West Virginia
None

Wisconsin
Schnucks
The Fresh Market
H Brooks

Wyoming
None

When are Black Raspberries in Season?

in Fruit & Vegetables

When Is Black Raspberry Season

Red raspberries are something that we can find year round. The same cannot be said for their black counterpart. People sometimes get confused. Black raspberries are not blackberries – they are just raspberries that happen to be black. Blackberries don’t have the hollowed out hole at the top. Now that we got the confusion out of the way, finding black raspberries can be a challenge. In order to achieve success you first need to know when they are in season.

Black Raspberry Pint

When are Black Raspberries in Season?
The season for them is generally a short one. Begins in early July and last for 2 to 3 weeks. Black raspberries tend to ripen before most red raspberries varieties expect for the early ripening summer ones.

When is Black Raspberry Season

Where to Buy/Pick Black Raspberries?

Black raspberries can be almost impossible to find in the conventional grocery store. I cannot recall ever seeing them in a store. The only source has been the farmer’s markets, and maybe a specialty produce store. Check your local farmer’s markets during the month of July.

I did a search online and here are some farms that sells black raspberries:

Kansas
Brenda’s Berries & Orchards (Chetopa, KS)
Elderslie Farm (Valley Center, KS)

Michigan
Frank Farms (Berrien Center, MI)
Kapnick Orchards (Britton, MI)
Blue Dog Family Farm (Kalamazoo, MI at the farmer’s market)

Minnesota
Wahlfors Raspberry Farm (Long Lake, MN)

Missouri
Lakeview Farms (St. Peters, MO)

Illinois
Riverfront Berry Farm (Martinton, IL)

Iowa
Edge of the Woods Raspberry Farm (Indianola, IA)
Heartland Farms (Waterloo, IA)

Ohio
Mitchell’s Berries (Plain City, OH)
Pullins Raspberries (Haskins, OH)

Oregon
Sturm’s Berry Farm (Corbett, OR)
Decker Farms (Hillsboro, OR)

Pennsylvania
Shenk’s Berry Farm (Lititz, PA)

Virginia
Great Country Farms (Bluemont, VA)

What About Wild Black Raspberries and How to Pick Them?
The wild varieties have the same season. I have tons of them growing alongside the forest line. I have been taking the kids out there to pick about a pint a day over the last week or so. If you have wild ones growing in your yard expect them to be ready to pick in the first half of July give or take depending on your location. You will know when they are ready when they have completely turned black in which the berries will just put right off the plants without much effort.

Where Can I Buy Black Raspberries Plants?
Can’t find them anywhere? Why not grow them yourself. I recommend buying them from Stark Bros in the spring time, this is the best time of year for planting berries.

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