For the past week, many people have stopped in asking where our produce is. It's hard to explain to people that we have growing seasons, when the grocery stores have produce available year round. Fruit trees do not produce in our winter months, our vegetables are started from seed and need to be started in growing flats in a greenhouse this time of year in order to grow and thrive. At Thistledown, we have 10 greenhouses, and we use those to grow flowers, hanging baskets, and of course, vegetable starts for the fields!
Fruit and vegetables naturally grow in cycles, and ripen during a certain season each year. When they are ripe, they are at their best nutritionally and taste- wise. Peaches, for example, are ripe and juicy in July in Oregon; so peaches are ‘in season’ in July. Asparagus starts popping up in fields in the spring, tomatoes and peppers ripen in late summer, winter squash and pumpkins in the autumn, and cabbages and root vegetables reach their best in the winter months. If you eat ‘seasonally’, you are eating fruit and vegetables during the time of year they are naturally at their best.
Modern technology means we can buy things like strawberries and apples in supermarkets all year round, but that’s because they are either being grown in greenhouses, or flown in from warmer countries where they are picked before they are ripe and can fully develop their flavors.
Where can you buy seasonal food? At Thistledown! We have over 600 acres planted in produce for Lane County and surrounding areas. Our produce ripens as it comes into season for our climate, so make sure you check our website for some highlights of our growing season.
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