Market Update: Gooseberries, Currants, and Tomatoes


It’s berry time. By the end of this month, if you’re lucky, your hands will be wonderfully mottled with red, black, and blue berry juices. Native strawberries are on their way out, but the Québecois are still turning out some native-style strawberries up North. Tart crimson currants and fuzzy fat gooseberries are coming in strong in the novelty section. Native raspberries and blackberries from Ward’s are so perfect right now that if you were picking them yourself in the wild you’d be fighting the black bears for each flavorful morsel. Firm and flavorful golden Rainier cherries also just made the long journey to us from Washington State, and we’re glad they came out East for a visit. Clafoutis, anyone?

Tomatoes. Grand. Petit. Purple. Red. Stripey. Gold. All sorts coming in from sunny Cali, where the conditions are oh-so-perfect at the moment for growing boisterous tomatoes. Natives are soon to come – a couple more weeks of basking in the warm sunshine should help them along. We’re expecting the next shipment of to-mah-toes in from the West Coast on Tuesday, so try to contain yourselves until then. The wait will be worth it.

Keep your peepers open for a new post coming next week about our southern MA-raised, dry-aged beef  from our friend Charlie that would be fantastic on the grill with some Maine wood chips. Smoky. Tender. Meat. Enough said.

market update

  • Fresh Imported Chanterelles
  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Jumbo Squash Blossoms
  • Wild Oregon Pousse-Pied
  • Baby Artichokes
  • Spring Onions with tops
  • Fresh Garbanzo Beans
  • Red Watercress
  • California Peaches/White Peaches
  • California Nectarines
  • California Plums & Pluots
  • Washington Apricots
  • Washington Bing Cherries
  • Golden Rainier Cherries
  • Black Mission Figs
  • Yellow Watermelons
  • Oregon Rhubarb
  • Champagne Grapes
  • Medjool Dates
  • Imported Meyer Lemons

Frog Hollow Farm – Brentwood, CA

  • Elegant Lady Yellow Peaches
  • Summer Flare Yellow Nectarines
  • Flavor King Pluots
  • Dapple Dandy Pluots

Fitz Kelly Farm – Reedley, CA

  • Lost Angels Yellow Peaches
  • Virgin Blush White Peaches
  • Green Goddess Plums

Riverdog Organic Farm – Guinda, CA

  • Mixed Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Full-Pint Mixed Medley Tomatoes

Ward’s Farm – Sharon, MA

  • Native Raspberries 
  • Native Black Raspberries
  • Red Currants
  • Red Gooseberries
  • Baby Red/Gold/Candy Beets
  • Fava Beans
  • English Peas
  • Sugarsnap Peas
  • Green/Yellow Wax Beans
  • Green/Yellow Romano Beans
  • French Breakfast Radishes

Equinox Farm – Sheffield, MA

  • Native Mesclun

Taste of the North – Québec

  • Native-style Strawberries

Farm Girl Farm – Great Barrington, MA

  • Garlic Scapes
By Specialty Administrator

The Family behind our Local Maine Grilling Woods

The Theobald family is the bomb.

When you read the interview below, you’ll see why. They’re the people behind our grilling woods from Maine, and they’re doing right by their customers, community, and the environment. We recently spoke with Ken Theobald (the founder), and got some more info on the company.

SFB: What made you decide to go into the grilling woods business?

Ken: Just over 10 years ago, my wife and I found a building lot we were interested in buying because we were going to downsize our farmstead in Brooks, Maine. Unfortunately, the lot had over 200 non-producing apple trees on it. After some thought, we decided that we would start a small business using the apple trees for grilling woods. Once we began this, orders came in for other species, so our business grew and we now offer other varieties (all indigenous to Maine) as well.

We happen to be in the perfect climate for grilling woods.

SFB: It appears that you run the business in a sustainable manner that supports the local economy. Is it more difficult to do so, and if so, what drives you to continue this practice?

Ken: We do conduct our business in a sustainable manner that supports the local economy. Since our wood must be freshly cut, dirt free, and pleasing to the eye in order to be of the best quality for our clients, it is necessary that local farmstead and woodlot owners harvest the wood by hand. This is the only way in which we can achieve the quality our customers demand. We pay our local woodcutters a premium for their special handling, and in turn support the local economy.

SFB: What is the most satisfying part about what you do?

Ken: My satisfaction comes on two fronts. First of all, I love seeing local families bringing in wood to augment their family income. Just the other day, I complimented one of our local suppliers on the quality of his wood. His comment to me was, “if it was not for you buying our wood over this last winter, I don’t think our family could have made it!” If that does not give you goose bumps, nothing will. Secondly, it is incredibly satisfying to hear the compliments our customers are receiving from family and friends when they use our grilling woods. Every homemaker, chef, or backyard griller loves hearing that their food was delicious, and we like playing a part in that.

SFB: Why choose your product over others?

Ken: Other than the points I have already mentioned, we happen to be in the perfect climate for grilling woods. Maine has a very short growing season, which means the density of our wood is much greater than the southern varieties. Density translates into a much more favorable smoke. Where there is smoke, there is flavor.

Photo by mtneer_man via Flickr
By Specialty Administrator