Produce Tips & Facts

Produce Tips & Facts are generally included each week on our Facebook Page. Here is a list of some of those posts (perhaps with some added information) and to stay up to date like us on Facebook!


Weekly Produce Tips & Facts: Pineapple

- The pineapple—fierce on the outside, sweet on the inside—was given its English name for its resemblance to a pine cone.
- Christopher Columbus brought this native of South America back to Europe as one of the exotic prizes of the New World.
- Select a pineapple that is plump and fresh-looking. The leaves in the crown should be fresh and green, and the body of the pineapple firm. A pineapple can be ripe and ready to eat on the inside even with a green shell colour.
- Pineapples don't ripen any further once they're picked, so you can enjoy their delicious flavour right away.
- In Hawaii, pineapple is grown year-round and most of the work is done by hand. A skilled planter can plant more than 10,000 pineapple crowns a day—nearly half an acre!
- Cut the top off a pineapple and turn it upside down for a day to let the juices flow through the whole pineapple. Maybe a tale rather than a fact, but try it and see.
Enjoy this fresh fruit in store today!







Produce Tips and Facts: Pumpkins.

Whether it's for Thanksgiving or Halloween we have locally grown pumpkins in store for the occasion. And here's some interesting tips and facts about pumpkins!

1. The word "pumpkin" showed up for the first time in the fairy tale Cinderella. A French explorer in 1584 first called them "gros melons," which means large melon in Latin. It wasn't until the 17th century that they were first referred to as pumpkins.

2. The heaviest pumpkin recorded weighed 911.27 kg (2,009 lb) when it was presented by Ron Wallace (USA) at the New England Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off at Topsfield Fair in Topsfield, Massachusetts, USA, on 28 September 2012.

3. Each pumpkin has about 500 seeds and they take between 90 and 120 days to grow. The flowers that grow on pumpkin vines are also edible.

4. Pumpkins are 90% water and that makes them low calorie. One cup of canned pumpkin only has 83 calories and only half a gram of fat. In comparison, the same serving size of sweet potato has triple the calories. They have more fibre than kale, more potassium than bananas, and are full of heart-healthy magnesium and iron. 

5. When a female blossom opens, it is only for one day, and depending upon the weather, it may only be open for a few hours. If a bee or other insect does not transfer pollen from the male to the female, it will fall off and die as it was not fertilized. Don't be alarmed if your plant starts to blossom and they are all simply falling off. The first blossoms are almost always male. You can tell a male from a female blossom by the shape of the base where the stem attaches to the blossom. If it is straight it is a male. If it has a small bulb at the base it is a female. The early male blossoms have pollen that attracts bees, which helps to establish a pattern for the bees to find your pumpkin patch.

6. When you bring your pumpkin home from a farm or store, display it out of the direct sun. This will prolong its colour and its quality. It also should be displayed in an area where it is protected from frost. If you display it out in the open, and the temperatures are only a few degrees below freezing, a towel or blanket placed over it at night will do the trick. It is okay to display pumpkins and squash that you will cook in a few weeks indoors. Inside a home is too warm for long-term storage. You should never place a pumpkin directly on a wooden table top or on the carpet. It can soften on the blossom end and weep pumpkin juice. Even if it doesn't weep, the moisture in the shell can damage wooden surfaces. A hard non-porous surface can cause your pumpkin to age prematurely. Ideally put a cloth or a circle of cardboard between your pumpkin and the surface you are displaying it on. A fabric place-mat with a plastic place-mat placed discreetly underneath works well.