October sits in a transitional season. Towards the end of the month, many Northern growers finish up and the Southern growers really kick-off. When it comes to fruit and veg, there should be plenty around, however, many growers are struggling to find seasonal workers to help with harvest time which could have an impact on the availability and pricing of your fresh organic produce.
The tropical fruits have started to put in an early Spring appearance. Northern Territory Mangoes are here, plus Papaya, Melons and Bananas usually accelerate with the warmer conditions. Quantities should rise and prices should fall. Apples will be with us until the new season kicks off, but expect the range and the quality to diminish. Pears have well and truly finished for the year, but they will come back in early January.
Queensland Strawberries are plentiful at the start of the month but traditionally shorten towards the end of the month when the Southern growers kick off their season, so grab some while you can!
Oranges will start to transition from Navels to Valencias. Limes will be almost non-existent, and Lemons will shorten up as they do every year around this time. Pineapples will be more available as will Watermelon. We may see the first Plums at the end of the month. Blueberries will be available right through October, and Cherries will come on in late October or early November.
Avocado growers have had a bumper season and there is a glut of Hass Avocadoes with prices at record lows. We expect it will stay that way through October.
Tomatoes have been very short this year. The Bundaberg region had weather and staffing issues, so the market has been undersupplied for most of the Queensland season. Thankfully, Southern growers will start mid to late October, with regions like western Victoria and South Australia supplying into the market. That said, we expect Tomatoes to be short for most of this summer. The supply of Cherry Tomatoes and Mini Romas is better, but still not enough to fill the gap in Tomato supply.
The warmer weather is all about salads and there is certainly no shortage of supply. Multiple regions in multiple states are supplying salad lines at the moment; with both excellent quality and pricing.
This year we have seen shortages in Celery and Rocket. Rocket shortages are due to weather-related cold and wet conditions in the Southern states. Celery shortages are due to a large South Australian grower stepping out of the market this year.
Asparagus, Beans, Broccoli are all in good supply. Carrots, Fennel and Onions are staples in October as well.
Jap or Kent Pumpkin is oversupplied, so quality is high and prices are at record lows. Sweet Corn, Squash and Zucchini are coming out of several regions, so supply should stay steady right through to Christmas.
Cabbages may shorten up towards the end of the month. Expect the “summer cabbages” that are available to be smaller and less dense. Cauliflower and Celery supply will also tighten as the weather heats up. Sweet Potato and Potatoes can get scarce and expensive coming into summer, though there are more growers planting to deal with this.
Enjoy October and remember to eat all of your colours.
The Team at United Organics