Cooler weather hits growing times

THE cool weather in the harvest regions is slowing the growth of fruit and vegetables but plenty of quality fresh produce continues to arrive at the Brisbane Produce Market, even if it is a tad higher in price.

Expect to pay top dollar for beans and celery, which is the most expensive it has been all year.

You will pay firm prices for top quality Asian vegetables, imported asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, fennel, leeks, parsnips, snow peas, silverbeet, squash, sweet corn, zucchini, mushrooms, onions and pumpkin.

Broccoli is still firmly priced but is picking up in supply volumes, indicating it will soon become more affordable.

You can find bargain beetroot, brussels sprouts, capsicum, sweet tasting carrot, onions and sweet potatoes.

For salad lovers, avocados and most mixed leaf salads are reasonably priced, with the exception of bags of rocket and baby spinach that are harder to find and more costly.

Be prepared to pay top dollar for herbs.

All quality tomato varieties, lettuce, cucumbers and eshallots are firmly priced.

In the fruit aisle, you can easily hunt out some bargain bananas, limes, cara cara oranges, plentiful New Zealand grown kiwifruit, honeydew, passionfruit and pawpaw.

A wide variety of sweet mandarins are also on the shelves, including the last of the imperials and new season hickson, taylor lee and empress along with their juicy cousin, the tangelo, a fruit hybrid of tangerine and grapefruit.

Pears are in the firmly priced to expensive range, depending on their variety.

Lemons are also expensive.

Keep a look out for firmly priced but quality apples, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, rockmelon, watermelon, pineapples and US grown cherries, peaches, nectarines and juicy plums.

You are still in time to taste some sensational fruits in season including custard apples, pomegranate, starfruit (carambola), soursop, cumquats, dragon fruit (pitaya), rambutan, black sapote (chocolate pudding fruit), chestnuts, rosellas, ruby grapefruit and the dellcious nashi pears.

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