Locally grown fruit leads the way this week with excellent quality rockmelons and watermelons from Far North Queensland providing top value. Queensland-grown pineapples, bananas, red papaya and limes are also great buys.

White and yellow peaches and nectarine are gradually increasing in volume as supplies arrive from growing regions across Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. The value will only continue to improve in coming weeks. Plum varieties like Blood and Black Diamond are also starting to make an appearance.

Pears and blueberries continue their strong run, while strawberry supplies from Stanthorpe are set to significantly increase. Less common in Australia, boysenberries are currently in supply from Victoria and add a burst of colour and flavour to summer puddings, ice-cream, pies, mixed berry compotes, or everyone’s summer favorite — pavlova.

Hass avocados, lemons, Valencia oranges and mangoes are all in good supply. Cherry and lychee supplies are limited but should improve as soon as next week. Passionfruit are short.

Celery, spring onions, chilies, sweet potato, silverbeet, eggplant, pumpkin, cucumber, red cabbage, beans and asparagus are well supplied at the moment.

Salads are looking lush with great supplies of salad leaves, rocket, iceberg and cos lettuce, baby spinach and tomatoes. We’ve also got plenty of locally grown basil and thyme, while Victoria is providing good supplies of most other varieties.

Make the most of the rainbow of capsicums on the shelves at the moment with colourful pasta salads, stir-fries or a classic Italian peperonata — sauté garlic and onion in olive oil, add sliced capsicum, oregano, basil and tomato passata and cook for up to an hour.

Cauliflower is short and supplies of wombok have been affected by the heat.

This week’s top pick is one of our summer favourites, watermelon. Look for fruit that feels heavy for its size and has a vibrant colour. Store watermelons in the fridge once ripe. To test for ripeness, whole watermelons will have a creamy yellow splotch and should sound hollow when tapped. Surprisingly versatile, watermelons are great performers in both sweet and more savory salads — try it in a Greek-style combo with feta, olives, red onion, cucumber and salad leaves.

You can buy the best of what the season has to offer at your nearest ‘Your Local Fruit Shop’. Locate your closest store at www.abetterchoice.com.au/store-locator/ Check out the Your Local Fruit Shop Facebook page for the latest news from your local fresh produce experts at https://www.facebook.com/yourlocalfruitshop.

For further information, please contact Angela Hird, Business Innovation Manager, Brismark on 07 3915 4226 or via email [email protected]

About Your Local Fruit Shop / A Better Choice

Your Local Fruit Shop owners are hardworking, local family business people, who are passionate about providing fresh quality fruit and vegetables, excellent customer service and are experts in their field. ‘The A Better Choice’ program is a national initiative supporting over 500 independent retailers and wholesalers across the country who supply more than half of Australia’s fresh produce each year. Buying local is giving back – lending a hand to the young family who runs your local fruit store or supporting a third-generation farmer to get back on their feet.