Despite unusually cold and dry weather in parts of Queensland, we have a good variety of fruit at the Brisbane Produce Market this week.

Strawberries and blueberries show no sign of slowing down, with large volumes of excellent quality berries available. Apples of all varieties are plentiful — cool nights are calling out for a classic apple crumble (for an extra twist, add some of the gorgeous rhubarb from Mount Tamborine).

We’re seeing some solid grape supplies arriving from Emerald, along with pineapples from the Sunshine Coast and north Queensland. Pawpaws and lemons are both good quality and abundant.

Rockmelon and mandarins are eating well — look for red Imperials from down south and Honey Murcott from Gayndah. Mango supplies from the Northern Territory are increasing and this trajectory will only continue as the season progresses.

While the peak season for pears and Navel oranges is coming to an end, they’re still widely available. Custard apples are finished for the year, while passionfruit, raspberries and lime supplies are short. Banana supplies up north are running low, but this shouldn’t last for too long.

In vegetables, Australian asparagus is in season and the quality is fantastic — try it lightly grilled topped with lemon juice, olive oil, parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

Beans, broccoli, okra, spinach, lettuce and cabbage are all well supplied. Coriander and corn are more available than before and value should improve accordingly.

Fennel is at its peak — look for a firm, plump bulb with smooth stalks and fresh, feathery fronds on top. You can store fennel in the crisper in the fridge for up to a week.

The lack of water is having an impact on silver beet and shallot supplies, while capsicum, Lebanese cucumber and eggplant are also short. The Brussels sprouts season has nearly finished.

This week’s top pick is rockmelon, which is in excellent supply from north Queensland. Select unblemished fruit with a sweet smell and store at room temperature until cut. When buying pre-cut rockmelon, make sure it has been refrigerated. Once cut, wrap and store in the fridge for up to a week. If chilled, cut rockmelon retains its nutrients for six days. For a quick after-school snack, process rockmelon, strawberries, honey and ice cubes until smooth.

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 Ruben Mesa, Communications and Programs Manager, Brismark on 07 3915 4311 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.

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