It’s a beautiful day for a picnic, so why not go ahead and have one? A peanut butter and jelly sandwich under a shady oak can be a picnic, but picnics can be as delicious as they are fun! For great impromptu picnic food with flare, bring your cooler to Newcastle Produce and let us help you put together a memorable meal.
Sandwiches are always popular for picnics. Pick from our large selection of meats, cheeses, veggies and condiments and we will make your sandwiches to order and wrap them up ready to travel. (Go to our website to order ahead and they’ll be ready when you get here.)
Pack a knife in your cooler and a great meal can be made from a nice loaf of chewy “The Baker and the Cakemaker” artisan bread and a couple of interesting cheeses. Have you tried the mild Bellwether Farms Carmody paired with sliced vine-ripe tomatoes on Campagne or Mt. Tam and sliced apples on Kalamata Olive Bread? Add some prosciutto or salami and tree-ripe, local peaches and your picnic is ready.
Gourmet sides can also add flare to your meal. Add some crunch with Sonoma Brinery Outrageous Bread & Butter Pickles, or add some spice with some Jalapeño Onion Strips from Preservation and Company. Then check out the NP deli to see what sumptuous seasonal salads were made today and put a few on ice in your cooler for safe transport. Don’t forget to grab some forks and napkins!
Our local craft breweries have stocked us with some awesome brews to go with your picnic. Try Loomis Basin’s crisp, new Buxom Blonde Pilsner, Farmhouse French Saison from New Glory in Sacramento, or one of many other local favorites. Also new and worth checking out are Lagunitas Day Time Ale with only 4.65% alcohol; Stone’s Ruination Double IPA, 24 Carrot Golden Ale (carrot-cake inspired), and dark, decadent Smoked Porter; Breakside’s IPA; and Sprecher’s Hard Apple Pie.
And always make room for dessert! Local chocolatier Raffine Artisan Chocolates of Newcastle, local linocut artist Laura Thompson, 49er Printing of Auburn, and Newcastle Produce have collaborated to bring you our decadent Raspberry Dark Chocolate Bar, perfect for nibbling and savoring, one luscious bite at a time.
Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch…
Anyone who’s ever worked on a farm can tell you—it takes a lot of effort to produce a good harvest! Planting, weeding, watering, fertilizing, and countless other tasks must all be properly executed at the proper time and in the proper order. Whew! It makes me tired just thinking about it all!
On Twin Brooks Farm, Newcastle Produce’s own farm in Loomis, summer is the busiest season of all. By the time June rolls around, it’s time to harvest onions and potatoes. A large crop of sweet Red Burger, Torpedo, Walla Walla, and Placer Sweet Onions is ready to adorn countless burgers, sandwiches and salads. We use our own sweet Twin Brooks Farm onions in the NP deli all summer.
This season’s potato harvest will include flavorful, buttery German Butterball; firm Russian Banana Fingerlings, perfect for roasting; and Yukon Gold, a chef’s favorite.
The first plantings of squash and cucumbers are producing steadily; green beans, Italian beans, yellow beans and pink eyed peas are starting to bloom; we are harvesting carrots and beets; and our beautiful spring greens are gasping in the heat. The eggplant are growing rapidly, the basil is about ready, we’ve picked a few early cherry tomatoes, and our fingers are crossed for the first slicing tomatoes to ripen by mid June. Look for Early Girls, Big Beef, Carolina Gold, and Uncle Raymond (our own heirloom red slicer). We also have melons, other heirloom tomatoes and lots and lots of peppers planted for later in the season.
This all spells “WORK”! And if this isn’t enough, we’re always thinking ahead to the next season. We’ll need to plant seeds for broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and romanesco in July, so now’s the time to decide on varieties, where and how much to plant, and order seeds.
Have you met Travis? Travis Emerson has joined the Newcastle Produce team this summer at Twin Brooks Farm. A young man with a passion for farming, you’ll find him at our farmers’ market booth. On the farm he’s experimenting with some new crops and new ways of growing, and he’s learning what it takes to produce the harvests we need for the store and our farmers’ market sales. Be sure to stop by and say “Hi!”