In-Store Seasonal Produce:
- Acorn Squash
- Apples (Cortland, Empire, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Winesap)
- Baby D’Avignon Radishes
- Butternut Squash
- Mesclun Mix
- Mushrooms (Portobello, Crimini, Shiitake)
- Red & Yellow Onions
- Red Bliss Potatoes
- Russet Potatoes
- Sweet Potatoes
- Swiss Chard
- Yellow Squash
- Indian Corn
- Corn Stalks
The Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), is a bird in the pheasant family (Phasianidae). It is native to Asia and has been widely introduced elsewhere as a game bird. In parts of its range, namely in places where none of its relatives occur such as in Europe (where it is naturalized), it is simply known as the “pheasant”. It is a well-known gamebird, among those of more than regional importance perhaps the most widespread and ancient one in the whole world.
The Common Pheasant is one of the world’s most hunted birds; it has been introduced for that purpose to many regions, and is also common on game farms where it is commercially bred. Ring-necked Pheasants in particular are commonly bred and were introduced to many parts of the world; the game farm stock, though no distinct breeds have been developed yet, can be considered semi-domesticated. The Ring-necked Pheasant is the state bird of South Dakota, one of only three US state birds that is not a species native to the United States.
Common Pheasants are native to Asia, their original range extending from between the Black and Caspian Seas to Manchuria, Siberia, Korea, Mainland China and Taiwan. The birds are found in woodland, farmland, scrub and wetlands. In its natural habitat the Common Pheasant lives in grassland near water with small copses of trees. Extensively cleared farmland is marginal habitat that cannot maintain self-sustaining populations for long. While Common Pheasants are able short-distance fliers, they prefer to run. If startled however, they can suddenly burst upwards at great speed, with a distinctive “whirring” wing sound and often giving “kok kok kok” calls to alert conspecifics. Their flight speed is only 43-61 kilometres per hour (27 to 38 mph) when cruising but when chased they can fly up to 90 kilometres per hour (60 mph). Common Pheasants feed solely on the ground but roost in sheltered trees at night. They eat a wide variety of animal and vegetable type-food, like fruit, seeds and leaves as well as a wide range of invertebrates, with small vertebrates like snakes, lizards, small mammals and birds occasionally taken.
It’s Almost Halloween!
Halloween (also spelled Hallowe’en) is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holy day of All Saints. Halloween has origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced sow-in or sau-an), which is derived from Old Irish and means roughly “summer’s end”. A similar festival was held by the ancient Britons and is known as Calan Gaeaf (pronounced kalan-geyf). The festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the “lighter half” of the year and beginning of the “darker half”, and is sometimes regarded as the “Celtic New Year”.
The celebration has some elements of a festival of the dead. The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family’s ancestors were honored and invited home whilst harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces. Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores.
The Origin of Jack-o’-lantern:
The name jack-o’-lantern can be traced back to the Irish legend of Stingy Jack, a greedy, gambling, hard-drinking old farmer. He tricked the devil into climbing a tree and trapped him by carving a cross into the tree trunk. In revenge, the devil placed a curse on Jack, condemning him to forever wander the earth at night with the only light he had: a candle inside of a hollowed turnip. The carving of pumpkins is associated with Halloween in North America where pumpkins are both readily available and much larger- making them easier to carve than turnips. Many families that celebrate Halloween carve a pumpkin into a frightening or comical face and place it on their doorstep after dark. The American tradition of carving pumpkins preceded the Great Famine period of Irish immigration and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 1800s.Because the holiday comes in the wake of the annual apple harvest, candy apples (known as toffee apples outside North America), caramel or taffy apples are a common Halloween treat made by rolling whole apples in a sticky sugar syrup, sometimes followed by rolling them in nuts.