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tomflee

ELIZABETH CITY, NC — When one thinks of North Carolina agriculture, one thinks of sweet potatoes — and that's understandable since the state leads the nation in production of that crop. But North Carolina has much more going on than that, especially in the summer time. The Tarheel State ranks third in the nation in overall agricultural production, behind only California and Florida.

Watermelon, corn, greens, berries, cantaloupe and fresh summer potatoes are all part of the NC ag picture.

The Produce News caught up with Tommy Fleetwood from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture for an update.

Look for an update on the South Carolina summer deal later this week.

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CHICAGO — Looking for a quick, fresh, healthy meal option for the weekend? We caught up with NatureSweet staff home economist Ali Mendez at United Fresh, who whipped up this garlicky tomato pasta treat in a matter of minutes.

Try it yourself or share this with whoever's doing the cooking — you'll save some precious weekend time and still eat well.

maie

Farm Star Living Founder Mary Blackmon took to the floor at United Fresh and dazzled exhibitors with the Grab Bag. In the second installment, Blackmon meets up with Cindy Elrod of Peri & Sons, Joan Wickham of Sunkist, Jason Fuller of Sun World and Bert Mucci of Mucci Farms.

CHICAGO — Two decades ago, summer citrus wasn't much of a factor in U.S. produce departments. Since then, new import programs from around the globe have filled gaps in the schedule, none more notably than the ever-growing summer citrus from South Africa deal.

Now in its 17th season, Summer Citrus from South Africa operates as a remarkable cooperative effort by four main importers — AMC, Capespan, DNE World Fruit Sales and Seald Sweet — representing more than 350 South African growers.

We caught up with South African growers and industry representatives at United Fresh, held here at McCormick Place June 20-24, just hours before the first shipment of summer Navels arrived in Philadelphia for distribution to U.S. markets starting this week.

Clementines began arriving in mid-May and will run through late July, according to Seald Sweet International Sales Director Stu Monaghan. “They will be immediately followed by late-season mandarins, such as Clemengolds, which will run through late September. Navels will run through mid-September. Midnights will begin mid-September and will be in our market through mid-October.”

kiley

CHICAGO — They came, they saw, they conquered — and they moved a whole lot of produce. Chefs, champagne and food galore lured attendees to booths at United Fresh 2016, held here at McCormick Place June 20-24.

We've distilled two solid days of non-stop action on the show floor in our United Fresh video series — and while we're wrapping up the action from the floor with this video, there's still more to come as we get up close and personal with some standouts from the show in coming days.