Summer Seasonal Produce
by Margie McCavitt Happy Summer!
Hope everyone is enjoying locally grown, fresh, seasonal produce this summer! Some of the expected fresh produce available now at the Farmer’s Market includes:
Summer squash: Summer squash is a good source of nutrients such as niacin, magnesium and Vitamins A & C. Enjoy one or all of the four different types of summer squash. They are:
- Patty pan: Saucer-shaped fruits with scalloped edges. Available in yellow, green or white colors. They are most tender when picked small around 2”-3”.
- Yellow crookneck squash: Bumpy, with yellow skin and sweet fleshed.
- Yellow straightneck squash: Mildly sweet and watery flesh. Thin tender skins can be left on the fruit for many types of recipes.
- Zucchini: Can be dark or light green or golden with a deep yellow or orange color.
Generally, for best flavor and tenderness, summer squash is best when picked small around 4 to 7 inches long.
Cucumbers: Cucumbers are low in calories; they have no fat, no cholesterol and are high in Vitamin K. They are a good source of potassium. Also, they contain Anti-Oxidants: B-carotene, a-carotene & Vitamins A & C. There are three main varieties of cucumbers; slicing, pickling and burpless.
- Slicing or slicers: are grown to be eaten fresh. On our farm, two popular varieties we grow are Armenian and lemon cucumbers. Armenian fruit is most flavorful when it is 12-15 inches long. The skin is very thin, light green, and bumpless. It has no bitterness and the fruit is almost always used without peeling. Lemon cucumbers are called lemon cucumbers not because of the taste but because they are about the size of a lemon. They can be eaten when fully mature and yellow or when young and green.
- Pickling cucumbers can be pickled for flavor and longer shelf-life. Compared to slicers, picklers tend to be shorter, thicker, less regularly shaped, and have bumpy skin with tiny white or black-dotted spines. They are never waxed.
- Burpless or English cucumbers are sweeter and have a thinner skin than other varieties of cucumbers, and are reputed to be easy to digest and to have a pleasant taste. They can grow as long as 2 feet. They are sometimes marketed as seedless or burpless. Several varieties of English cucumbers are available; Armenian, Persian and East Asian are just a few.
Tomatoes: Red tomatoes contain the chemical Lycopene which fights cancer. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A. Hope you are finding delicious, ripe tomatoes to enjoy. As of July 23, the only tastes of ripe tomatoes we have been fortunate to relish from our garden are Sungold cherry tomatoes. Yummy! They are sweet and flavorful. Our big heirloom tomatoes are still green, but are growing nicely. It’s exciting to start every morning to see if there is a change in color. Hopefully next week we will see red, pink, yellow white and black tomatoes ready to be harvested. We can’t wait!
Also local and in season are: beets, basil, onions, eggplant, watermelons, potatoes, peaches and plums.