Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Garden Produce Coming

We're about halfway through the summer and around here, fresh sweet corn usually hits the farmer's market around the 4th of July.  If you like fresh sweet corn, try to find some that has both yellow and white kernels.  There are several names or brands for this type of sweet corn, but I just call it "Candy Corn".  It is the best sweet corn I've eaten in my life.  The cookbook coming out has a recipe on how to cook sweet corn in small quantities.  It is quick and the sweet corn tastes as good as any other way you can cook it.

If you have a garden, it has probably already produced some vegetables for you.  Of course it depends on what you plant.  We don't usually plant any early vegetables, so it is late July before we start harvesting any product.  Our main crops are tomatoes and peppers.  We plant a variety of both items but not a large quantity.

In fact, we have some good friends that plant the large quantity of these items.  Howard and I have gotten into making salsa the last few years.  Each year the amount of salsa has increased.  This past summer, it was around 60 to 70 quarts and this year will be much more.  I believe that between us, we have a little over 40 tomato plants.  We also have quite a few pepper plants.  Mainly they are green peppers and jalapeno peppers.  Although this year we are trying to grow a new one.  It is called the Ho Chi Minh pepper and it is HOT.  It has the same heat as a Habanero pepper on the Scoville Scale.  The difference is the Habanero has a quick burn and it is all in your mouth or on your lips.  The Ho Chi Minh has a delayed heat and it makes your whole body warm from the inside out.  So this year Howard and I will make our medium salsa and then make a new hot variety with our new yellow HCM peppers.

Sorry for getting carried away there.  I'm going to guess that many of you don't have a garden.  It is something you might want to consider some day.  Just remember to start out small and try only a few items you really like in the garden.  You can always expand it or find friends for a community garden.  Give it a try next year.

So under that assumption, let's talk about farmer's markets.  I don't know it for a fact but almost every town has some kind of farmer's market.  If you have not been to one, find one.  They are great with usually more variety then you can imagine.  At this time of the year, you really need to take advantage of all the fresh food products you can find at these markets.  The prices are comparable to the stores you shop at for your groceries.  One of the neat side benefits of buying at these markets is you are helping your local economy and keeping neighbors in business.

In many towns the markets only operate on Saturday mornings.  You can find them that are open one day a week to six day and everything in between.  Get out and support them in your community.  It really is a fun adventure so take a friend or two.

I'll continue tomorrow with freezing vegetables.

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