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Recent Farmers' Market Newsletters
Winter squash is a wonderfully colorful and delicious vegetable, versatile in the kitchen and stores well enough to use as fall decorations on your front porch or tabletop for a month or two. They come in an amazing array of colors, shapes, sizes, and varieties, many of which are available at your local farmers' market. Big butternut squash, banana squash, acorn squash, and spaghetti squash are familiar, but expand your taste buds and try a kabocha, delicata, or a sweet dumpling squash. They're all fantastic! Read about the different varieties here.
Grapes came to California with the Spanish padres in the 1700s and, as settlers continued to arrive from Europe, other Old World grape varieties came, mostly as wine grapes. Table grapes became popular during the Gold Rush and fed the gold miners fresh fruit. In the United States, 99% of commercially grown table grapes are from California!
Fresh table grapes come in three basic colors: green (sometimes called white), red, and blue-black. More than 50 kinds of table grapes are currently in production. Each variety has a distinct color, taste, texture and history. Find out more about grapes here.
There's nothing better than sitting down to sweet summer corn on the cob, hot off the grill. Sweet corn is a real treat that's hard to top for flavor, freshness, and just plain delicious summer fun.
Unlike field corn varieties, which are harvested when the kernels are dry and mature (dent stage), sweet corn is picked when immature (milk stage) and prepared and eaten as a vegetable, rather than a grain. You’ll find white, yellow, and bi-color sweet corn at the farmers’ markets right now and it will be available through most of October. More here....
Among all the wonderful summer produce that's out there now (corn, summer squash, tomatoes, stone fruit, peppers) are sweet little berries. Berries are the super food of the fruit world with loads of nutritional power and great taste, all in tasty little packages. California has the best micro climates for growing berries. The coastal, inland, and mountain climates are all growing regions for different varieties of berries. You won't find better at your local farmers' market. Read more about berries in this series.
Stone Fruit Season
Cherries, peaches, and nectarines started arriving very early this season. The drought has affected quantity but not the quality of cherries thus far. Light yields are expected and the season may be shorter than usual. Many farmers have had their water cut off, and those using well water are using it sparingly. Find out more about this year's cherry crop and what some of our farmers are going through in a special interview by PCFMA's Sarah Trent.
Crazy for Cherries
Fresh sweet cherries have come to the farmers' market. Burlats, Bings, Brooks, and other cherries will arrive. The season is very short, usually May to the end of June. California is home to over 600 cherry growers, farming over 26,000 acres from the fertile San Joaquin and Santa Clara valleys which have nutrient-rich soil, sunny days and mild nights. Can and preserve cherry jam, freeze pitted cherries for later use, or make a cherry pie. Get some now because these beauties are here for only a short time. Enjoy them while you can!
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