Here we’re edging into summer and Farmers’ Markets abound! Every time I visit my local Farmer’s Market, I find the most colorful displays of vegetables and a bounty of great homemade breads and other baked goods from local vendors. Even though you may not reside in or near an agricultural community, here is some basic information to let you know that your vegetables are at their best? Even in the supermarket, this handy little guide will allow you to find the vegetables which are at the peak of their season to guarantee crispness.
Summertime, is absolutely THE time for fresh vegetables. But some vegetables are at their peak during early summer rather than when the season starts changing into early autumn. Some excellent vegetables to select in the early summer include green beans, celery, peppers (red, yellow and green) and asparagus. All these vegetables have a fairly short maturation period which enables them to peak at the start of the mother plant starts to grow ineffective as the weather grows dryer and hotter. This is also the peak time to choose bright yellow summer squash that is a smaller variety of your ordinary squash.
Vegetables with a short maturation period and a long performance period (which means they bear fruit consistently for a longer time) are also prevalent this time of year and into early fall. These vegetables consist of broccoli, cucumbers (long or short ), and berries. Lettuce, spinach and sweet corn are also quite good choices for this time of year because they grow rapidly and many farmers keep a constant crop of them throughout the summer periods. Early fall brings about a bountiful harvest of squash, pumpkins and zucchini.
Since each of these vegetables are at their peak performance period, they can also be purchased cheaply. Especially at Farmer’s Markets since they don’t have to go through rigorous FDA testing criteria and packaging. Each of these vegetables can be frozen either by scalding approaches or freezing directly so that you can enjoy fresh vegetables all year long without paying high costs in the winter once the crops are gone.
Be sure to stop by your local Farmer’s Market! Not only will you be getting the best vegetables your local area has to offer but you will also be supporting your local farmers!