Homegrown Produce

July 21, 2012 at 6:28 pm Leave a comment

Mmm, mmm, mmm. Just ate a cucumber, picked right off my neighbor’s fence. Yes, that’s what friends and neighbors are for…we get to eat whatever grows on our side. And there is nothing like a fresh, sun-warmed cucumber, unless it’s a fresh, sun-warmed tomato. For dinner, I made portobello mushroom burgers with roasted red pepper sauce, spiced with rosemary and flat-leaf parsley from my tiny plot. Eating something right out of the garden just does a body good.

Growing up, the only cucumbers we had for most of the year were the dark green ones that were coated in wax. They were often too big and pithy. Oh, and had almost zero flavor. They were pretty pointless, but in the olden days, a winter salad consisted of bland cucumbers, rock-hard, flavorless tomatoes, and equally boring iceberg lettuce. Back then, I ate a whole lotta of salad dressing.

It’s the perfect time of year to hit your local farmer’s market. I’m still waiting for my first heirloom tomato to ripen. I bought a variety called Hillbilly and though the plant is giant, I have merely a half-dozen fruit right now. My Roma style tomato plant is bearing much more fruit. Note to self – next year plant more than one pea plant. I’ve eaten two pea pods, and I would have had three, but a rabbit beat me to it!

I feel really sad for cherry growers this year. Crops in my favorite Door County are getting about 10% of the normal crop, while another big cherry producing area, Traverse City, Michigan is only getting about 2%. Very bad news for someone like me who really likes cherries in her oatmeal. Take the time to enjoy and support your local produce growers. Nothing beats fresh grown when perfectly ripe!

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