Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer Harvest

by Maggie Sefton


I don't know about you folks, but I am enjoying one of the greatest treats of
Summer----all the fresh fruit and veggies that are available during these months.  Yes, I know-----thanks to our fantastic food distribution network, we can enjoy practically all of these fruits and veggies during Fall, Winter, and Spring.  But nothing is as good----and I repeat----Nothing is as good as the fresh Summer Harvest of fruits and veggies that are grown in our local areas.

Colorado is lucky in that we have lots of areas where we can grow produce, but our Western Slope is the best.  The Western Slope is located on the western side of the Rocky Mountains.  Many of our Colorado cities are on the Eastern Slope----Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs.  If you've ever driven west on Interstate 70 which crosses Colorado, you'll recall that you're gradually climbing, the road rising, after you've crossed over from Kansas.  And you will continue climbling long after you've passed by Breckenridge and Vail.  Finally you'll cross over the summit of the Rocky Mountains where the interstate is located and then. . . . you'll start going down.  That's why the Western Slope has more temperate climate and temperatures than the cities that are higher in altitude.  Temperatures drop as we go up the mountains.  :)

The temperatures on the Western Slope are perfect for growing produce and fruit.   Temps are milder and more temperate there.  That's why there are so many fruit orchards.  Peaches are delicious, so are the apples, and plums, and berries----and you can find a great variety in the local farmers' markets that are open all over Colorado.  In Fort Collins, we have Farmers Markets  on several days of the week starting in late Spring.

Plus, you can buy different produce and fruit from growers who do not use herbicides and pesticides.   Many of us are trying to make sure our food doesn't have any of those chemical substances on it.  Peaches, for instance, are fuzzy.  There's no way to scrub away chemicals sprayed on peaches.  So, some of us simply prefer to buy produce that is chemical free.  That's another benefit of buying from local Farmers' Markets.  You  can meet the actual growers.  Many growers use family and friends to work the vendors' boothes.

Do you have Farmers Markets in your area?   What are your Summer favorites?

13 comments:

Aurian said...

No Farmer Markets that I am aware of in my part of the country, but I live in the city. If you do drive into the countryside, most farms do have a sign by the road, selling produce. Like apples, eggs, potatoes. Or people who like to make jam sell it in a roadside stand (I can't resist those!)

katherine is love said...

There is a local small farmer's market in my town that I like to go to. There is a larger market in Syracuse NY that is great, and I try to go to that at least a few times each summer. In Ithaca there is (in my opinion) an even better one. Both the Syracuse and Ithaca ones are larger than the one in my little town, but I still go weekly to buy local fruits and vegetables.

I LOVE greens. I drink green smoothies daily and I eat a lot of salads, and I love that I can purchase organic greens at a price that doesn't break the bank! I also love the farmer's market for fresh herbs (dill, basil and cilantro are my favorites). And I can't forget the delicious fruit. The golden plums that are so sweet they taste just like candy...the lovely melons that are so juicy you need to eat them outside on the porch...the gorgeous cherries that stain my lips and fingers red but are worth every stain!
Mmmm...nothing better than fresh, local produce.

mary kennedy said...

Lovely post and such beautiful photos! Yes, we have Farmers' Markets and I love exploring them, so many great choices. It sounds like you live in the perfect climate, I envy you!

Diane LaBrie Leverson said...

Just about every town in Ct. has a Farmers Market, Open one day a week. There is a large one at the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry. They even sell meat there. Fresh produce is just starting to grow. We have had a lot of rain this Spring and cool weather. I might go to one this weekend.

Melissa @ My Recent Favorite Books said...

We have a few Farmers Markets in our area. Im planning on going to one soon because they have such wonderful produce and baked goods.

Fred said...

We've got a Farmer's Market that has been around for nearly 100 years. Fifty-fifty five years ago I use to go with the grandparents and what a treat. Now about half of the stalls are nick-nacks. But I went this past Saturday and got probably the last fresh asparagus for this season. What I really like was the young man working there. I would guess he was 10-12 years old. He had plastic bags laying along the counter all ready to put the purchases in. This was no rookie. LOL It was $10 and I gave him a $20 and guess what?. He made change without a calculator. In this day and age, that is almost unheard of.

Maggie Sefton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maggie Sefton said...

katherine----everything you named is on my favorites list every summer. I have a passion for those blues and purples. Right now I'm devouring those dark sweet cherries. Yum. Just love them. :)

Maggie Sefton said...

It is beautiful, I'll say that. :)

Maggie Sefton said...

Go and revel in all that fresh fruit. :) And tomatoes. Love those. And yellow squash and onions on fresh spinach and on and on. . .

Maggie Sefton said...

Oh, yes, baked goods. They have those, too. Don't you love them? And also they'll have great new coffee roasts.

Maggie Sefton said...

I love homemade jam. I used to make it years ago when I had a large family.

Maggie Sefton said...

Fred----I love it! That little boy sounds like a real pro.