Category: Featured Produce

Ground Cherries

Ground Cherries

Ground cherries  (aka goldenberries, husk tomatoes, or cape gooseberries) are one of the fun, unique items that you learn about when you join our CSA.  These small fruit are in the tomato family and have a paper wrapper similar to a tomatillo.  They are very sweet and have an interesting flavor, nutty and a bit of pineapple.  (more…)

English Peas

Garden Peas (aka English Peas)

Garden, or English peas, are your standard “pea in a pod.” They have more nutrients and calories than snow or sugar snap peas and are a bit more work as they need to be shelled. Garden peas are sweet and succulent for three to four days after they are picked, but turn mushy and starchy very quickly after harvesting.  So use them fast! (more…)

Sugar snap peas

Sugar Snap Peas

Sugar snap peas, unlike last week’s garden peas, have edible pods that are filled with plump sweet peas.  Use them quickly as they lose their flavor and structure when stored.  They can be eaten raw, but are best when cooked, requiring little time:  steam sugar snaps for about 4 minutes. (more…)

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts as they are now known were grown possibly as early as the 13th century in what is now Belgium. During the 16th century, they enjoyed a popularity in the southern Netherlands that eventually spread throughout the cooler parts of Northern Europe.  They are a cool weather crop that, rather than being damaged by a frost, actually gets a little sweeter and improves in taste. (more…)

Acorn Squash

Although considered a winter squash, acorn squash actually belongs to the same species as all “summer” squashes (such as zucchini and yellow squash).  The most common variety is dark green in color, but newer varieties can be yellow, white, even variegated.  As the name suggests, its shape resembles that of an acorn.  It is a good candidate for winter storage, keeping several months in a cool dry location.  Squash can be refrigerated, but it will deteriorate quickly and should only be refrigerated 1-2 weeks. (more…)

Heirloom Vegetables

Heirloom Vegetables

Farmer John loves to experiment with heirloom vegetables and we get to enjoy the results!  But what exactly is an “heirloom” vegetable, and how does it differ from a “regular” vegetable? According to Wikipedia, “An heirloom vegetable is a cultivar that was commonly grown during earlier periods in human history, but which is not used in modern large-scale agriculture. Many heirloom vegetables have kept their traits through open pollination, while fruit varieties such as apples have been propagated over the centuries through grafts and cuttings.” (more…)

Okra

Okra

In the south, it’s available year-round, but for the rest of us, summer is a great time to take advantage of fresh okra. While it looks like a ridged pepper, okra belongs to the same family as hibiscus and cotton, and likely came to the U.S. from Africa more than three centuries ago. (more…)

Fennel

Fennel

Fennel, also known as sweet fennel or finocchio, originated in the Mediterranean and is popular in Italian and Scandinavian cooking. Closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander, this aromatic vegetable is the swollen, immature stem of a large, feathery bush. The young stems of the plant overlap at the base to form a bulb with white-to-pale-green ribbed layers. Although the stalks are similar to celery both in their appearance and in their crunchy texture, all parts of the plant (bulb, stalks, and fronds) have a pleasantly sweet anise, or licorice-like flavor, and are edible. (more…)

Sunchokes

Jerusalem Artichokes (aka Sunchokes)

Sunchokes, of the sunflower family, are native to North America where the natives called them “sun roots” before European settlers arrived. Samuel Champlain, a French explorer found them in Cape Cod in 1605 and pronounced them similar in taste to artichokes. But why “Jerusalem artichokes”? They don’t come from Jerusalem nor do they look like artichokes. There are a few theories: when first discovered people started calling them “girasole” (or flower that turns looking for the sun) which eventually became “Jerusalem”. Another possibility is that as sunchokes became the staple food of the first European pilgrims in North American soil they named it as food for the “new Jerusalem”. (more…)

Rutabagas

Rutabagas

Rutabagas are only called rutabagas in the U.S. Throughout the rest of the world, they’re known as swedes. This ordinary root vegetable is thought to have originated in Bohemia in the 17th century as a hybrid between the turnip and wild cabbage.

Members of the cabbage family, rutabagas are often confused with turnips, although there are noticeable differences. Rutabagas are larger, part white and part purple, with creamy orange flesh and ribs near the stem, and with a nutty, sweet flavor when roasted. Meanwhile, turnips are white with a purple-red top and a peppery taste. (more…)