Sweet Summer Bounty: Picking Fresh Fruit


Country MoonIt’s that time of year again…finally. Summer’s sweet offerings of fresh fruits are coming into season.

This time of year always seems to separate the city folks from the country folks. No matter where you hail from, when fresh produce is ripe, we are all anxious to taste it, especially after the long winters here in the north. But, growing up here in southwest Michigan where my family not only farmed, had a huge family garden and also a truck patch where we sold fresh produce along the road side, we learned that there is fresh and then there is FRESH.

Sure, it always tingles my taste buds when the first stalks of asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries appear on supermarket shelves. Even though they look appetizing, I resist the urge to put them in my cart because I know that, being shipped in from other parts of the country, they just won’t have the same flavor as fresh from your own garden.

I was taught this lesson at an early age. There was never much thought into meal planning when summer months arrived. We ate what was ripe at the time. When it was strawberry season, we ate strawberries over pancakes and waffles for breakfast, as a dish of side sauce for lunch and strawberry shortcake for supper.

So it was with raspberries, peaches, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet corn and all other seasonal produce. Eating off the land was just a way of life; we knew no other way. In so doing, my sister, brother and I learned the means to always get the freshest and best, after all, that is the name of the game.


7/18/2019 2:21:05 PM

Lois, seasonal eating was the normal way of life back in the 1960s. No one could eat watermelon in January or asparagus in the Fall. Gardening is such a foreign concept that when I give people radishes, lettuce, or other spring vegetables they think like a grocery store that it will be available all summer. Strawberries are another seasonal thing that urban city folks think should be available from the garden at any time they feel the need for some. I'm thinking maybe our health would be better if we went back to the seasonal eating. ***** Have a great day and try to stay cool. ***** Nebraska Dave Urban Farmer

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