The growing season is in full swing! July brings a plethora of fruits and vegetables available for our meals. Head to the Farmer’s Market, Purple Porch Co-op, or New Roads Natural Farm CSA to get your local, organic foods!
There is an abundance of greens available at this time of year, from Australian Long-leaf Lettuce, Oak-leaf Lettuce, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Collard Greens, and Arugula, to other mixed greens. This is the best time of year for fresh, plentiful salads, so get them fresh while you can!
Broccoli begins to be available for harvest starting in July, continuing through October. Broccoli is a great addition to a stir fry, salad, or sautéed by itself. Broccoli is a food full of Vitamin C, Calcium, Potassium, and Zinc. You don’t want to miss out on this food while it is in season!
Cucumbers are also becoming available, continuing through August. Cucumbers are a good addition to a sandwich or any salad. Cucumbers contain a large amount of water within, so it is a perfect summer food, as it is innately chilled.
Peppers and tomatoes start to become readily available in July. Tomatoes eaten in season have so much flavor, it is amazing that we settle for bland-tasting tomatoes at other times of the year. In the quest to have tomatoes around during the entire year, through genetic modification, taste has been sacrificed. Peppers are a good source of Vitamin C and tomatoes contain lycopene.
Sweet corn and potatoes are plentiful at this time of year. It may be a bit early for corn harvesting, but that should continue through the end of August. Corn on the cob is a common food choice for picnics, camping trips, or in your own backyard on the grill.
More fruits are in season than in previous months. Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and the beginning of the peach crop are beginning to become available. There is an organic blueberry ranch on Buckeye Road in South Bend. They offer u-pick options as well as pre-picked through the middle of August. The Blueberry Ranch offers USDA and ISO certified organic blueberries. If you are looking for a way to pick your own blueberries, why not go to a place that offers certified organic blueberries?
At the Farmer’s Market, cherries are in abundance, and the last of the rhubarb crop is still available. Get some while you have a chance!
No matter what, make sure you take advantage of the amazing fruits and vegetables that we have available at this time of year. Make sure to buy local (and organic if possible) and you will benefit from the knowledge that you are eating food that is fresh, having been picked within that week or even that day.
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