Originally posted on Fuchsia-Revolver.org.
The passing of the Memorial Day weekend means that some of my favorite times of the year are approaching. It’s not so much the summer weather, which tends to get too hot for my comfort, but the other things that come along with it that I enjoy.
I’m talking, of course, of grilling outdoors, going to farmers markets and food festivals, taking trips to the beach to eat lobster rolls… the things that, for shameless food-obsessed people like me, make dealing with the hot weather a little more tolerable.
To kick off the season that’s bound to be full of farmer’s market trips, I checked out the Buy Fresh, Buy Local of the Greater Lehigh Valley website this week to see what was in season for the end of May and into June. I also signed up for the Buy Local Challenge and newsletter while I was on the site and, as chance would have it, I was picked as a random winner of a weekly prize giveaway—totally unexpected!
I selected a tote bag and $15 credit to shop at the Easton Farmer’s Market, which I know will come in handy for some preserving I want to do this summer. Thanks for picking me!
Here’s what I look forward to seeing the most at the market in the coming weeks:
Herbs: I get so tired of buying bunches of herbs from the grocery store over the winter; it always makes me wish that I could just go outside to snip some from the garden so I can get exactly what I need without wasting anything. Other than hearty greens and other vegetables that can withstand the cold of winter, herbs are some of the first edible plants to come back in the spring. My garden is already overflowing with sage, thyme, oregano, and mint that came back from last year, and hopefully they will continue to grow just as well so I can have fresh herbs all season.
Swiss Chard and Kale: technically, these hearty greens are available year-round. I love making fresh salads to serve as light dinners during the summer when it almost feels too hot to eat, and these greens are the perfect base. They are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, folate, and fiber; don’t wilt too quickly when dressed, even with a mayo- or sour cream-based dressing; and can withstand a variety of toppings, from nuts to dried fruit and other chopped veggies. I’m a big fan of kale Caesar salad and a salad that I make out of rainbow chard (cut into ribbons), goat cheese, roasted sliced beets, toasted pumpkin seeds, and herb-lemon vinaigrette.
Strawberries and Rhubarb: since picking up copies of Naturally Sweet Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan and Baking with Less Sugar by Joanne Chang, I’ve been really excited to start canning again and making more fruit desserts. The sweet-tart combination of balsamic and strawberries has been on my mind, so a batch of preserves is bound to be on-deck soon. I made something similar last year with raspberries, cherries, balsamic, and a little black pepper with great success. I also saw local rhubarb in Wegmans the other day that reminded me that I have wanted to make this vanilla rhubarb jam for a while. In fact, I was able to use the the market credit that I won to pick up some strawberries, rhubarb, and other veggies — I’ll post about that soon… 😉
If you’re looking to find out what is in season in your area or sign up for a local CSA share, here are some good resources to check out:
- Nationwide Crop Harvest Calendars from PickYourOwn.org
- Nationwide Farm Guide from FarmFresh.org
- New Jersey / Tri-state Harvest Dates Availability Chart from JerseyFresh.org
- Lehigh Valley, PA, 2016 CSA’s and Farm Shares Listing from BuyLocalGLV.org