20 Veggies Grown Locally in Pennsylvania this August, the Official PA Produce Month
Did you know August is Produce Month here in our home state of Pennsylvania? This month-long holiday was selected by the Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing & Research Program because it’s one of the most bountiful times of the summer season. If you’ve been visiting and ordering from our Produce Patch you might have noticed the options grow each week and August is on track to be a full house. Here are some of the vegetables you can expect to find (and maybe a few extras you’ll have to find locally), as well as a tip and a simply delicious recipe to go with each option. Enjoy!
Beets (and their greens)
Look for beets with smooth skins and no shriveling. Trim tops but do not wash before storing in the fridge. Beet greens are great in salads when young. Can be cooked as a bitter green when more mature. Our recipe suggestion: Red Beet and Candied Walnut Salad.
Select heads that are firm and tight. Our recipe suggestion: Broccoli, Cabbage, and Cauliflower Gratin
Choose cabbage heads with fresh, crispy leaves that do not contain little to no markings or browning. The head should only contain a few loose outer leaves. Our recipe suggestion: Tender Texas Cabbage Salad.
The cauliflower head should feel heavy in your hand for its size. Give the leaves a good look. They should be fresh and vibrant, which is a sign that the cauliflower was recently harvested. Our recipe suggestion: Baked Cauliflower Salad.
Choose medium-sized ones that taper at the ends, especially if you plan to enjoy them raw. Thicker, larger carrot will be on the tough side. Our recipe suggestion: Carrot Hummus.
For more flavor keep the skin on. If the skin is too tough score with a fork. Our recipe suggestion: Stuffed Cucumber Slices.
Choose smaller eggplants as they tend to be sweeter, less bitter, have thinner skin and less seeds. Our recipe suggestion: Falafel Shack’s Baba Ganoush.
Well cured garlic can be stored in a cool, dark, dry place and last up to a year. Our recipe suggestion: Snap Beans with Pancetta and Roasted Garlic.
Young kale can be eaten fresh in a salad. Mature kale can be cooked and added to just about everything! Our recipe suggestions: Kale Stems Pesto.
Lettuce is sweetest in the spring and fall. Our recipe suggestion: Melon and Strawberry Salad or your House Salad with a Chopped Salad Dressing.
Excellent in salads, the lima beans’ seeds are generally cream or green in color, although certain varieties feature colors such as white, red, purple, brown or black. Our recipe suggestion: Lime Bean Salad with Prosciutto and Arugula.
Store in a cool, dark place. Onions can keep for months when stored properly. Older onions have a more pungent taste. Our recipe suggestion: Stuffed Sweet Onions.
The hotter and dryer the season the hotter a pepper will be. Our recipe suggestion: Pepper Dip.
Select sweet potatoes that are firm, free from decay and have a deep color. Smaller ones tend to be sweeter. Our recipe suggestion: Grilled Sweet Potato with Jalapeno Honey.
Smaller evenly plump pods are the best. The bigger the bean pod the tougher it will be. Our recipe suggestion: Snap Bean Picnic Salad.
Look for squash that are small - just 6- to 8-inches in length and still relatively thin - for salads and stir-fry. Larger squash can be shredded for breads and other recipes. The zucchini should feel heavy for its size. The skin should be dark green and smooth and free of blemishes. Our recipe suggestions: Chocolate Muffins, Zucchini Noodles, and Pan Fried Fritters.
Look for tassels that are brown and sticky to the touch. If they're dry or black, then it's an old ear of corn. Our recipe suggestion: Grilled Sweet Corn Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette.
The entire plant is edible but the stem is tougher than the leaves and, if cooking, will require about an additional 5 minutes of cooking time. Our recipe suggestion: Pasta Verde with Swiss Chard, Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts.
Some growers are switching to high tunnel systems enabling them to bring the first tomatoes to market as early as May. Our recipe suggestion: Smoked Heirloom Gazpacho.
Keep the paper husk of the tomatillo on until you are ready to use. Our recipe suggestion: Smoky Salsa Verde.