Farmers Market Week:
Farmers, food producers, consumers and processors across the United States are celebrating Farmers Market Week, August 6-13. Farmers markets and other direct agricultural marketing outlets generate nearly $9 billion for the U.S. economy each year. There are over 50 Farmers Markets in Idaho – to find one near you click here.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Now Appearing at a Farmers Market Near You…
Peaches: Idaho has ripe, sweet and juicy peaches that are in season from August-October. Peaches from Idaho are tree-ripened and picked when they are at peak of flavor. To pick the perfect peach, look for one that is plump and firm but not too hard, bruised or shriveled. Have you ever tried a donut peach? This sweet treat is aptly named because it is super sweet and shaped just like a doughnut! Find them at Garrett Ranches and Cliffs Market in Caldwell.
Sweet Corn: Sweet corn is a summer favorite in Idaho and can be found at local fruit stands, farmers markets, road-side stands and retailers. Sweet corn that is ripe and ready to eat should have bright green husks and have individual kernels that can be felt through the husk. For the best eating experience, corn should be consumed as soon as harvested and/or purchased. If that isn’t possible, store unshucked corn in the refrigerator.
Summer Squash: Summer squash includes zucchini, yellow squash, patty-pan squash and crookneck. Summer squash grows on a bushy type plant that does not spread like winter squash do. Find a delicious zucchini recipe here. Wagner Farms and Rice Family Farms and The Berry Ranch are great places to find a delicious variety of summer squash.
Cucumbers: Cucumbers are in season from July to September in Idaho. Select cucumbers that are firm and not shriveled and should be heavy for their size. Cucumbers are a great way to add flavor, crunch and color to your salad. However, if you plan to make pickles, make sure you buy pickling cucumbers – not slicing cucumbers – for best results. The best place to find local cucumbers is at farmers markets and farm stands.
Melons: A fresh juicy melon is a must have for BBQ’s and picnics. Look for melons that smell sweet and don’t contain soft spots on the rind. Idaho farmers grow watermelon, cantaloupe and other specialty melons. Watermelon growers in Idaho include: Crawford Farms, Wagner Farms, Wissel Farms and Nielsen Brothers Produce/Pace-Nielsen Farms, Inc. Here is a quick and easy recipe with all Idaho ingredients to take to your next family BBQ.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a healthy snack eaten plain, atop a juicy hamburger or added to a salad or salsa recipe. July through October is the perfect time of the year to find ripe tomatoes in Idaho. A good tomato is bright red (or yellow or orange) and firm enough to resist pressure, but not hard. Tomatoes should be stored at room temperature NOT in the refrigerator. Combine fresh Idaho peaches and fresh tomatoes to make this perfect salsa. Look for H&H Farms tomatoes at the Boise Farmers Market every Saturday – or check the Farmers Market in your community for other local growers.