Working with Local Produce

blueberry pancakesOver the years I’ve worked at spending more of my summer hunting down local produce (and meat, sometimes) to both enjoy it now and preserve it for later.  I like being able to control my “food mileage,” but more importantly I like supporting my local farms.  There are precious few of them left and it’s up to us to make sure they survive.  Ginormous corporate farms can use a lot of questionable practices or are at the mercy of Monsanto, so the more I can support my local people and keep them around, the better.

Here’s an example of enjoying the bounty now.  Half whole wheat/half all-purpose pancakes with blueberries.  I picked them this past Tuesday at Dondero Orchards in Glastonbury, Connecticut.  I love this place.  They are small but have pretty much all you could desire–I picked peaches and blueberries this particular day but they also had raspberries and some early apples.  I picked strawberries in June there.  And they have the best cider donuts I have ever, ever tasted.  So there you go.

My basic pancake recipe can be found here.

PreservingI also have been canning more or less on par with last year, but hopefully this year’s pickles won’t be a disaster like last year’s.  I made a half-batch of blueberry jam using the recipe in the Sure-Jell packet on Tuesday and Spiced Peach Jam (Ball Blue Book) on Thursday, along with 6 pints of Garlic Dill pickles using a recipe from Food In Jars, one of my favorite sites.  I’m hoping to make some tomatillo salsa.  I noticed some tomatillos at the farmer’s market on Thursday and if I get my act together this morning I’ll go down there and get some before I head north for a family reunion.  I snagged a pepper–the recipe called for “long green peppers,” which is extraordinarily vague–from a friend of a friend’s garden.  It looks like a spicy pepper.  Ideally I’ll find a jalepeno at the market as well for the salsa but I’m not banking on it.

the first garden squashAnd lastly I leave you with some truly local produce–stuff I’ve grown myself.  These were the first three squashes I pulled out last week.  The yellow squash came from an inorganic flat I bought just in case my heirloom veggies didn’t make it, since the seedlings I grew at home got crushed in transit.  But as you can see, there’s a zucchini!  That’s one from the seeds I started in April.  I’ve only gotten two zucchini so far.  I think I’m the only person who does not get mountains of the stuff, no matter how often I grow it.

Enjoy your weekend!

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