While we grow a lot of our own vegetables and fruit here at HA, we certainly don’t grow all that we eat. And whenever possible, we like to support our local growers. Lately we have been enjoying sweet corn and cantaloupes from Wright’s Berry Farm. It’s hard to get much more local than this – Wright’s is maybe a mile or so from HA as the crow flies! We also bought some of their 2011 blueberries to freeze, to supplement our own blueberry harvest. I choose not to grow corn or melons due to space limitations. It’s easy to buy corn a half dozen ears at a time to satisfy our hunger for it.
Another thing we have been enjoying lately is peaches. Our own two peach trees are still a year or so away from bearing, so if we want peaches we have to buy them. And buy them we did this week! On Wednesday morning we went to Joe’s Orchard and bought a peck of peaches, half white and half yellow fleshed. The white peach was Blushing Star, and the yellow was Cresthaven. Joe is the fourth generation of Engelbrechts to grow fruits and vegetables in the Tri-State area. His new orchard is just now starting to produce well, and we wish him the best in the years to come.
But a peck of peaches wasn’t enough for us to eat and freeze, so after lunch Wednesday we made a trek across the river to Owensboro, Ky. to Reid’s Orchard. The Reids have been in business for 133 years, so they know a thing or two about growing fruit as well. I’ve enjoyed their peaches and apples for many years now. We got another peck of peaches from them (also half white and half yellow). Reid’s also has seasonal vegetables, and we picked up 3 beautiful red bell peppers for $1.50. Our peppers aren’t ripe yet, so that will keep us satisfied until we have our own red ones.
And what are we going to do with all those peaches? Well, for one thing we are eating them like crazy, enjoying them in our morning smoothies and having more for dessert after dinner. And we will freeze a lot of them for use all winter long. My favorite way to freeze them is to puree the flesh with a little sugar added, 2 tbsp per pound of peaches (straight from the Ball Blue Book). Once thawed they are great stirred into our morning yogurt, or just eaten with a spoon.
We also have a new local’s only farmer’s market in our neck of the woods. I’ve not been yet, but my wife has gone a few times. We pick up our monthly meat CSA there, plus get some of their other meats like their wonderful bacon. I’m hoping to visit this farmer’s market soon.
With all this yummy produce lying around the house, we have alerted our crack security team to be on the lookout for any suspicious characters lurking about. Puddin is hard at work today, guarding the goodies. Yeah, right!
Local farmers need our support if they are to stay in business and compete against large agribusinesses. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather buy my food from someone that lives in my own neck of the woods!