This past Sunday marked the second week I volunteered at the Skippack Farmers’ Market, collecting email addresses for the weekly newsletter and handing out recipes with a seasonal produce guide. By virtue of the word “volunteer,” I do not expect anything in return.
But I’ve found that giving a few hours on a Sunday morning, food and knowledge are your bounty. I come home with complimentary fresh olive bread from St. Peters Bakery, cheese from Goot Essa (Old German Weissa Kase), and discounted first-of-the-season apples and white peaches from Stauffer’s Fruit Farm. I learn that lettuce doesn’t like hot weather, and this summer has been challenging for the raspberry harvest — cooked by the sun before they’ve had a chance to be picked. Continue reading
Hard to believe I’ve been out of college for a decade. Seems like just yesterday I was pouring over Biochemistry text in between bottles of budget-friendly Boone’s wine. Fast forward to today, I’m pouring over Benjamin Moore paint colors while debating how to handle the small family of ground hogs cavorting under our backyard shed.
I went to college in Virginia at James Madison University. The campus felt like utopia the minute I set foot on the green grasses of the Quad, captivated by the gregarious tour guide with perma-smile and chivalrous behavior. I spent four incredible years there, studying dietetics while wondering where my passion for food and health would take me once graduation somberly set the wheels in motion. Continue reading
There’s something special about food in a Mason jar, though I can’t quite put my finger on it. Perhaps it’s the persona it exudes: homemade, distinct, unique; or maybe it’s the belief that a fair amount of care and effort linger just beneath the lid.
Canning foods adds a layer of depth to eating seasonally by “saving the seasons” — fresh, bright blueberries in the midst of a harsh, cold winter is a particularly pleasant prospect, especially when coupled with the personal fulfillment of having created the product yourself. I’ve been reading about how to can foods at home, wrapping my brain around the necessary steps to, quite frankly, avoid poisoning myself and fellow tasters. Canning is a bit scientific and methodical, requiring certain supplies to execute a heat-activated process to kill microorganisms and inactivate enzymes that cause food to spoil. Jars must be vacuum-sealed to prevent air from entering and re-contaminating the food. Continue reading
Apricots from Stauffer's Fruit Farm
Summer’s been good to me so far; although not to many farmers. Not only do crops struggle in the heat and dry conditions, but animals do too. And while humans can just crank the AC (and then curse the utility bill), turn on the fan, or take a cold shower, these aren’t options for farm animals. And farms without irrigation systems may result in yield loss and labor challenges — all thanks to the hot, dry weather. Farmers are working hard to ensure this summer’s bounty meets consumer demand.
My tomato plant
And when the first rain in two weeks finally doused the area this past weekend (rejoice!), I was able to show my appreciation by visiting a couple of local farmers’ markets. On a damp Saturday in the early-afternoon hour, I caught the tail-end of the Lansdale Farmers’ Market, situated in a parking lot across from the train station I frequent each weekday morning to hitch a Continue reading