Have you heard of delicata squash? Perhaps you’ve seen these unique oblong striped squash at the farmers’ market but weren’t quite sure what they were. Delicata is a very sweet type of winter squash with cream colored, yellow, and green striped skin. It’s named “delicata” because of its delicate skin that doesn’t need to be peeled before cooking and can be eaten. The delicata is a cultivar of the variety Cucurbita pepo, meaning it is a close relative to zucchini, butternut squash, and pumpkins.
Brussels sprouts are one of the many vegetables in the brassica family, along with kale, turnips, collard greens, broccoli, arugula, bok choy, and more. Brussels sprouts are cabbage-like sprouts on tall stalks that thrive in temperate weather. The United States produces 32,000 tons of them each year, with most production in California, Washington, and New York states. It’s estimated that up to 85% of brussels sprouts grown in the US are for frozen food. The largest global producing country is the Netherlands, where they harvest 90,000 tons each year.
Adirondack Beef Company, Croghan, NY
4 Reasons to Go Local for Your Thanksgiving Turkey
1- Keep your dollars in your community: The average farmer only makes $0.17 for every $1.00 spent on the food they grew. Buying directly from a farmer means they will receive 100% of the profits they earned.
It’s that time of the year when so much is in season in the Adirondack region- including melons like honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon.
In the Adirondacks, locally grown melons only start to appear with sweet corn and winter squash, right around when kids start heading back to school. Once the frost comes, they are done.
September is National Honey Month
Since the 1980’s September has been “National Honey Month”, in honor of the end of the season for most areas, when beekeepers collect honey from their hives. It’s a time to raise awareness of beekeeping and the benefits of honey.
This National Honey Month, learn more about how honey is made by bees, collected by humans, and how you can support beekeepers in your community.
History and Facts
Peppers are the berry-fruits of plants in the genus capsaicin which are in the nightshade family, with tomatoes and eggplants. The spicy “chili peppers” and mild “sweet peppers” and “bell peppers” are all native to tropical parts of the Americas. Prehistoric remains of peppers have been found in Central and South America.
All about berries! Blueberries, both wild and cultivated, are native to the Northeast. They belong to the Ericaceae plant family, along with cranberries. They are in season in the Adirondack region from mid-July through September. The United States is the primary producer of blueberries worldwide, followed by Canada, and Peru. In the US they are mostly grown in Oregon, Washington State, Michigan, New Jersey, California, and North Carolina. Many diversified farms and orchards grow blueberries in the Adirondack region. Blueberries like acidic soil and cold winters for a dormancy period.
Above photo: Blueberry harvest at Wild Work Farm in Keene Valley, NY. Netting over berry bushes protects the crop from birds. Most small-scale diversified farms and orchards pick their harvests by hand.
June is National Dairy Month, which originated in 1937 as “National Milk Month” by the National Dairy Council in an effort to encourage consumers to drink more milk during a time of surplus. Today, many organizations and regions continue to observe June as Dairy Month along the same theme.
What is Asparagus?
Garden asparagus, asparagus officinalis, is a perennial flowering plant. It belongs to the Asparagus genus, along with other perennial bushes and plants. Asparagus is dioecious, meaning some plants have flowers with a stamen and produce pollen, and other plants have flowers that have a pistil and make seeds. This means that a variety of plants are needed for reproduction. When you eat asparagus, you’re actually eating the immature stalk of the entire plant. Most asparagus is harvested when it is about six to ten inches long, but when left to mature, it grows into four-foot-tall plants with long fern-like branches.
Will the pandemic home gardening trend continue?
If you weren’t a gardener before, the COVID-19 pandemic may have inspired you to start a veggie garden. Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Fairfield, Maine, saw a 270% jump in orders the week the coronavirus pandemic was declared a national emergency. Many local nurseries sold out of vegetable transplants fast last spring, citing they couldn’t keep up with demand.
What is the Difference Between Micro-Greens, Shoots, Sprouts, and Baby Greens?
Microgreens, shoots, and sprouts are all immature plants harvested before they reach full maturity.
What is Maple Syrup?
Maple syrup is the sap from maple trees that has been collected, heated, and concentrated down to a sweet liquid. This is different than what is sold at the grocery store as “pancake syrup,” which is primarily corn syrup.
Sugar Maple Trees begin to produce sugary water called sap when the temperatures reach above 40 degrees F during the day and below 32 degrees F at night. The freezing and thawing temperature fluctuations push sap through the tree so that it has the nutrients needed to grow. You can read a more comprehensive explanation of this process here.
What are Winter Squash?
Winter squash is a group of several species of annual fruit in the genus Cucurbita, including the popular butternut, acorn, delicata, and spaghetti squash. What we call “pumpkins” are also winter squash. Winter squash is different from summer squash, like the zucchini, because it’s harvested and eaten when the seeds are matured and the skin has hardened. Due to their hard rind and sweet dense flesh, they can be stored for long periods in cool dark storage, up to a year from harvest.
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