Summer’s Bounty: Eat Local!
Summertime is the perfect time to add local foods to your shopping list. Food grown right here is fresher and often has more nutrients because of that. Here are the top ten local fruits and veggies to look for now and in the coming weeks, along with recipes for inspiration.
- Apples – Early apples start appearing in August, with a lot more varieties in September. Look for Lodi apples from North Wind Organic Farm in Bayfield, WI to start the season. These tart apples make great pies or the perfect companion to a sharp cheese. Later on, we’ll see apples from Hauser’s in Bayfield, WI and a few other local orchards. Check out this Gingered Beet and Apple Salad for a light side dish for late-summer and this Winter Squash and Apple Bake for an early fall one.
- Beets – Juicy local beets start getting stocked in July and will be offered through the fall (as storage supply allows). During the growing season, beets are often sold with their green tops still attached. Our main beet supplier is Hermit Creek Farm in Highbridge, WI. Beet tops can be treated like any other green and make a great addition to stir-fries. In late summer, enjoy this Beet, Goat Cheese and Cucumber Salad or Kale and Beet Pita Pizza.
- Berries – Berry season runs from late June through August and can vary a lot depending on the weather. While local strawberries are generally available in late June through early July, there is occasionally a fall crop. Basket Flats in Marengo, WI and North Wind Organic Farm in Bayfield, WI are our main strawberry suppliers. Blue Vista Farm in Bayfield, WI and North Wind Organic Farm in Bayfield, WI both offer blueberries and raspberries. Toss a few berries into this Hidden-Spinach Berry Smoothie or indulge your sweet tooth with this classic Berry Cobbler.
- Broccoli – Broccoli often gets added to the mix of local food in late July or early August. Great Oak Farm in Mason, WI brings in large, green heads that are perfect for making this Mediterranean Broccoli Salad or Broccoli Cheddar Frittata.
- Cucumbers – Local field-grown cukes really start coming into season in July, though we often have greenhouse grown ones from Bay Produce in Superior, WI much earlier. The cucumbers from Great Oak Farm in Mason, WI tend to be on the sweet and juicy side. Cucumbers naturally lend themselves to cool, refreshing salads, so try them out in Marinated Greek Cucumber Salad or Thai Cucumber Salad with Peanuts .
- Greens – Kale, collards, chard, and spinach are the main greens you’ll see from local farms in our produce coolers. Green can be found as early as June and well into the fall. Look from a variety from Great Oak Farm in Mason, WI, Northcroft Farm in Ashland, WI, Hermit Creek Farm in Highbridge, WI, and Wild Hollow Farm in Marengo, WI. Lots of greens are interchangeable, so try the same recipe with a different type. Give greens a go with this recipe for Spicy Collard Greens or Garlic Tofu and Greens.
- Green Beans – Green beans make it to the produce cooler as early as June, depending on the year, and will often be offered into the fall. Local green beans from Hermit Creek Farm in Highbridge, WI are snappy and creamy. Northcroft Farm in Ashland, WI and Great Oak Farm in Mason, WI also supply the Co-op with beans. Try out some fresh, local green beans as Parmesan-Crusted Green Beans or Balsamic Vinaigrette and Zingy Green Bean Sauté.
- Peppers – Local bell peppers from Bay Produce in Superior, WI are available starting in June. Later in the summer, look for field-grown bell and specialty peppers from Hermit Creek Farm in Highbridge, WI and a few other local sources. Peppers are the star in this Southwestern Stuffed Peppers and a companion in this Grilled Summer Vegetables with Fresh Mozzarella.
- Scallions – Also known as green onions or spring onions, local scallions make their appearance in spring and go right on through the fall season. Hermit Creek Farm in Highbridge, WI offers up some big bunches of scallions that are loaded with flavor. Use scallions in this Salsalicious Black Bean Soup or feature them in this Grilled Scallions with Romesco Sauce appetizer.
- Summer Squash – Summer squash comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Look for local summer squash, including zucchini, straightneck, crookneck, pattypan, and yellow varieties, starting in July through September. Hermit Creek Farm in Highbridge, WI and Northcroft Farm in Ashland, WI are our main sources for summer squash. Cook them up in Summer Vegetable Quiche or try them in Calabacitas, a slightly spicy Southwestern dish that makes a great filling for tortillas.
This list only highlights some of the local fruits and veggies available. Look for the light green local signs in the produce department to see what’s local today!