• Summer Magazines

    beach plums Beach plums are nothing new.

    For generations, locals have gathered the small, tart plums along roadsides and in the dunes, mostly for jellies and jams.

    The fruit is much smaller than the European or Asian plums, to which it is related, and when ripe can range in size from about a pea, to a Bing cherry, or the size of a grape tomato for a really big one.

  • Summer Magazines

     Steve Bradley shows off some of the fruit from his backyard shrub. He said it’s at least 50 years old, maybe close to 100, and seems to be going strong. Figs are said to be one of the first plants humans ever cultivated, apparently beating out staples like wheat and rye by a good measure. Ancient texts mention the fruit from thousands of years before…

  • Summer Magazines

     eggplant

    It’s as Italian as parmigiana, as French as ratatouille, and as Arab as baba ghanoush, without even getting started on moussaka, Szechuan-style eggplant and garlic sauce or a few dozen Indian dishes.

    In other words, eggplant tastes like home to a huge swath of humanity, under many names and many, many different kinds of spices.

  • Summer Magazines

    Bill Eisele and his grandson Luke Eisele get ready to remove the honey from frames collected from one of his several bee hives.

    Bill Eisele does not seem particularly worried about stings.

    It’s getting on sunset at his Christmas tree farm in Petersburg, and he’s checking a hive, protected only by a short-sleeved golf shirt and a couple decades’ worth of experience working around bees. No smoking, no mesh hood, no apparent concern.

  • Summer Magazines

     pizza So it’s unequivocally late summer. Garden ripe tomatoes are piling up in offices, being traded back and forth among neighbors and co-workers like the seashells of the Trobriand Islanders, only with an expiration date.

    Roving bands of teenagers are forcing brown bags of enormous zucchini on unsuspecting passers-by.

    And while we’re nowhere near out of topics, we’ve covered a lot of ground in this space already, exploring the variety of fresh, local food available to anyone who wants to look for it.

  • Summer Magazines

     Rob, Catherine and Karl Giulian join their dad, Karl Giulian, to talk about backyard gardens. The youngest, David, is not pictured.  Karl Giulian can’t wait for his kids to get older.

    He’s looking forward to it for all the usual reasons of course, but there’s an ulterior motive as well. The swing set is in the way of his garden expansion.

    His 12-foot-by-12-foot garden has already slipped its borders, with potted colonies…

  • Summer Magazines

    tomatoesSometimes, it seems as though there should be sort of a reverse toll at all bridges leading over the Delaware into South Jersey, with a nice old man in work trousers stopping each car.

    “Welcome to New Jersey,” he’d say. “Here’s your tomato.”

  • Summer Magazines

    For strawberries, red means go One of the highlights of summer eating is now ready

    There’s no avoiding the conclusion that strawberries want to be eaten.

    Look at it this way; they don’t exactly hide, do they? At least when they are ready and ripe.

  • Summer Magazines

    No one ever said farming was easy: especially farmers.

    Each year is either drought or too rainy, too cold for one crop or too hot for another, and if everything cooperates, if the season is absolutely perfect, then there’s a glut and the prices drop.

    In Cape May County, the amount of land under cultivation has dwindled for years, and in many cases folks whose parents and grandparents or great grandparents were farmers have decided to find something else to do.

  • Summer Magazines

    green beansWhen most folks think of organic farming, they tend to focus on the stuff added to a field that kills things, not what’s added to make things grow.

    The connection is clear and – for some – fairly visceral. Pesticides kill bugs, herbicides kill weeds and fungicides kill fungus, allowing the plants we like to eat to thrive. But many people question what happens when we eat the crops that have been treated with chemicals designed to kill, even if they are said to be harmless if used as directed.

    Others wonder what happens to the…




Jersey fresh strawberries are in season

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strawberry Jersey Fresh strawberries are here, and the plump, juicy fruit is available now at farmers markets, grocery stores and pick-your-own farms in the state. Harvesting began in mid-May and is expected to continue through early June.

Nutritionists consider strawberries to be a part of a healthy diet, providing a good source of vitamin C. Strawberries should not be washed until ready to eat because their high water content, on top of the additional water, will result in a mushy berry. Once the caps are removed, an enzyme is released that destroys the vitamin C.

Be certain to remove the caps after rinsing to prevent the strawberry from becoming waterlogged and from losing vitamin C content.

Look for strawberries that are plump and firm, with a bright red color and natural shine. The size of the berry is unimportant; color and fragrance are the best indicators of flavor.

Caps should be fresh, green and intact. Avoid strawberries with green or white color, or those that appear mushy, shriveled or leaky. Strawberries do not ripen after harvest, so they should be picked as close to consumption time as possible and immediately stored in the refrigerator.

When purchasing strawberries, check the carton for stains, which can indicate over-ripeness. Remove the strawberries from the market or store container and store in a shallow container on a paper towel in the refrigerator for up to three days. For best results put paper towels between the layers.

Remove from the refrigerator and serve at room temperature for optimum flavor.

Freeze strawberries by coating in a water and lemon juice mix.

To find Jersey Fresh strawberries and other Jersey Fresh products see the Jersey Fresh website at www.jerseyfresh.nj.gov. Recipes can be found at http://jerseyfresh.nj.gov/recipes.


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