Yaaaaaay! Summer Produce!

Oh happy day!  Strawberries are ripe in Oregon!

And that means our first trip of the growing season to the Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island to pick strawberries and bring home the season's first  farm fresh veggies. (Oh - yes - and of course another bunch of dried gourds! I can not help myself!)

For us, traveling out to the farm, whether to u-pick or purchase our produce in the market is one of the parts of summer we look forward to most.  And apparently, we are not the only ones because we see so many families out in the berry patches and in the market. I love that so many children are not only learning where their food comes from but also helping to pick it!  And I love that the owners of the Pumpkin Patch  welcome their visitors almost as if they were part of the family!

So many readers already seek out local farmers for their produce, but if you are not one of them, I would encourage you to consider making it a priority this summer. Eating locally produced food is one of the easiest ways to reduce your "carbon foot print" and live "green" because your food doesn't require gallons and gallons of fuel to reach your dinner table!

An internet search will lead you to farms, farmer's markets and food co-operatives in you area. If you prefer, farm fresh produce can even be delivered right to your door or ordered for pick-up at nearby pick-up locations. 

Community Supported Agriculture is a great place to start supporting local farmers and reducing your own impact on the environment. The Pumpkin Patch begins it's first year as a CSA member. Get all the details here! This is a great way to get farm fresh produce without driving out to Sauvie Island!

And of course there is the option to grow some of your own!!  No yard - no problem!  We grow all our veggies (and a few fruits) in containers!  This year we have planted zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, tomatillos, chile peppers, potatoes, and herbs.  Blueberries and strawberries are perennials that return every year.

So... to celebrate a summer of yummy produce, I plan to devote a couple posts a month to preparing and eating summer bounty!  And today, I am sharing links to recipes I have found recently that make the most of summer produce and are delicious!  Oh! ... and quick and simple to make because - who wants to cook all summer?

   -   We just had this one for dinner a few nights ago and it is already back on the menu!  It is absolutely yummy! Mangos and avocados are ripe right now so this is the perfect time to try "Adobo Chicken with Mango and Avocado"  which I happened to find on Polwig.com.  I haven't tried this one yet, but if you have rhubarb available - give "Rhubarb Crumble" a try.  And later in the season -  Fried Green Tomatoes and Zucchini Chips - I should have plenty of both this summer, if all goes according to plan. If you aren't familiar with Kathy's blog, be sure to check it out - I think you will like it.

   -   For the easiest summer salad ever, don't miss this feature on Foodwhirl - "Simple (almost) Summer Salad".  My sweetie is requesting this one again too!  I thought it might need more seasoning - but it is perfect just as it is. (The recipe suggests using your corn fresh and uncooked; however, we cooked ours in the micro.  So easy to do  - just wrap in a paper towel and set for four minutes!)  Lots of summer time recipes to be found on Foodwhirl.  They just posted Sweet Potato Fries a minute ago! Love 'em.

     -  When Diane was growing up, I was always making Pasta Primivera!  So imagine my dismay when it was suggested that one of my all time favorite summer dishes is  - shall we say dated? Simply Recipes has a great recipe right here and if you have never tried it - now is the time - dated or not.  Time for a come back!  A great way to use any number of summer veggies.  Rosemary Focaccia Bread, which I also found on Simply Recipes, would be perfect with a plate of pasta and veggies!

     -   Strawberries?  My absolute favorite way to eat them - over waffles or these addictive pancakes!  These are the very best pancakes I have ever eaten and we eat them for dinner as often as we do for breakfast!   Smothered in fresh or frozen fruit is best! The link to the recipe is at the end of this post!  (And there is a very good recipe for freezer jam in the post too!) I got the pancake recipe from Debbie at Pretty and Simple who got it from Honeyflake!  Now you got it from me! Yummy!

     -  Got produce? And no idea what to do with it?  Find a recipe for whatever you have on hand at the Pumpkin Patch recipe page - recipes are categorized by fruit or veggie! More recipes are added all the time.

Some "local food resource" links:

    -  Find Local Food

    -  Pick Your Own.com  - find a u-pick farm close to home

    -  CSA and Organic Food Deliveries

    -  Organics to You Home Delivery - Diane uses this service and has been very pleased with the service and produce.


Wishing each of you a tasty summer!



Gosh your pies look

Gosh your pies look delicious!!!! Can you send me one please?! :)

Wonderful post! I'd love to

Wonderful post! I'd love to check out your Pumpkin Patch! I love places like that, and nothing tastes better than fresh picked! I always love a reminder to myself and everyone else to go to farmers' markets! Thanks for all the great links!

Thank you for all the links

Thank you for all the links to the recipes! I am so very excited for all this great veg. I worked at the Beaverton Farmer's Market today and Denison's booth sold out of everything! I think everyone is excited about eating some fresh produce.

Oh it lookes nice! The

Oh it lookes nice! The strawberries are a little lat here: cold spring. But you have made me longing for the first strawberries.

Another great post, Pam!!! We

Another great post, Pam!!! We love going to the Farmer's Markets around here, too. A nice drive out into the countryside on a sunny day to get there, is a treat in itself. Summer, more than any other season makes us appreciate Nature's bounty. It's a great time to be more aware of how we treat nature and how we should look after it.

Strawberries!!!! Yummmmmmm!!!! Don't forget to make a few jars of jam to enjoy in the colder months when strawberries are a distant memory. You can even do jams in smaller batches. A jar of homemade jam you made in summer with a freshly made banana loaf or a date loaf at Christmas time goes over big!!! Wrap up the loaf in pretty cellophane, tied with a ribbon and put loaf and jam into a small gift bag or bread basket. Voila!

Oh!  Bonny, I never thought

Oh!  Bonny, I never thought of that!  What a great idea  - the sweet breads with a jar of homemade jam!  I love the idea.  Thank you!