IN SEASON ON THE LOCAL STAND -SUMMER 2013

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IN SEASON ON THE LOCAL STAND -SUMMER 2013
30th January, 2014

 Summer starts the season of abundance with most days with loads of lovely local luscious abundance greeting you at the front door of the Co-op.

It has been a great stone fruit season and we have had lovely peaches, apricots and now plums. Commercially grown apricots are often dry and don’t get that soft, velvety texture because they are picked with days of transportation in mind over the quality of the fruit on the shelves. It’s great having a local supply of these fruits as they taste so yummy with extra ripening on the trees before they hit our shelves.

We have received some early season apples and nashis from Bilpin and Katoomba as well as some delicious pears.

Local Organic Pears from Steve & Ann in Katoomba

When bought from the store, many pears can feel hard as if they are not yet ripe. Left to fully ripen on the tree, pears can spoil and become floury so the premise is that they are picked when ‘mature’ and ripened off the tree.common method for ripening pears off the tree is by placing them in a paper bag with an apple or a banana. These fruits release ethylene which speeds up the ripening process.

As coriander gets scarcer due to the heat making it bolt, the local basil starts to become the seasonal staple. Curly and continental parsley are also coming to us in generous bunches. Tomatoes are delicious with basil and parsley and so far we have only received the cherry varieties from local growers which are sweet and ripe.Local garlic, leeks, shallots and onions are here. We have also seen beans, carrots, radish, beetroot, silverbeet, rainbow chard and kale.

The heat can be good for growing, but can burn the delicate green leaves of some salad greens. It may mean that some supplies look less pretty than other times of the year with browning edges. Sometimes blemishes can be from bruising due to too much rain. It’s always good to remember that this is just nature doing its thing and all you have to do is pick the brown bits off – it’s great to keep supporting the local growers.

A special mention at this time goes to zucchini and squash which at this time of the year are the big local bargains as they multiply like crazy in the summer heat. We have received many different varieties including green, yellow and Lebanese. Don’t be scared of the big ones either, they can still be chopped, grated and sautéd and are fun and yummy to stuff and bake. Fill them with rice, quinoa, nuts, seeds, cheese, herbs and other vegetables in any combination – whatever you have on hand.

Some of the varieties of zucchinis that we have had in this summer

 

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