Photos by Linda Schneider.
Agriculture is Pennsylvania’s largest industry and most of the produce grown here is consumed here. There are more than 1,000 farm markets in the state. To celebrate all of this industry and the succulent produce grown, the state is celebrating Pennsylvania Produce Month this August.
Led by the Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program, the month-long celebration includes pop-up events, all-inclusive guides, tips and recipes. To further encourage Pennsylvanians to buy local, many farmers and markets are offering beneficial promotions. For every $100 spent at a farmers’ market, $62 stays in the local economy, and $99 stays in state.
PAVeggies.org will also provide additional summer resources including a “Top Tomato Picks for Summer 2016” guide to inspire tomato lovers to discover interesting varieties at the market and to educate them on what types are best for different uses. They will also celebrate the Keystone State’s bounty with a “Guide to Grilling Pennsylvania Vegetables.”
Despite efforts so-called “ugly” produce comes in from the fields, though it’s certainly no less edible than its more traditional looking counterparts. Businesses and buyers are embracing these vegetables, which previously would have been discarded. The organization will demonstrate how to preserve the taste of summer with its “How to Preserve and Can Veggies” guide, including produce that won’t make it to grocery store shelves. It’s full of tips and recipes from canning guru and cookbook author Marisa McClellan. With ideas for novice picklers to seasoned canners, this guide will provide Pennsylvanians with peak summer tastes all year long.
To find the closest market, go www.PAVeggies.org. Other valuable resources are the PA Preferred website, Penn State University’s AgMap, the Pennsylvania Buy Fresh, Buy Local website and the Pennsylvania MarketMaker website.