A Berry Good Crop Is Almost Gone, but Summer Produce Season Ramps Up
NASHVILLE – Tennessee has enjoyed a good year for strawberries in most places across the state, despite some cantankerous cold spells. The end of the strawberry crop just a couple of weeks from now signals the beginning of the summer produce season, with wave after wave of favorites lasting until a hard frost closes down harvests for the year.
Local strawberry patches will likely have berries for a few more weeks. “Strawberries at the end of the season will be smaller than those first ‘king’ berries, but some people say they think the later berries are even sweeter, with stronger flavor,” says Tammy Algood, produce marketing specialist for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. “Just be sure to call the grower before heading out to the patch so you’ll know strawberries are still available.”
By mid June, early summer vegetables like yellow squash, zucchini, peas and new potatoes will join the produce parade. Most of the state’s farmers markets and on farm produce sheds will be open for business by July 1.
A Pick Tennessee Products growing seasons guide for Tennessee fruits and vegetables is available at www.picktnproducts.org. Pick Tennessee Products is the statewide campaign developed by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture to help consumers find Tennessee farms, farm products and foods processed in Tennessee. More than 1,600 farmers and about 7,000 products, services and events are currently listed at the site.
As Pick Tennessee Products spokesperson and author of The Complete Southern Cookbook and Farm Fresh Southern Cooking, Algood creates seasonal recipes featuring products grown and processed in Tennessee.
Visit www.picktnproducts.org to find seasonal recipes, farms, farmers markets, farm-direct products and other locally grown and processed foods. Pick Tennessee Products is also available on Facebook and Twitter.
Cutline: Matt Gallaher, executive chef at the Tennessee Residence, receives some local strawberries from Laura Sleigh, H & S Farms in Clarksville. Governor Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam have committed to using Tennessee grown and made products at the Tennessee Residence whenever possible.