Farmer giving box of veg to customer on a sunny day

Every year the American Heart Association recognizes June as Fresh Fruit and Veggie Month. Or what we like to call it just another reason to celebrate because fresh fruits and veggies are what we do at Orr’s Farm Market. We plant them, grow them, harvest them and deliver them straight to you.

One question that is often asked is how do you store your fresh fruits and vegetables? No one wants to waste perfectly good food or money. The American Heart Association has this great set of tips on how to handle that question.

In the pantry or cellar

Light isn’t good for some vegetables because it reduces shelf life. Keep the following in a cool dark place such as your pantry or cellar:

  • Onions, garlic, shallots
  • Sweet potatoes, potatoes and yams
  • Hard squash — acorn, butternut, spaghetti, winter
  • Watermelon

Countertop

These fruits and vegetables can be put on the countertop, but keep them away from heat and light.

  • Bananas
  • Citrus fruit. Store fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit loose or in a mesh bag. Refrigerate for longer storage.
  • Stone fruit. Ripen apricots, avocados, nectarines, peaches and plums in a paper bag. Then move to the fridge to extend shelf life.
  • Tomatoes

Refrigerate

These fruits should be stored in plastic bags with holes in them in your produce drawer (unless otherwise noted).

  • Apples and pears
  • Beets and turnips. Remove greens and keep loose in the crisper drawer.
  • Berries, cherries and grapes. Keep dry in covered containers or plastic bags.
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Carrots and parsnips. Remove greens.
  • Celery
  • Corn. Store inside their husks.
  • Cucumbers, eggplant and peppers. Store on the upper shelf because it is the warmer part of the fridge.
  • Fresh herbs, except for basil. Keep stems moist and wrap loosely in plastic.
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce and leafy greens. Wash, spin or pat dry; wrap loosely in a dish towel or paper towel and place in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer. Keep stems moist.
  • Melons
  • Mushrooms. Keep dry and unwashed in a container or paper bag
  • Peas
  • Zucchini and summer/yellow squash

Keep them apart

  • Fruits such as apples, bananas and pears give off ethylene gas, which can make other produce ripen and rot faster.
  • Store vegetables and fruits separately.
  • Keep apples, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, onions, pears, potatoes and watermelon away from other produce.

The American Heart Association has this information and even more online in a handy booklet

So come down and celebrate Fresh Fruit and Veggie Month with us!

We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Two families making a toast at picnic at a table in a park

June 18 is International Picnic Day!

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but did you know that 1 in 6 Americans get sick from foodborne illness? That’s when food is improperly stored or not kept at the proper temperature. So with that mind, how many times have you been to a picnic and someone thinks it’s OK to keep the potato salad out all day? Exactly! That’s a bad time waiting to happen!

As we’re in full picnic swing, we found a few tips that the Federal Food and Drug Administration offered to keep your picnic from being a memorable event for all the wrong reasons! So before you head out to the park or campsite, read these tips first:

The Cooler

  • Keep your cold food cold.That means place cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. Meat, poultry and seafood can be packed while still frozen.
  • Separate food and drinks.The main reason to have two locations is that with drinks people are often grabbing into the cooler. And with every opening of the cooler lid — it brings down the food temperatures.
  • Don’t cross-contaminate. Raw meats should be securely wrapped and away from anything that might be eaten raw such as fruits and veggies.

The Picnic Site

  • Make sure you can clean your hands. If you think you might be at a site that doesn’t have easy access to running water, bring a water jug, soap and paper towels, or bring disposable towelettes.
  • Keep utensils and serving dishes clean. When prepping your food, be sure you’re not placing cooked food on the same dish the raw food was on. The same idea goes with any utensils.
  • Double check the grill. If you use a grill brush, the bristles can break off. Take the time to make sure the grill is clean.
  • Cook to the perfect temperature. Bring a food thermometer with you and know the temperature that meat, poultry or seafood should be served. Download the complete chart»
  • Keep “ready” food hot. Grilled food can be kept hot until served by moving it to the side of the grill rack, just away from the coals. This keeps the food hot and prevents overcooking.

While the Picnic is Going On

  • Two-hour rule.Once you have served cold or hot food, it should only be out no longer than 2 hours, and if the outdoor temperature is over 90 F, then it’s only 1 hour. If it’s been out past two hours, throw it out. Use your phone’s timer to set a reminder.
  • Keep it on ice.Foods such as chicken salad and desserts in individual serving dishes can be placed directly on ice, or in a shallow container set in a deep pan filled with ice. Drain off water as ice melts and frequently replace the ice.
  • Keep it hot. Until it’s served, place hot foods in an insulated container.

For these and other tips, download this handy guide by the FDA»

And, as always, if you’re looking for any foods to add to your picnic — we have them.

Come visit us Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sweet Grilled Pineapple Slices

There’s something primal about man and fire. Maybe that’s why so many men love to grill. But even dear old Dad gets tired of just flipping hamburgers and steaks the same old way, and that’s why we’re here to help.

Jams and fresh fruit are two things a seasoned griller needs to keep in his arsenal. By pairing fresh fruits or even jams with beef, chicken or fish, it will make Dad feel like he’s won “Top Chef” after hearing all the compliments.

Because we are dependent upon the seasons and offer only the freshest of fruits, some of these ideas can wait until they’re back in season or, in some cases, can easily be done by using a jam.

First, a compote is a fancy way of saying of in a large saucepan, adding fruit and a few tablespoons of water or juice and then boiling it down. You can do this entirely either on the stovetop or the grill. The object is to break down the fruit a little bit so that it becomes juicy and soft. If the cooked fruit is tart add a little sugar if needed. You can also add some cinnamon or ginger, depending on what you’re making. We found a great recipe at minimalistbaker.com.

Pick your meat and we’ll tell you which fruits to pair with them:

Blueberries. This delicious fruit can be perfectly paired with beef. The tanginess of the blueberries really brightens the taste of the meat. For those who cook wild meat such as venison, blueberries are perfect to hide that gaminess flavor. Suggestion: Make a blueberries compote to serve on top after grilling. Serve with a salad topped with fresh blueberries and goat’s cheese.

Peaches. This fuzzy fruit pairs well with pork and chicken. Suggestion:Try grilling pork slathered in peach jam. Be careful, though, the sugars may burn so you need to make sure you’re watching the meat closely.

Strawberries.Although you’ll be tempted to just throw them in your mouth, strawberries can help liven up your grilled chicken dish. Suggestion:Marinate chicken in balsamic vinegar before grilling. While the chicken is going, in a separate bowl chopped some strawberries, then add chunks of mozzarella and fresh basil. Top the mixture on grilled chicken.

Cherries. We would not tell a lie that cherries and pork are a winning combination.Suggestion: You’ll need to make a compote for this, too, but this time add a little sugar to balance the tartness. Boil cherries into a compote and lather the pork with it. Yum!

Blackberries.A short season makes adding blackberries to your beef or pork spareribs even more special. Suggestion:Try making a simple and quick barbecue sauce from either a jam or fresh blackberries. Here’s a great recipe we found www.carriesexperimentalkitchen.com.

Come and grab some fruits and grilling supplies.

We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

 

 

Maybe The Beatles had it right when they sang “Strawberry fields forever.”

Because if it’s June, it’s strawberry time here at Orr’s Farm Market.

Here are some random strawberry facts:

  • Did you know there is an average of 200 seeds per strawberry?
  • Strawberries are a member of the rose family.
  • The average American eats 3.4 pounds of fresh strawberries every year, according to the Department of Agriculture
  • Pregnant women should eat a lot of strawberries because studies show that birth defects, like spina bifida, can be significantly reduced
  • In France, it’s a tradition that newlywed couples consume a strawberry soup for their morning meal.

The strawberry is a pretty versatile fruit. It can be used, of course, in desserts, but it can also find its way into savory dishes. Just google strawberry recipes and you’ll have so many to choose from that you won’t know what to do. We did the same thing and we found this one from Southern Living Magazine that made our mouths water.

Strawberry-Pretzel Icebox Pie

Serves 8

For crust:

  • 2 cups finely crushed pretzel sticks
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

For filling:

  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 (14-ounces) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon strawberry gelatin (1/2 (3 oz) package)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For the crust, in a bowl, stir together first 3 ingredients. Dump into a lightly greased 10-inch pie plate. Press firmly press on bottom, up sides and onto the lip of the dish. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. Remove from oven to a wire rack, and cool completely (about 30 minutes).
  4. To make the filling, in a food processor, process strawberries until finely chopped. Stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
  5. In a mixing bowl, add condensed milk, cream cheese, and gelatin. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add strawberries, beat at low speed just until blended.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat ¾ cup whipping cream at high speed until soft peaks form; gently fold whipped cream into strawberry mixture.
  7. Spoon into prepared crust. Cover and freeze 8 to 12 hours or until firm
  8. After firm, in a mixing bowl, Beat the remaining 1 ¼ cups whipping cream at high speed until foamy. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Spread over pie. Freeze 1 hour or until whipped cream is firm.

Is that recipe not reason enough to come down and buy a couple pints of strawberries?

We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.