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Monthly Archives: July 2013

  • South Carolina or Georgia Peaches?

    Earlier this spring I had Florida peaches for the first time.  They were smaller in size than a South Carolina or Georgia peach, but what it lacked in size, it surely made up in flavor.  Florida peaches are only available for a short period of time right before the Georgia and South Carolina harvest.  Interestingly enough, peaches were originally planted in St. Augustine, FL before Franciscan monks introduced them to the South Georgia coast in 1571.  Peaches were then discovered in South Carolina as early as 1700.

     peaches

    Currently, both Georgia and South Carolina are big peach producers.  Both states produce over 40 different varieties including "clinging" and "freestone" types.   Most people recognize peaches as the official state fruit of Georgia.  However, South Carolina is known as the "tastier peach state".

    PeachTag photo courtesy of https://etax.dor.ga.gov/TagContest.aspx

     

    You'll be glad to know the peak of peach season is mid June to end of July.  At our market, we shop for our peaches daily. That's why some days we'll have Georgia peaches an another day we have South Carolina ones.  We shop for the freshest and sweetest peaches available.  Did you know during the summer months we make a peach milkshake?  They are made just like our strawberry milkshake with tons of fruit.

    Helpful Tips

    • There's about 3 to 4 medium peaches per pound.  One pound makes about 2 1/2 cups of sliced or chopped peaches.
    • Ripe peaches should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for up to 5 days.
    • To peel peaches, dip them cut into halves in boiling water for 30 seconds.  Remove the peaches with a spoon and dip in cold water.
    • Leave peaches on the counter until they are ripe.  Then you may refrigerate them if you are not ready to eat them.

    Recipes

  • Florida avocado now available...

    I’m a big avocado fan.  One of my favorite ways to eat avocados is to cut a slice and sprinkle it with a bit of salt.  For a more fulfilling snack, spread it on a piece of bread.  As a side dish, mix them with tomatoes, onions, oil and vinegar and you got the perfect summer salad.  Eat it alone or on a bed of lettuce.  Growing up, my grandpa would add codfish to the avocado/tomato mixture to make it the main course.

    avocado

    “Florida Avocadoes” are close relatives to edible cinnamon, camphor, sassafras and bay leaf herb.  They are native to Mexico, Central America and parts of South America.  Did you know there are over 50 different varieties of Florida Avocados?   All thanks to Henry Perrine who first introduced them to Florida in 1833 making Florida the first state to cultivate avocados.  Avocados are grown on the southeast and southwest coast of Florida.  You can find them fresh between June and March.

    Florida Avocado vs. Hass

    Did you know they have 60% more potassium than bananas per serving?  They are also high in protein, fiber, folate, Vitamin E.  Florida avocadoes have 3-15%oil, which means they have less total fat than California avocado varieties.

    avocado

    They are also larger in size than Hass and their skin doesn’t turn color when ripe.  You’ll know your avocado is ready to eat when it yields to gentle pressure.  If you need to ripen an avocado, you can speed up the process by placing it in a paper bag at room temperature.  My grandpa would just put it inside the oven for a day or two.

    Check out our Pinterest board for more inspiration!

  • Parkesdale's homegrown summer peas

    Along with growing "pickles" in the summer time, Parkesdale Farms grows a few varieties of summer peas: black eye, zipper, and conk. All three types are conventionally grown in our fields in Dover, FL.  To maintain freshness, they are picked daily and delivered to the market within minutes of being collected.  Unlike growing strawberries, peas are a little bit easier.

    peas

    As you can see, there are no bedding requirements for growing peas.  They do just fine when planted directly on the ground.  They prefer full sun and don't require a lot of watering.  Keep in mind, they also create their own Nitrogen, so be careful not to fertilize with too much Nitrogen.

    peas

     

    Black eye, zipper and conk peas fall into the vegetable category of the food pyramid.  A 1/2 cup serving of cooked black eye peas will provide 5.6 g of fiber, 239 mg of potassium and 6.7 g of protein making it a great addition to any meal.  We pick and package our peas daily for maximum freshness.  You can find our shelled pea varieties in our market in Plant City, FL in 5 lb bags for $12.95.

    homemade peas

     

    I've always been told that to keep the peas, you had to blanch them before freezing them.  Last week I tested that theory. I sauteed some chopped onion with some of our Troyer bacon first, then added the peas.  In our case, I took the peas out of the freezer, ran some water through them and into the pot they went.    I could not tell a difference in the peas at all. They tasted just as good without a lot of hassle.  My kind of meal! :)  A little messy, but delicious nonetheless.

     

     

     

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