Produce tips for the upcoming seasons

AUGUST 18, 2009 Fordhook Farm in Doylestown is owned by seed company Burpee which, unlike most companies, is bearing more fruit than ever during this recession.

"We've had an absolute explosion in interest because of the economy, mainly. It's because of saving money," George Ball of W. Atlee Burpee & Company.

More families are turning to growing their own produce to save on spending at the store.

"They could save about $1000 pretty easily," Ball said.

Even after the summer growing season, you can stretch your excess produce to feed your family into the fall and winter.

Potatoes can last up to six months.

Beets and carrots three or four months.

Onions last about two months.

You can also preserve produce by canning or jarring, by flash boiling and freezing, or by making sauce and other dishes you can freeze.

However, make sure you follow the instructions. For instance, the seal on the lid has to be perfect when canning or jarring and keep everything clean to avoid bacterial contamination.

Another way to stretch your produce is to make your own nutritious and delicious baby food!

This way you can even get your little one used to traditionally dreaded veggies like broccoli!

"Baby food from the store is about 50 cents a serving. These two heads of broccoli were about $2 and I'll get about six servings of broccoli out of them," Kathleen Ries of Center City said.

You can thicken pureed or mashed fruits and vegetables with well-cooked egg yolk, silken tofu, cottage cheese, or yogurt.

To freeze, just spoon out or pour the purees into regular ice cube trays and cover with plastic wrap.

They'll be good for at least three to six months!

And consider trading produce and homemade baby food with others.

It's easy to create a vegetable swap with neighbors and friends or a baby food co-op with parents.

For more garden recipes, cooking demonstrations, and a tomato tasting head to Fordhook Farm in Doylestown this weekend.

It'll be open to the public from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday for Burpee's Harvest Festival.

It's $5 for adults but kids get in free.


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