Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's almost time.

I couldn't be more excited about the upcoming growing season. If you take a look back at my blogs from the first of the year, you will notice my new philosophy "Eat Healthy, Eat Local!". Well, it is almost time for that to really kick into gear. Talk about gardens, seeds, plants and veggies have begun both on my favorite blogs and just generally around town, so I'm starting to feel the urge to plant something. Although my seeds did not grow in many cases (It is time to buy new seeds and throw the old ones out), I do have a few broccoli plants to start with and I'll just buy plants from local growers as I need to plant them. I do need to purchase some fresh seeds for things that are planted directly in the ground and I was so happy to have found onions sets for sweet onions this year, so I went ahead and bought those. Now, I just need to get the hubby out there to till up the garden spot so I can get started.

In other news, strawberries are starting to pop up. You can already find the unripe ones in the grocery stores (Yuck!), but there is nothing like holding out for the local ones. I have two sources in Florida that are picking ripe ones already, so they should be picking in our area in a few weeks. I can't wait. Look for those little red stands in town with local fresh picked strawberries and stock up. At this point, knowing that the fresh season is upon us, we begin to really use up what is in the freezer to make room for the summer foods. That will be my challenge over the next few weeks, make meals from the freezer. Then when the season begins, starting with the strawberries, there will be room in the freezer to store the harvest. For strawberries I love to make a little sugar free strawberry freezer jam and then I freeze the rest of the berries whole. Simply cut off the tops and give them a nice cool bath in cold water, dip them out and pat them dry, then I lay them out on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer for a couple of hours until they are frozen firm. This way when you take them off the cookie sheet and place them in the freezer bags the berries will not stick together and they will keep their shape. No crushed berries. With this process you can also use a Food Saver if you prefer, then you can vaccum seal them without crushing the life out of them.

Well, those are my little tips for today to get you geared up for fresh food season. Please check back with me for more tips, recipes, and updates during one of my favorite times of year.

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