We would like to extend very best wishes for a very happy and safe 4th of July weekend to all!
We will be open between 3 and 6 at the Garden on Thursday & Friday, and from 8 to 12 on Saturday, July 4 at the Historic Lewes Farmers Market (HLFM), located on the grounds of the Lewes Historical Society, 110 Shipcarpenter Street in Lewes.
What’s Available This Week
This week we will have available freshly harvested vegetables, wonderful herbs and fresh cut flowers.
- Cherry Tomatoes — Our first cherry tomatoes are finally beginning to ripen! If you want to be sure to get a pint this week, please visit us on Thursday or Friday at the Garden. We will bring whatever we have left to the July 4th market, but the first few pints will be scarce!
- Young Arugula — Triple-washed and kept cold for you in our coolers.
- Loose Leaf Lettuce — Cut at a young and tender stage of growth. Triple-washed and kept cold in our coolers.
- Mesclun — Mix of young arugula and loose leaf. Triple-washed and kept cold in our coolers.
- Young Patty Pan Squash — This is so delicious.. We just can’t get enough of these.
- Yellow Papaya Squash — So far we have had rave reviews of this delicious squash. It is the size of Patty Pan and has even more flavor. A bit firmer than zucchini, but with a very delicate skin. We pick them young, of course, and hope you will try them.
- Hakurei Turnips — This Japanese turnip variety is sometimes called “salad turnip” because it is crisp, juicy, and delicious raw.
- Haricot Vert — By popular demand, we are bringing back this year this delicious, delicate French fillet bean. These gourmet, slender beans are featured in the best restaurants and are a labor of love to grow and pick. We really enjoy them. Picked fresh at the proper size, we hold these delicate beans at the proper humidity and temperature for you.
Tip: Did you know green beans suffer from cold damage below 40°F? So please place them in an area of your refrigerator, usually the crisper, where the temperature is more moderate, or adjustable, as well as having humidity control.
- Fresh cut Basil — You can put the basil bunch in water on your kitchen counter and it will last for days, even weeks. You can pull leaves off the stems as you need them.
- Fresh cut Flat Italian Parsley — There is no other type of parsley to use in the kitchen.
- Fresh cut Sage — Harvested just at the right time to ensure the leaves are filled with the oils that give this culinary herb its highly aromatic flavor.
- Fresh cut “mojito” Mint — This mint is genuinely Cuban and NOT just for preparing refreshing mojitos. It has wonderful qualities for anything you might want to use mint for.
- Flowers — This week we have lovely Snap Dragons, colorful Gomphrena, beautiful Gladiolus, gorgeous Zinnias and more. We will make a custom bouquet for you or you may pick one of our beautiful bouquets available in a couple of different sizes.
A Word About Storage
As you may know by now, we are very serious about our post-harvest care and work hard to keep everything fresh for you by storing it at the appropriate temperature and humidity level.
To keep your produce fresher longer, remember to keep your fruits and vegetables apart. There’s truth to the adage. “one bad apple… “. So don’t store them together in a refrigerator drawer or even next to each other on the counter or in the pantry. Why? Many fruits produce ethylene gas, which acts like a ripening hormone and can speed spoilage.
Eggplant, peppers, summer squash and green beans should be stored somewhere around 45°F for the best quality and longevity.
We have a shed at the back of our property where we are able to store all these things at the appropriate temperature.
This careful attention to post-harvest care means that our produce is fresh when you get it.
Many of our customers ask us about storage of fresh tomatoes. Tomatoes really do not appreciate being stored in the refrigerator before they have been cut, unless they are completely ripe and you need to stop the ripening process.
You may chill them with impunity once they have been cut and used in a dish. Bring them back to room temperature for the best flavor. If you keep your kitchen around 70°F, keep the tomatoes out of the refrigerator as long as possible. However, any higher (and for many of us with kitchens in the mid to upper 70s during the summer), once a tomato is very ripe, it really does not benefit from sitting out on the counter in a warm summer kitchen. It will begin to taste bland, losing flavor and texture.
If you have tomatoes that are nearly ripe and would like them to last more than a day or so, find a place between 60° – 65°F to put them. This will slow the ripening process without harming the flavor. In this way, you can buy tomatoes from your favorite farmer for the week by storing some at room temperature, some a bit colder, while making sure to pick out tomatoes at various stages of ripeness from your farmer.
Contrary to popular belief, tomatoes do not have to be picked completely ripe from the vine. There are a few varieties that benefit from being mostly ripe when picked, but most varieties are absolutely delicious if picked when they have the color of ripeness but are still a bit firm.
If you grow your own tomatoes, you may want to pick all tomatoes that have reached the “breaker stage” if you are expecting a large rain event. They will have at least some color at the breaker stage and will likely crack from the influx of too much water if you don’t take them off the vine. They will also have much more flavor when picked while the ground is not saturated, even if they have to sit in the kitchen a while to ripen.
Yours in the Garden and Market,