20 Vegetables in Season During PA Produce Month & Corresponding Recipes  

July 31, 2019

Legislation to help Pennsylvania agriculture has been a hot topic this year. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signed eight related farm bills in early July of 2019, accompanied by state presidents of the Future Farmers of America and the 4-H. State Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding called the initiatives “the most comprehensive investment in agriculture in a generation.”

While the support of our state’s government is critical to the success of Pennsylvania farmers, the investment that buyers make in their local producers will forever be a paramount element to a thriving agricultural industry. Some barriers exist between buyer and grower that are a bit complex but we’re on a mission to remove “I’m not sure what to do with that vegetable” from the list of barriers. We’ve been supporting PA Vegetable farmers since our establishment in 1988. Ongoing recipe, tip, and resource updates to paveggies.org is just another way to keep that support going. But none of it matters unless buyers find and consume local produce.

August is a wonderful month to jump start your dedication to and showcase your pride for PA veggies, or crank it up a level if you’re already involved. Here are 20 vegetables at peak ripeness in August, and naturally delicious and healthy recipes to go with them. Enjoy!

Beets (and their greens)

Look for beets with smooth skins and no shriveling. Trim tops but do not wash before storing in the fridge. Beet greens are great in salads when young. Can be cooked as a bitter green when more mature. Our recipe suggestion: Red Beet and Candied Walnut Salad.


Select heads that are firm and tight. Our recipe suggestion: Broccoli, Cabbage, and Cauliflower Gratin.


Choose cabbage heads with fresh, crispy leaves that do not contain little to no markings or browning. The head should only contain a few loose outer leaves. Our recipe suggestion: Tender Texas Cabbage Salad.


The cauliflower head should feel heavy in your hand for its size. Give the leaves a good look. They should be fresh and vibrant, which is a sign that the cauliflower was recently harvested. Our recipe suggestion: Baked Cauliflower Salad and Rainbow Cauliflower Salad.


Choose medium-sized ones that taper at the ends, especially if you plan to enjoy them raw. Thicker, larger carrot will be on the tough side. Our recipe suggestion: Carrot Hummus.


For more flavor keep the skin on. If the skin is too tough score with a fork. Our recipe suggestion: Stuffed Cucumber Slices.


Choose smaller eggplants as they tend to be sweeter, less bitter, have thinner skin and less seeds. Our recipe suggestion: Falafel Shack’s Baba Ganoush.


Well cured garlic can be stored in a cool, dark, dry place and last up to a year. Our recipe suggestion: Snap Beans with Pancetta and Roasted Garlic.


Young kale can be eaten fresh in a salad. Mature kale can be cooked and added to just about everything! Our recipe suggestions: Kale Stems Pesto.


Lettuce is sweetest in the spring and fall. Our recipe suggestion: Melon and Strawberry Salad or your House Salad with a Chopped Salad Dressing.

Lima Beans

Excellent in salads, the lima beans’ seeds are generally cream or green in color, although certain varieties feature colors such as white, red, purple, brown or black. Our recipe suggestion: Lime Bean Salad with Prosciutto and Arugula.


Store in a cool, dark place. Onions can keep for months when stored properly. Older onions have a more pungent taste. Our recipe suggestion: Stuffed Sweet Onions.


The hotter and dryer the season the hotter a pepper will be. Our recipe suggestion: Pepper Dip.

Sweet Potatoes

Select sweet potatoes that are firm, free from decay and have a deep color. Smaller ones tend to be sweeter. Our recipe suggestion: Grilled Sweet Potato with Jalapeno Honey.

Snap/String Beans

Smaller evenly plump pods are the best. The bigger the bean pod the tougher it will be. Our recipe suggestion: Snap Bean Picnic Salad.


Look for squash that are small – just 6- to 8-inches in length and still relatively thin – for salads and stir-fry. Larger squash can be shredded for breads and other recipes. The zucchini should feel heavy for its size. The skin should be dark green and smooth and free of blemishes. Our recipe suggestions: Chocolate Muffins, Zucchini Noodles, and Pan Fried Fritters.

Sweet Corn

Look for tassels that are brown and sticky to the touch. If they’re dry or black, then it’s an old ear of corn. Our recipe suggestion: Grilled Sweet Corn Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette.

Swiss Chard

The entire plant is edible but the stem is tougher than the leaves and, if cooking, will require about an additional 5 minutes of cooking time. Our recipe suggestion: Pasta Verde with Swiss Chard, Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts.


Some growers are switching to high tunnel systems enabling them to bring the first tomatoes to market as early as May. Our recipe suggestion: Smoked Heirloom Gazpacho and Tina Forry’s Five Minute Salsa.


Keep the paper husk of the tomatillo on until you are ready to use. Our recipe suggestion: Smoky Salsa Verde.

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  • What would you pair with Brussels sprouts on a pizza? #repost @thursdaynightpizza
I wasn't sure I was ready for Brussels sprouts, but then my 2.5-year-old son begged for them yesterday at the market,  and everyone knows you NEVER say no when a kid begs for fresh Brussels sprouts instead of ice cream. I pan roasted them till they were caramelized with a little crunch left . . . and he ate every last piece on his plate. 🤯😁🍾 So now I'm brainstorming Brussels sprout 🍕 like a maniac before his toddler brain inevitably rejects the little brassicas again with zero notice. Any brilliant ideas/flavor pairings? .
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Cooler weather, changing leaves 🍁, and a warm bowl of soup. Fall is here. 💛 Recipe in bio.⁠
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  • Sauerkraut is finely cut cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria. Properly stored, it has a long shelf life and a distinctive sour flavor, both of which result from the lactic acid that forms when the bacteria ferment the sugars in the cabbage. The word “sauerkraut” is from German Sauerkraut which literally means “sour cabbage.” From sauer “sour” + kraut “vegetable, cabbage.” One of the best health benefits of Sauerkraut is that it contains live and active probiotics that act like your first line of defense against various harmful bacteria or toxins that might enter your body. #Sauerkraut #paveggies #cabbage #ferment #preserve #can #probiotic #shelfstable #healthygut #pennsylvania #vegetables
  • It’s beginning to look a lot like Fall (yes, even though it doesn’t feel like it). #repost @shenotfarm
It may not feel like it outside but October is officially here! 🍂🎃🍁
  • Last chance for local green beans! Can you believe it’s fall already?! #repost @harvestviewfarm
Tonight we started picking the final planting of green beans for the 2019 season. They are beautiful and plentiful! #PaVeggies
  • Don’t pass on your local hot peppers this time of year. #paveggies #repost @pa.eats
In Season in Pennsylvania: Hot Honey

There is a brand of hot honey we’ve seen on market shelves that food-lovers have been putting on everything – especially savory, rich foods, like pizza and fried chicken. We took this tasty concept, and Pennsylvania-ified it with local honey and spicy peppers from the farmers market.

This technique is as customizable as it is easy (just two ingredients!). You can use any type of peppers you like, or mix and match, depending on what’s ready to harvest from your garden or what looks good at the market. For great pepper flavor without too much heat, try poblanos from Jade Family Farm in Port Royal, PA; for medium heat, try jalapenos from Meadowview Farm in Kutztown, PA; or for extra-spicy, try some habanero peppers from Taproot Farm in Shoemakersville, PA. And, while usually we’re all about raw local honey, this recipe is best made with pasteurized honey, as the raw kind will crystallize. We like Dutch Gold Baker’s Special, which is based in Lancaster, PA!

Follow this simple tutorial to make — seriously — the tastiest hot honey, which we suggest you serve on everything: ice cream, eggs, pretzels, pizza, veggies, fried chicken and, in fact, deep-fried anything, popcorn, pork chops … the list goes on! #paeats Link: https://www.paeats.com/recipe/pennsylvania-hot-honey/
  • Well said! Home team all day every day! #repost @goodfarmsgoodfood
When you buy local, you are supporting the regional economy, cultivating community, getting fresher more nutrition products, and being kind to the planet... 🙌🌶️🚜🌎🍎👨‍🌾
Yeah, we'd call that a win!
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