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Celebrate Pennsylvania Produce Month in August with Top Chef Recipes, Tips Pop up Events and More!
How are you celebrating PA Veggie Month? Pennsylvania Vegetables are at their Best!
PAVeggies.org offers buying, grilling, preparing and preserving guides from experts.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — July 28, 2016. August is Pennsylvania Produce Month, and the Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program is celebrating in a big way with pop up events, all-inclusive guides, tips and recipes to help veggie lovers across the state navigate their markets and kitchens like pros.
Throughout August, readers can find gems on PAVeggies.org like farm-fresh recipes from top Pennsylvania chefs, including Philadelphia’s Marc Vetri and Pittsburgh’s Trevett Hooper, who showcase culinary stars of the summer like corn, tomatoes and melons.
PAVeggies.org is serving up additional summer resources including a Top Tomato Picks for Summer 2016 guide to inspire tomato lovers to discover interesting tomatoes at the market (like Striped Zebras) and to educate them on what types to use for what (e.g., slicing, sauce making, snacking etc.).
PAVeggies.org will also celebrate the Keystone State’s bounty with a Guide to Grilling Pennsylvania Vegetables to help veggie lovers think outside the bun.
Not all vegetables are created equal. Despite Pennsylvania’s farmers’ time, effort and dedication, sometimes “ugly is beautiful” produce comes in from the fields. However, these misshapen veggies are full of flavor and rich with nutrients. Readers will learn how to embrace “ugly” veggies and also how to preserve the taste of summer with PAVeggies.org’s inclusive How To Preserve and Can Veggies guide. It’s full of tips and recipes from canning guru and cookbook author Marisa McClellan. With ideas for novice picklers to seasoned canners, this guide will provide all Pennsylvanians with peak-of-summer tastes that will last all year long.
For market goers intimidated by certain varieties or unsure about what to do with some of the state’s finest produce, PAVeggies.org is brimming with information like its How to Prepare Veggies that guide that walks readers through proper knife skills, mise en place and storage tips.
Why Shopping Locally Is Important
Did you know that agriculture is Pennsylvania’s largest industry? Pennsylvania produce is not transported thousands of miles in fossil fuel producing trucks; it is grown by nearby family farmers in a state that is home to more than 1,000 farm markets and community farmers’ markets, many of which participate in PA Produce Month promotions with special events or offers. For every $100 spent at a farmers market, $62 stays in the local economy, and $99 stays in state.
All farm markets and farmers’ markets in the state will be offering an abundance of fresh, local Pennsylvania vegetables during August.
To find the closest market, go www.PAVeggies.org and click on Find PA Veggies. Four other valuable resources are the PA Preferred website at www.papreferred.com, Penn State University’s AgMap at http://agmap.psu.edu; the Pennsylvania Buy Fresh, Buy Local website at www.buylocalpa.org; and the Pennsylvania MarketMaker website at www.pamarketmaker.com.
More Ways to Find Pennsylvania Produce
- Search the farm database on PAVeggies.org
- Visit your local growers’ or farmers’ market regularly
- Look for roadside stands as you travel throughout the state
- Ask for PA veggies at your favorite supermarket and buy them (often identified with the “PA Preferred” logo)
- Seek out Pennsylvania farms and veggies on menus at your favorite restaurants
Pennsylvania Veggie Crops at a Glance
Pennsylvania’s 3,950 vegetable growers plant 49,400 acres of vegetables and produce more than 280,000 tons of vegetables including sweet corn, potatoes, snap beans, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, cantaloupes, watermelon, zucchini and other squash, lima beans, lettuce, beets, carrots, onions and fresh herbs. Crops are ranked as follows:
- Sweet corn is Pennsylvania’s largest vegetable crop with approx 10,300 acres per year (Pennsylvania ranks seventh in the country).
- Potatoes cover 5,500 acres.
- Snap beans cover about 5,500 acres (Pennsylvania ranks fifth in the nation).
- Pumpkins cover 5,500 acres and PA is fourth in the nation.
- Tomatoes cover more than 2,500 acres of fresh-to-market tomatoes plus about 1,000 acres of processing tomatoes.
Other top-ranking vegetable crops in PA include peppers (1,200 acres); cantaloupes (1,200 acres); cabbage (930 acres), squash (900 acres); and watermelon (800 acres).
The Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program is a statewide marketing order established by a grower referendum, governed by a grower board and funded by grower assessments. The Program’s sole purpose is to serve the vegetable growers of Pennsylvania by promoting Pennsylvania-grown vegetables and funding practical vegetable productionresearch.
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