Hello, spring! It may be a little chilly in some parts of the country, but as of March 20th, it is officially spring! With a new season comes new and delicious fruits. Farmers across the country are preparing and growing them at this moment and as the weather gets warmer they will be ready in no time.In-Season FruitsThere are quite a few fruits that make their annual appearance in the spring. Some of the most popular include apricots, strawberries, and apples. You can tell if an apricot is ripe when it changes color from green to yellow. They will be soft, but still relatively firm. Apricots will fall off of the tree naturally, so the ones in the tree and on the ground are up for grabs. For flavorful strawberries, look out for a deep red without any green left. Strawberries will be one of the softest fruits when you put slight pressure on them. If the strawberry appears ripe by these standards, it is r...
Coffee is a delicious part of everyday life around the world. Whether it is a morning cappuccino, an afternoon coffee break at work, an evening espresso date, or a decaf café au lait before bed, coffee is so deeply ingrained into civilization that it is hard to imagine a world without this precious bean. But where did coffee originate, and how did it become such a phenomenon?Most historical records point to coffee’s originating country as Ethiopia. Legend has it that about a millennium ago, a goatherd named Kaldi found his missing goats acting hyperactive after eating berries from a nearby plant. The berries turned out to be a cherry-like fruit whose seeds are now known as the famous coffee bean. Kaldi brought the berries to some monks nearby to have the abbot investigate. The abbot made the berry seeds into a drink that kept him awake all night for evening prayers. News of the energizing berry spre...
Craft breweries are not just for millennials. They are becoming the new “pub” house – a gathering place for young and old alike. “Breweries have become third places, outside the home and office, where Americans congregate,” said Mike Stein, a beer researcher employed by DC Brau Brewing Company in Washington D.C., in an article for the latest Smithsonian Magazine. “They are gathering places that are in many ways replacing things like libraries and recreation centers within a neighborhood,” George Homewood, director of planning and community development for Norfolk, VA, said in the same article. “I read a quote – and I don’t remember from where – that you put in a microbrewery and a tasting room and if you’re not careful a whole neighborhood will grow up.”What Is a Craft Brewery?According to the Brewers Association for Small and Independent Craft Brewers, a craft brewery must be...
Canning is a valuable skill.Nothing lets you get the best out of your garden like canning and preserving your yields. This timeless art has been utilized by farmers and gardeners for centuries for good reason. Your grandmothers were likely experts in canning, but that does not mean the skill is outdated or obsolete in modern society. Today, learning to can and preserve your produce will help you lead a more sustainable lifestyle and enjoy the fruits of your labor for months after harvesting. Instead of relying on canned grocery store products, you can stock your pantry with your own by using the proper techniques.“For me, it’s a sense of pride,” wrote Debbie Wolfe for Lovely Greens. “All the work I put into growing my own food can be appreciated when I pop open a jar of blueberry jam and spread it on my toast on a cold January morning.” Wolfe notes that with one taste, “I’m immediately tr...
Summer is here and that means berries! Delicious blueberries, blackberries,
strawberries, and raspberries are all readily available and ripe throughout the
summer months. For a quick guide to what fruits are in season,
you can check the USDA seasonal produce guide here: https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide. A lot of “in
season” berries can be found at your grocery store or local
farmer’s market for cheap
prices because they are abundant when they are in season. So, what to do with all those delicious berries? Here are a
few easy bar recipes to get you ready for a sweet summer! I have made all of
them, and let me tell you, they are crowd-pleasers! 100 Calorie Strawberry Oatmeal Bars from Well PlatedIngredients: 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour 1/3 cup light brown sugar1/4 teaspoon ground ginger1/4 teaspoon salt6 tablespoons unsalted bu...