Fresh Summer Produce

Eat local and support Utah Farmers

BY HAILEY MINTON

I hope you don’t miss one of the biggest perks of living in Utah during the late summer. Summer was my favorite time of year as a kid, because we had a peach tree in our backyard. The aroma of the tree gave away the fact that it was laden with ripe fruit. I’d sink my teeth in the sunbaked flesh. (Okay, writing this is making my mouth water.) As juice dripped down my chin, I’d try to inhale to keep as much as the liquid gold from escaping my mouth as I could. (And now, this is basically torture. Can it be peach season yet!?) Yes, Utah peaches are one of my favorite parts of summer here, but Utah has a variety of locally grown produce.

According to yourutahyourfuture.org, prime agriculture environment for growing fruits and vegetables is right here along the Wasatch Front, but as you could guess, urban growth is competing for that land. Fruit production has been cut in half from 1987 to 2006, since a lot of farms and orchards have been exchanged for homes and businesses. Whether it’s going to a farmer’s market, buying from a fruit stand along the fruit highway, or asking around on your local Facebook groups to see who will sell you some fresh peaches, let’s support our Utah farmers. We can do our part to help keep our local produce producers producing! Below is a guide for what you can expect to find in season during the coming months.

Fun Utah Agricultural Facts

Don’t chew on this…

According to USDA.gov, a majority of the 8,419 fruit acres in the state are devoted to tart cherries at 4,732 acres, followed by peaches at 1,582 acres, and apples at 1,211 acres. However, Utah’s top crop valued by sale isn’t something you or I eat (hopefully). The hay grown in Utah feeds beef and dairy cattle.

Seasonal Produce in Utah

From theSpruceEats.com

JULY

Basil
Beets
Blueberries
Broccoli
Celery
Cherries
Cucumbers
Corn
Strawberries
Tomatoes

AUGUST

Apples
Apricots
Basil
Beets
Blackberries
Broccoli
Cabbage
Cantaloupes
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Melons
Onions
Peaches
Plums & Pluots
Raspberries
Summer Squash
Strawberries
Tomatoes
Zucchini

SEPTEMBER

Apples
Apricots
Basil
Beets
Blackberries
Broccoli
Cabbage
Cantaloupes
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Grapes
Melons
Peaches
Pumpkins
Raspberries
Summer squash
Winter Squash
Strawberries
Tomatoes
Watermelons
Zucchini

OCTOBER

Apples
Beets
Broccoli
Cabbage
Cantaloupes
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Melons
Pumpkins
Raspberries
Summer Squash
Winter Squash
Strawberries
Watermelons
Zucchini

LET’S SUPPORT OUR UTAH FARMERS!
Visit farmers markets & local fruit stands!

PICK THE BEST: tips on selecting the best fruit!

Watermelon

The biggest determining factor of selecting a great watermelon comes from checking its field spot. A field spot is where the melon was sitting on the ground while it was growing. Melons with bright golden yellow or orange field spots will be sweeter than melons with whiter field spots. Also, check out the stem. If it is still green, that means it was picked before it was ready. Go for the shriveled brown stems. Conduct the tap test: If it sounds hollow, it will be juicy! Elongated watermelons taste more watery, rounder ones are sweeter.

Different colorful fruits and vegetables all over the table in full frame studio shot

Peaches

Give it a sniff! A ripe peach should smell exactly how you want it to taste. Another way to tell is to wrap your hand around the peach and gently squeeze it to see if the flesh gives. Doing it this way prevents the fruit from getting bruised with your finger or thumb if it is ripe. If it feels rock hard, put the peach back.

Cantaloupe

Look for the cantaloupes with a light beige surface. Avoid the green ones. Also, heavier means juicer. As with watermelons, you can tap a cantaloupe. If it sounds hollow, it should be good. Give it a sniff: if it smells sweet, it should be good. Ripe cantaloupes should give a little with you squeeze them.

Pineapple

When choosing a pineapple, check the firmness of the leaves by pulling on them. If they are too tight, it isn’t ripe. If they come out too easily, it might be past its prime. Find one somewhere in the middle. Look for the pineapples that are golden yellow and sniff for the sweet aroma that you’ll find at the base of ripe pineapples. Also, the best pineapples will give a little when you squeeze them.

Don’t forget the juice!
Not only is fruit and vegetable juice full of vitamins, nutrients, and fiber; its’ also packed with hydration during hot months. Cold-pressed juice is the best.

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