Category: Produce

Maximize Your Farmer’s Market Trip

Community-based farmer’s markets can introduce shoppers to an array of foods they may otherwise never experience. Farmer’s markets are great places to find fresh, locally grown foods, and many market customers are happy to know they’re benefitting both the environment and local businesses with every dime they spend.

Farmer’s markets can range from the very large to the relatively small, and first-time visitors may not know where to begin. The following are a handful of ways to maximize your visit to farmer’s markets of all sizes.

· Take time to explore. Farmer’s markets tend to have many of the same fruits and vegetables you can find at the local chain grocery store, but farmer’s markets also are known for offering more than what you may find in the produce aisle. Take time to explore the market and you may just find foods you typically only find at your favorite restaurant. Exploring also may introduce you to new foods you may otherwise never have tried.

· Consider the timing of your visit. The popularity of farmer’s markets has increased dramatically as more and more people embrace the concept of buying locally grown foods. While that’s great news for the planet and local farmers, shoppers should keep that in mind when planning their visits. If you love trying new foods, arrive early to the farmer’s market before the more unique offerings have been snapped up. Foods that have small yet devoted followings may not be available in abundance, and you may end up leaving empty-handed if you arrive late. If it’s a bargain you want, then visit later in the day when farmers with substantial remaining inventory may be more inclined to lower their prices.

· Know your seasons. Some fruits and vegetables are better at certain times of the year than others. Freshness draws many people to farmer’s markets, and foods that are in-season are more likely to have that unforgettable freshness than those that are out of season or nearing the end of their season. Knowing the seasons is important for budget-conscious shoppers as well. If you’re shopping on a budget, purchasing foods while they’re in-season may save you some money, and you can always stock up on your other favorites later on when it’s their turn to be in-season.

· Speak with the sellers. First-time farmer’s market shoppers may feel like they’re lost in the woods while everyone else seems to know exactly what they want and where to get it. If you find the farmer’s market somewhat intimidating, speak with the sellers. Shopping at the local farmer’s market tends to be more intimate than shopping at the chain grocery store, and many sellers would be happy to offer you some tips and make some suggestions based on the meals you like.

Farmer’s markets are great places to support local businesses and find fresh foods.


5 Simple Tips to Get Dinner on the Table

The challenge working parents face in maintaining work-life balance is often compared to a juggling act. Finding time together, especially on weeknights when family schedules tend to be hectic, is no small task.

But finding time together, particularly at the dinner table, can pay a host of dividends. According to the Family Dinner Project, studies have linked regular family dinners with higher grade-point averages and self-esteem in children, as well as lower rates of obesity and eating disorders in both children and adolescents.

Cook, writer, activist and mother of two Katie Workman knows full well how difficult it can be to make nightly dinners together part of a family’s routine. But Workman, whose latest book, “Dinner Solved!” (Workman Publishing), provides 100 family-friendly recipes and variations to ensure that everyone at the table is happy, relishes the opportunity to help others make family dinners a fun part of their nightly routines.

“Many of us put so much pressure on ourselves when it comes to family meals,” says Workman. “But when we ease up on that pressure, dinner actually seems to happen more often, and the meals are a lot more fun.”

To help even the busiest moms and dads find time for family dinners, Workman offers the following tips so parents can produce weeknight meals the whole family can enjoy.

1. Less is more

Don’t make yourself crazy trying to master a recipe with an endless ingredient list on a Wednesday night. Weeknight meals don’t have to be perfect or exotic. Even the simplest recipes can make for delicious meals.

2. Change it up

Skip those time-consuming, last-minute trips to the grocery store for missing ingredients by replacing them with something similar that you already have on hand.

3. Elevate your meal from simple to sophisticated

Pairing weeknight meals with the perfect wine can elevate midweek meatballs to something more memorable. Versatile and budget-friendly, Greystone Cellars® wines are approachable and easy to drink. Since 1995, Markham Vineyards has been producing a small amount of Greystone Cellars wines exclusively for the Culinary Institute of America, which receives a portion of the proceeds for each Greystone Cellars bottle sold. Befitting their connection to the CIA, Greystone Cellars wines enhance any meal, making them ideal options for cooks whose weekly meal schedule includes pasta, pork chops and everything in between.

4. Get a head start on prep work

Whenever possible, reduce the stress of weeknight meals by doing some of your meal prep long before dinnertime. Chop veggies for the week on Sunday nights or take a few minutes each morning to gather ingredients for that night’s meal.

5. Make it a family affair

Make weeknight meals more fun by involving the whole family. Parents can let the kids peel carrots or measure rice or perform other age-appropriate activities.

Nightly family dinners help families build stronger bonds, and weeknight meals need not be lavish undertakings. Learn more about Greystone Cellars wines at

Delicious and easy-to-prepare, this recipe for “Maple-Barbecue Pork Meatballs” from Katie Workman’s “Dinner Solved!” makes the perfect weeknight family meal. Pile them on rice or couscous or quinoa with a few extra spoonfuls of barbecue sauce for an easy and different weeknight dinner.

Maple-Barbecue Pork Meatballs

Serves 6

3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup barbecue sauce, plus more for dipping if you like

1/2 cup grated peeled apple

1/3 cup minced onion

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Kosher or coarse salt, to taste

1 tablespoon maple syrup

11/2 pounds ground pork

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.

2. Combine the bread crumbs, barbecue sauce, apple, onion, egg, and salt in a large bowl. Add the maple syrup and stir to blend. Add the pork and combine well using your hands, but try not to squeeze the mixture too much. Form 1-inch-round meatballs and place them on the baking sheet.

3. Bake the meatballs until cooked through, 16 to 20 minutes. Serve hot, with extra barbecue sauce on the side.


Pumpkin DIY, Recipes & Health Benefits

With Fall in full swing, pumpkins are popping up everywhere from Autumn décor to the dinner table! There are many ways to utilize this fresh fall produce with both DIY home decorations and delicious recipe ideas.

  • DIY pumpkin decorations:
    • Spray paint – Go for the gold! Spray pumpkins in a gold shimmer for instant upscale Fall décor
    • Lace – Slip a black lace stocking over a pumpkin for an unusual gothic Halloween look
    • Ombre – Choose naturally colored pumpkins but display either stacked or lined up in order from light to dark – ombre effects are on trend for this Fall
  • Health benefits of pumpkin:
    • Low calorie
    • High in anti-oxidants – vitamins A, C, & E
    • Natural source of copper, calcium & potassium

Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe? Share in the Comments!

Fall Canning – Farm Fresh Flavor

If you’re planning on preserving your produce this fall harvest, it’s important to plan ahead and have all of the tools you’ll need. Being prepared can help save time, ease stress and make clean up a breeze! Preserving local fruits and veggies is a fun way to support your local community and savor the farm-fresh flavors all year long.

Must-haves for fall canning:
• Large soup pot or pressure canner
• Tongs
• Jars and lids
• Funnel, for easy fill-up of jars (mess-free!)

-> Visit a local store like Mountain View Farm & Garden to get your fall canning supplies!

Don’t forget, you’ll also need:
• Sugar
• Pectin
• Lemon Juice
• Butter (Add 1 TB and melt before canning jam or jelly to reduce foam!)

-> Stock up on apples & fall produce at Shatzer’s Fruit Market!


Recipe Ideas for Fall Canning

Plan ahead to stock your shelves or whip up some tasty holiday treats!

• Apple Butter
• Peach Pie Filling
• Sliced Pears
• Classic Tomato Marinara Sauce
• Garden Salsa

What’s your favorite thing to can? Leave your recipe idea in the Comments!

Simple Basil Pesto Recipe

Simple basil pesto can be a bright, flavorful twist on a classic spaghetti & red sauce. Pesto can be made ahead and frozen or canned for homemade taste anytime. Pesto can be tossed with pasta, or serve as a spread with bread!

Our featured basil pesto recipes range from sweet to spicy & even feature a nut-free pesto! Click on the links below to find the full recipe – image

*Classic Basil Pesto
*Garlic & Basil Pesto
*Walnut & Parsley Pesto
*Spinach & Basil Pesto: Nut-Free Pesto

Do you have a favorite pesto recipe? Share your recipe or post the link in the Comment section below!


Recipe: Peach Cobbler

Fresh, ripe peaches are a sweet, summertime treat! Juicy peaches and cream, fresh smoothies, peach salsa, peach preserves….while the list could go on – one favorite peach classic is – cobbler!

Peach cobbler can vary by topping, but most all contain the essentials:




Cinnamon and vanilla are classic flavor enhancements or try a twist like ginger or cardamom for an exciting new spice!

Follow the links below to try your hand at baking your own sweet summertime peach cobbler!

*Classic Bisquick Peach Cobbler (Biscuit style topping)

*Classic Peach Cobbler(Cake-like topping)

*Juicy Peach Crisp (Brown sugar & oat crumble topping)

Service with vanilla ice cream, or make your own Creme Anglaise sauce. A creme anglaise sauce is a simple vanilla and cream custard – a perfect compliment to a warm peach cobbler.

Have a favorite peach recipe? Share the recipe or link in the comments below!