August Produce Guide
Written by Jenni Maher
August already? Summer is flying by way too fast! But it’s not too late to stock up on this month’s seasonal produce. As the summer winds down, now is a great time to visit your local farmer’s market to gather your favorite end-of-season produce. Better yet, check out one of Ocean County’s pick-your-own farms for an activity everyone can enjoy. Get your August produce before it’s gone! Here are some fresh foods to keep in mind when doing your August produce shopping:
There is nothing quite like the natural flavor and texture of a fresh fig. Figs are naturally sweet which makes for a great snack in itself. They are also PACKED with fiber, which adds bulk to the diet and aids weight management. While figs can sometimes be hard to grow in NJ climates, we’ve seen them available at fresh farmer’s markets across Ocean County.
Grilled, roasted, or raw, sweet corn is the epitome of summer at the shore. Readily available from mid-June through mid-October, sweet corn is your go-to vegetable for the end of summer. Jersey Fresh markets offer 6 ears of corn for about two dollars, which is great to stock up on for those end-of-summer and Labor Day barbeques. Try adding cooked corn kernels to your favorite fresh salsa recipe for a new flavor, or channel your inner American and bite it right off the cob!
Blackberries & Blueberries
Nothing says summer like a bowl of fresh berries. A New Jersey favorite, blueberries & blackberries are available this month, but not for long! The harvesting season for these bits of goodness typically runs from mid-June through September, so get them before their gone. New Jersey offers some of the country’s best pick-your-own farms for berries of all kind—Consider spending a day with friends or family visiting a nearby farm to gather the last bit of these summertime favorites.
Though these tasty treats are typically available year-round, they are most abundant during the late summer to early fall months. The harvesting season for bell peppers in NJ runs from mid-July through the end of September, leaving you plenty of time to stock up on these colorful veggies. These crisp and crunchy snacks offer tons of nutrients to the diet. Did you know that some species of bell peppers have TWICE the amount of vitamin C as an orange? Peppers are also rich in carotenoids and antioxidants, which help to strengthen immunity and protect against disease.
Among the top ten fruits and veggies grown in New Jersey, peaches are a sweet way to add interest to any summertime dish. Fire up the grill and roast some peaches to top off your favorite salad, or get a little risky and add some to a chicken dish or burger for a sweet & savory combo. Fresh peaches can be a delightful snack alternative, as they are low in calories and offer a variety of healthy vitamins & minerals.
As a rule of thumb, choosing fresh, organic fruits and vegetables maximizes the health benefits of our favorite Jersey produce. Scout out your favorite farmer’s market or find a new one and gather your end of summer produce. Ocean County also offers a variety of pick-your-own farms—plan a date to round up what’s left of this summer’s products:
Brookville Farms – Barnegat, NJ
Open Monday to Sunday, 10am-7pm
Pick-your-own: Pumpkins, blueberries
Champion U-Pick – Whiting, NJ
Open Monday-Sunday, 7am-3pm
DeWolf’s Farm – New Eygypt, NJ
Pick-your-own: Strawberries, blackberries, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, squash, beans, cabbage, spinach, potatoes, melons, and others!
Emery’s Berry Farm – New Eygypt, NJ
Open Monday-Sunday, 9am-6pm
Silverton Farm – Tom’s River, NJ
Open Tuesday-Saturday, 9am-5pm & Sunday, 9am-4pm
Pick-your-own: Berries, flowers, and pumpkin