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North End Farmers Market

ACORN SQUASH

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acorn squash

How To Select

Good quality acorn squash will be firm, smooth-skinned and heavy for its size. The coloring will be dark green, or up to 1/2 of the squash may be yellow-orange. Avoid squash that has soft spots, dull and wrinkled skin, or that is more than 1/2 yellow-orange in color.

How To Store and Clean

Acorn squash can be stored in a cool dry place for at least a month. If it has been cut into pieces, store it wrapped in plastic.

Common Uses

Often baked, but also excellent cubed and roasted or in soup.

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APPLES

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apples

How To Select

Good quality apples are firm with smooth, clean skin. To test its firmness, hold the apple in the palm of your hand. (Do not push with your thumb.) It should feel solid and heavy. If an apple skin wrinkles when you rub your thumb across it, it has probably been in cold storage too long or has not been kept cool. Avoid apples with soft or dark spots, or a rough, scab-like surface on the stem end.

How To Store and Clean

Store apples in a cool dark place. They also keep well when placed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Common Uses

Apples can be eaten raw. They are good in salads and can be baked or steamed.

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ARUGULA

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arugula

How To Select

Arugula should be fresh looking, crisp and brightly-colored. Avoid arugula that is wilted, has dry brown areas, or is pale or yellow in color. Also, avoid any arugula that has slimy looking dark spots or areas of mold, as this indicates old product or poor handling.

How To Store and Clean

Arugula will keep longer if stored with freshly cut stems in a glass of water - either in or out of the refrigerator.

Common Uses

Arugual can be eaten raw. It's leaves are zesty and when harvested before fully mature make a great addition to salads.

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ASPARAGUS

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asparagus

How To Select

High quality asparagus has tender stalks that are nearly completely green. Tender stalks are usually medium-sized and the tips are firmly closed. Asparagus with fairly thick stalks will taste just fine, simply peel and cook as you normally would. Avoid asparagus with wrinkled stalks and wilted tips. Also avoid stalks that are too thin.

How To Store and Clean

Keep fresh asparagus clean, cold and covered. Trim the stem ends about 1/4 inch and wash in warm water several times. Pat dry, refrigerate and use within 2 or 3 days for best quality. To maintain freshness, stand upright in two inches of cold water and cover tops with a plastic bag.

Common Uses

Asparagus can be eaten raw. It is often grilled, stir fried, or steamed. It can also be pickled and stored.

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BEANS

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beans

How To Select

Look for fresh, clean beans that are tender, crisp and well shaped. The most tender beans are thin but can be either long or short. Pick beans with smooth skin. Avoid beans that are tough and discolored, as this is a sign that they are not fresh. Also avoid beans that are soft, wrinkled, or have lumpy sections along the length.

How To Store and Clean

Wash and dry beans in water before refrigeration, but do not snap off the ends before storing. Beans will keep for several days in a plastic container, but are best when used immediately.

Common Uses

Beans can be eaten raw. Steam, bake, grill, and add to salads and casseroles.

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BEETS

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beets

How To Select

Good beets are smooth, firm and small-sized. They should be firm and not too dark colored. Beets with the greens still attached assure the freshest product. Fresh beet greens have bright green leaves with red veins running through them. Avoid beets that are dark red (almost black) or soft with rough pock-marked skin. Avoid greens that are limp, wilted, or dark green with spots of yellow.

How To Store and Clean

Storing beets unwashed in the refrigerator crisper will help them keep for 2 to 4 weeks. Cut the majority of greens and stems from the roots, leaving about two inches of the stem attached to prevent the roots from bleeding. Remove greens from beets before storage to prevent moisture loss in the beet. Store the unwashed greens in a separate plastic bag. Greens will keep for about 4 days.

Common Uses

Beet greens can be eaten raw, in salads, and used like spinach. Beets can be boiled, pickled, roasted, baked or fried. Beets are often added to soups.

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BLACKBERRIES

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blackberries

How To Select

Good quality blackberries will be firm, plump, and dry. Avoid blackberries that are smashed, leaking juice or have mold. Also avoid berries that are too firm, green or are still attached to the stem.

How To Store and Clean

Blackberries are highly perishable and delicate. It is best to eat blackberries as soon as possible after purchase, but they should last up to 3 to 5 days in a dry, sealed container in the refrigerator. Moisture will increase the risk of moldy, spoiled berries. Prior to refrigeration, discard any moldy berries. Overripe berries should be eaten within 24 hours of purchase. Do not wash until ready to use.

Common Uses

Eaten raw, in fruit salads, in desserts, sauces, in jams and jellies.

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BLUEBERRIES

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blueberries

How To Select

Blueberries should be firm and plump with uniform size and color. They should be deep purple to almost black with silver- white frost on the skin. They should be dry and free from leaves and stems. Avoid berries that are soft, have a dull appearance, dimpled skin or leaking juice.

How To Store and Clean

Before storing blueberries, check the container for any spoiled, wrinkled, smashed, or moldy berries. Use any very ripe berries within 24 hours. The rest should be refrigerated, unwashed, up to 5 to 7 days in a dry, covered container.

Common Uses

Blueberries can be eaten raw and are good in salads. They are often cooked into glazes or baked into pies, muffins, pancakes and breads.

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BROCCOLI

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broccoli

How To Select

Good quality broccoli will be dark green to almost blue in color on the flower end and will also be tightly budded. Avoid broccoli with a flower end that is soft enough to easily part with your finger tips. Also avoid broccoli that is even slightly limp or has yellow buds.

How To Store and Clean

Refrigerate unwashed broccoli in a plastic bag, up to 4 days. Keep it away from moisture which can cause it to become limp, moldy, and spoiled.

Common Uses

Broccoli can be eaten raw and is often added to vegetable platters and salads. Use it in soups, stews, and casseroles. Peel tough stalks before cooking.

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BROCCOLI RABE

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broccolirabe

How To Select

Look for bright-green leaves that are crisp, upright and not wilted. Avoid product with leaves that are wilted, yellowing or have dark green patches of slime.

How To Store and Clean

Store in the refrigerator. To prolong freshness, cut the stem end and soak in warm water for 2-3 minutes before storing in your refrigerator.

Common Uses

Cook like broccoli - broil, stir-fry, braise, sauté or steam.

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BRUSSELS SPROUTS

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brussels sprouts

How To Select

Quality brussels sprouts will be medium-sized, dark green and firm. They are sometimes sold while still on the stem. Avoid brussels sprouts with yellowed leaves, or those that are soft and starting to open or bloom.

How To Store and Clean

Store in the refrigerator. To prolong freshness, soak in water for 2-3 minutes before refrigerating.

Common Uses

Steamed or roasted, may be served with sauce toppings, in salads, French fried and au gratin, almondine in casseroles.

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BUTTERNUT SQUASH

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butternut squash

How To Select

Good quality butternut squash will be firm, smooth-skinned, heavy for its size and have an even cream color. Avoid product that has soft spots, dull and wrinkled skin or that is extremely light for its size.

How To Store and Clean

Butternut squash can be stored in a cool dry place for at least a month. Store cut squash by wrapping it in plastic.

Common Uses

Baked, cubed, roasted and used in soups.

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CABBAGE

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cabbage

How To Select

Look for cabbage that is semi-solid, well-rounded and fairly heavy in relation to size. Even green coloring means good flavor and vitamin content. Cabbage with thick and pliable leaves will be more tender and juicy. Avoid Cabbage that has thin, wilted leaves. Oblong and cracked heads mean poor quality from growing conditions.

How To Store and Clean

Store cabbage in a closed bag or container in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Common Uses

Enjoy raw cabbage in a salad or steamed. It is often added to casseroles, soups and stews.

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CANTALOUPE

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cantaloupe

How To Select

Fresh cantaloupe has large webbing or netting on the skin, a yellowish orange color, and is slightly soft on the stem end (firm elsewhere). Check for a good smell on the stem end (if it is not too cold). The scar at the stem end should be a smooth, well rounded cavity. You can hear the seeds rattle inside a juicy melon when shaken. Often melons have a bleached side that rested on the soil� this does not affect the quality of the melon. Avoid Cantaloupes with a rough stem end and with portions of the stem remaining. This means the melon was harvested too early.

How To Store and Clean

Whole melon will keep up to 5 days if refrigerated. Cut melon stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator will last 3 to 5 days. Also, cantaloupes pick up other odors easily, so beware when storing.

Common Uses

Cantaloupe can be eaten raw, and is often used in fruit salads or platters.

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CARROTS

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carrots

How To Select

Good quality carrots will be firm, smooth-skinned, straight-shaped and without blemishes. Deeper orange coloring means higher amounts of beta carotene (Vitamin A). Avoid carrots that are wilting, soft, split, or are growing thin hair-like roots. Also avoid carrots with large green areas at the top or with dark blemishes or brown coloring of any kind.

How To Store and Clean

Store carrots in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper apart from apples. Remove the leafy green top if attached at time of purchase and brush off any loose dirt before storing.

Common Uses

Carrots can be eaten raw, added to salads, cooked, stir-fried, and used for juicing.

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CAULIFLOWER

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cauliflower

How To Select

Cauliflower should have white or slightly off-white heads that are firm with no space between the curds. The leaves should be fresh and green. There is no quality difference between large and small heads. Avoid Cauliflower that is soft, has ivory to light brown coloring or that has small dark spots on the curds.

How To Store and Clean

Refrigerate unwashed cauliflower, head-down to prevent moisture loss, tightly wrapped in the crisper drawer, away from fruit.

Common Uses

Cauliflower can be eaten raw in vegetable platters and salads, as well as steamed, baked, and added to soups.

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CELERIAC

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celeriac

How To Select

Also called celery root, good quality celeriac will be very firm with light brown skin. Avoid product that is even slightly soft or product that is very dark-colored.

How To Store and Clean

Celeriac can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple months if kept dry. To prolong storage life, soak in water for 2-3 minutes before storing in your refrigerator.

Common Uses

Eaten raw, cooked, soups, stews and salads.

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CHERRIES

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cherry

How To Select

Look for large, firm cherries with even, deep coloring. Avoid those that are soft, have wrinkled skin, are leaking and sticky, or that have any signs of decay. Immature cherries will be smaller and less juicy, while over-mature cherries will be soft, dull and wrinkled.

How To Store and Clean

Refrigerate cherries unwashed and loosely-packed in a plastic bag up to 1 week. Cherries with healthy green stems attached will stay fresh longer than those without stems.

Common Uses

Enjoy cherries raw, added to fruit salads, and cooked in sauces and desserts.

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COLLARD GREENS

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collard greens

How To Select

Good quality collards have dark-green colored, broad, flat leaves that are crisp, upright and not wilted. Avoid greens with leaves that are wilted, yellowing or have dark green patches of slime on parts of the leaves.

How To Store and Clean

Store greens in the refrigerator. To prolong storage life, cut the stem end and soak in water for 2-3 minutes before storing in the refrigerator.

Common Uses

Greens are used as you would cooked spinach, sauteed, steamed or in soups. Also used as a garnish.

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CORN

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corn

How To Select

Good quality corn has full, evenly formed ears with straight rows of kernels. Husks should be fresh-looking and bright green, with silk ends free of decay or worm damage. Look for bright and shiny kernels. Pull back the husk and poke one of the kernels at the tip of the silk end with a finger-nail. If juice squirts out and is only slightly cloudy, it�s fresh. If the juice is thick or non-existent, the corn is old. Avoid Corn that has shriveled husks, or has dark-colored slime in the tassel. Large kernels, those with dark yellow dents and wrinkled kernels with no juice in them are signs that the corn is old. Also avoid under - developed kernels lacking good color (except in the white variety) and short or crooked ears that are not filled almost to the tip with kernels.

How To Store and Clean

Store corn in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Keeping the husk attached will help protect and retain moisture con tent. If the husk is already removed, refrigerate fresh corn in a plastic bag.

Common Uses

Boil, steam, microwave or roast corn.

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CUCUMBERS

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cucumbers

How To Select

Look for an even dark-green color, firm and relatively thin. Good cumumbers can be either long or short. The thin skin of the cucumber does not require peeling unless waxed. English or hothouse cucumbers grow up to 2 feet long and can be virtually seedless. Avoid Cucumbers that are soft, yellow or wrinkled on the ends. Huge or fat cucumbers may be full of large seeds and bitter.

How To Store and Clean

Refrigerate cucumbers up to 1 week in a sealed plastic bag.

Common Uses

Cucumber can be eaten raw. It is often added to vegetable platters and salads and sandwiches. It is often pickled.

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CURRANTS

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currant

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How To Store and Clean

Common Uses

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EGGPLANT

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eggplant

How To Select

Eggplant is most commonly dark purple, but newer varieties are pale yellow to white. Good quality eggplant is firm and dark-colored with smooth and shiny skin. It feels relatively light for its size. It can vary in size and shape (egg-shaped to almost round). When young, the skin is tender and edible; while more mature eggplant has tough skin and should be peeled. Avoid Eggplant that is soft, has blemishes, discolored marks or soft spots. Wrinkled and dull colored skin indicates old produce.

How To Store and Clean

Refrigerate eggplant uncut and unwashed in a sealed plastic bag up to 1 week.

Common Uses

Eggplant is often baked, grilled, roasted, microwaved or fried.

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FENNEL

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fennel

How To Select

Also called anise, look for fennel that has light green and delicate foliage at the top of the stalk. Avoid fennel that is wilted, limp, has dry brown areas, or is pale or yellow in color. Slimy looking dark spots indicate old product or poor handling.

How To Store and Clean

Fennel will benefit from being stored with freshly cut stems in a glass of water, either in or out of the refrigerator.

Common Uses

Can be used in salads and omelets. Served with fish, pork and lamb dishes/

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FIDDLEHEADS

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fiddleheads

How To Select

Fiddleheads are harvested early in the season before the frond has opened and reached its full height. They should be firmly curled.

How To Store and Clean

Remove the brown papery husk before washing in several changes of cold water before cooking.

Common Uses

Fiddleheads are often steamed lightly, just until tender crisp. They are served hot, with hollandaise sauce, butter and lemon or vinegar, or chilled and served in salad. They can also be pickled or frozen.

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GARLIC

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garlic

How To Select

Good quality garlic will be large, very firm, evenly-shaped (no missing cloves) and the sheath will be tight and unbroken. Colors for garlic include brilliant white, tan, cream, purple and dark wine, but the most popular varieties are white. Avoid garlic that is soft, spongy, is missing cloves or that has green sprouts growing from the tip.

How To Store and Clean

Garlic should be stored in a cool, dry location with good ventilation. They should not be stored in either a plastic bag. Avoid prolonged storage in a refrigerator, unless it has been peeled.

Common Uses

Use as a salt substitute, as a flavoring in cooking & salsas or on garlic bread. Roasted garlic is also very delicious.

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GARLIC SCAPES

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garlicscape

How To Select

Garlic scapes are cut in order to encourage garlic bulb production. Choose fresh looking unblemished stalks.

How To Store and Clean

Store scapes in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Alternatively, put freshly-cut ends in a container of water and keep at room temperature for a few days in order to mantain the scapes' curly shapes.

Common Uses

Garlic scapes add a mild garlic flavor and can be used in the same ways as the bulb, to add flavor or as a salt substitute.

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GOOSEBERRIES

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gooseberries

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How To Store and Clean

Common Uses

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GREENS

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greens

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How To Store and Clean

Common Uses

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HERBS

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herbs

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Common Uses

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KALE

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kale

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How To Store and Clean

Common Uses

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KOHLRABI

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kohlrabi

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How To Store and Clean

Common Uses

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LEEKS

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leeks

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How To Store and Clean

Common Uses

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LETTUCE

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lettuce

How To Select

Green leaf lettuce should have fairly large, loose heads and thick, �crumpled� leaves. Look for leaves that are medium to dark-green in color, and whiter at the ribs and veins. Scratch the stalk and smell. A sweet or bitter smell means sweet or bitter flavor. Avoid Lettuce with thin, wilted leaves and brown spots near the stalk end. Extremely solid, light-colored heads will have large cores and less taste.

How To Store and Clean

Romaine will keep up to 10 days if stored in an airtight bag or tightly wrapped. Leaf lettuces can be stored wrapped in a damp paper towel and then sealed in a plastic bag and can be stored up to 5 days. All lettuce should be kept in a refrigerator crisper drawer away from fruit.

Common Uses

Lettuces is eaten raw in salads, sandwiches, used as in juicing.

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MUSHROOMS

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mushrooms

How To Select

Look for young mushrooms that are small to medium in size. Caps should be either closed around the stem or moderately open with pink or light tan gills (underneath the cap). The cap�s surface should be white or light brown. Avoid wide-open caps and dark, discolored gills, and those with pitted or very discolored caps.

How To Store and Clean

Mushrooms can keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator, if stored unwashed in a paper bag. A plastic bag will trap moisture and promote spoilage. Storing them out of a bag will dry them out.

Common Uses

Mushrooms are eaten raw, added to soups, salads, sauces. They can be sauted and served over meats and side dishes.

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NECTARINES

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nectarines

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How To Store and Clean

Common Uses

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NEW POTATOES

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new potatoes

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How To Store and Clean

Common Uses

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ONIONS

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onions

How To Select

Good quality yellow onions will be firm and have even-colored, paper-dry skin. Onions that are flat-shaped from stem to root end, not round, sometimes indicate a sweeter taste. Avoid Onions that are soft, wet-skinned, bruised, have dark blemishes or spots of mold.

How To Store and Clean

Store whole onions in a dry, dark, well ventilated place; not in the refrigerator, for 2 to 4 weeks. Avoid storing onions near potatoes; onions will absorb the potato�s moisture and spoil from exposure to the potato�s gas. Also avoid storing onions where they will be exposed to moisture. Once cut, onions should be sealed tightly in plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator.

Common Uses

Onions can be eaten raw and are often grilled. They can be added to stews, soups and casseroles.

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PARSNIPS

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parsnips

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How To Store and Clean

Common Uses

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PATTYPAN SQUASH

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pattypan

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Common Uses

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PEAS & PEA PODS

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pea

How To Select

Snow peas should be flat with a fairly shiny appearance. Sugar snap peas are little smaller than snow peas and should have a plump, snug pod with the peas inside. Sugar peas have strings, which can be removed but this is not required. Good quality peas will have a large pod that bulges away from the pea inside. The pod will be firm and crisp with medium to dark-green coloring. Avoid Peas with soft, limp pods or blemished pods. Also avoid peas that are so big, they almost burst from the pod.

How To Store and Clean

Peas have a shelf life up to 3 days when kept refrigerated unwashed, in plastic bags. Snow peas like less humidity than sugar snap peas, so take that into account in deciding where in the refrigerator to store them. It is also help to perforate the plastic bag in which they are stored.

Common Uses

Peas may be eaten raw and steamed. They are often added to salads, casseroles, stews, and soups. English peas should be removed from the pod before cooking. Other types such as snow peas and sugar peas, are eaten pod and all.

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PEACHES

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peaches

How To Select

Look for fairly large fruit that is firm to slightly soft, with yellowish or creamy background color. Some, but not all, peach varieties have a red blush color. An extremely ripe peach will have a sweet peach smell at room temperature. Avoid Peaches that are extremely small, hard, overly soft, or that have wrinkled skin at the stem end. A green background color on peaches means they were picked immature and will not ripen well.

How To Store and Clean

Ripened peaches keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. Do not store unripe peaches in the refrigerator, in a plastic bag or in direct sunlight; allow them to ripen in a closed paper bag (1 to 3 days).

Common Uses

Peach varieties fall into 2 general types: freestone (flesh readily separates from the pit) and clingstone (flesh clings tightly to the pit). Freestones are usually preferred for eating fresh or for freezing, while clingstones are used primarily for canning, although they are sometimes sold fresh. Peaches are sometimes baked in to desserts or used in sauces.

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PEARS

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pears

How To Select

Pears grow in a wide range of shapes from almost round to bell shaped. Their color can vary from green to yellow to red. Look for pears that have no bruises and only a few minor scuff marks. When ripe, pears are slightly sweet scented and bruise easily. Avoid Pears with soft spots or scars that are more than skin-deep.

How To Store and Clean

Ripe pears will keep for up to 3 day if refrigerated in a plastic bag. Hard pears will ripen best at room temperature, placed in a paper bag for 2 to 3 days until fragrant and soft to the touch.

Common Uses

Ripe pears will keep for up to 3 day if refrigerated in a plastic bag. Hard pears will ripen best at room temperature, placed in a paper bag for 2 to 3 days until fragrant and soft to the touch.

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PEPPERS

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peppers

How To Select

A green pepper is a pepper that has not fully ripened before being picked and will not ripen after picking, which gives longer STORAGE time before spoilage. The richer the color red, orange, and purple the sweeter the flavor and higher in Vitamin A and C nutrients. Select peppers that are firm, smooth-skinned and fairly evenly shaped. The coloring should be even with no blemishes. Avoid Peppers that are soft, have wrinkled skin or are bruised or pock marked.

How To Store and Clean

Store whole peppers unwashed. Whole bell peppers will refrigerate up to 1 week in a plastic bag.

Common Uses

Peppers are eaten raw, cooked, roasted, grilled, and sauteed. They are often added to casseroles or cored and stuffed with filling as a main dish.

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PLUMS

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plums

How To Select

Good quality plums will be fairly firm to slightly soft with smooth skin. Avoid Plums with wrinkled, punctured, or rough skin. Also avoid plums that are extremely hard or have brown skin discolorations.

How To Store and Clean

Ripen firm plums at room temperature in a paper bag, with the top folded over but not sealed, for a couple of days. Ripe plums should keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Common Uses

Eaten raw, baked or poached for dessert.

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POTATOES

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potatoes

How To Select

Good quality potatoes will be firm, smooth skinned and have bright red coloring. They should have few eyes, and those few eyes should be shallow. Avoid Potatoes that are soft, wrinkled, have cuts in the skin or are green tinted.

How To Store and Clean

Potatoes should be stored in a cool place away from light. Potatoes will keep 1 to 2 weeks. Any moisture will encourage sprouting so an ideal STORAGE area for potatoes is dry—avoid the refrigerator! Also avoid storing potatoes with onions. Though the two vegetables require similar STORAGE conditions, onions will encourage potatoes to spoil.

Common Uses

Baked, roasted, fried, boiled and added to salads.

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PUMPKINS

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pumpkins

How To Select

A good quality pumpkin will be hard and heavy for its size. Avoid Pumpkins that are very light for their size or soft in any way.

How To Store and Clean

Fresh whole pumpkins can be stored at room temperature up to 1 month.

Common Uses

Baked in pies, custards, pureed for soups, added to stews, and carved for Jack-O-Lanterns. Pumpkins can be baked whole, allowed to cool, and then peeled or sliced easily.

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RADICCHIO

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radicchio

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How To Store and Clean

Common Uses

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RADISHES

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radishes

How To Select

Radishes can be purchased in bunches, with their greens attached, or in bags with greens clipped off. Look for radishes that are smooth, firm, and small to medium sized. The coloring should be an even bright cherry red with no blemishes or scars, and tops should be bright green and crisp. If the tops are yellow, limp or slimy, the radishes are either old or have not been refrigerated properly. Also, avoid Radishes that are soft, dull-colored, have white or brown scars, or black spots.

How To Store and Clean

Remove and discard leaves if on at time of purchase. Store unwashed radishes in an airtight bag in refrigerator up to 7 days.

Common Uses

Eaten raw in salads and vegetable platters, used as a garnish.

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RASPBERRIES

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raspberries

How To Select

Good quality raspberries will be firm, plump, and dry. Avoid raspberries that are smashed, leaking juice or have mold. Also avoid berries that are too firm, green or are still attached to the stem.

How To Store and Clean

Raspberries are highly perishable and delicate. It is best to eat raspberries as soon as possible after purchase, but they should last up to 3 to 5 days in a dry, sealed container in the refrigerator. Moisture will increase the risk of moldy, spoiled berries. Prior to refrigeration, discard any moldy berries. Overripe berries should be eaten within 24 hours of purchase. Do not wash until ready to use.

Common Uses

Eaten raw, in fruit salads, in desserts, sauces, in jams and jellies.

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RHUBARB

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rhubarb

How To Select

Look for fresh, firm rhubarb stems with a bright, glossy appearance. Stems should have a large amount of pink or red color, although many good quality stems will be predominantly light green. Be sure that the stem is tender and not fibrous. Avoid either very slender or extremely thick stems, which are likely to be tough and stringy. Also avoid rhubarb that is soft, dull looking, scarred or has brown or black ends. Do not eat rhubarb leaves, they are poisonous in large quantities.

How To Store and Clean

Rhubarb leaves must be removed before cooking. It will last up to 2 weeks when put in a plastic bag in the coolest part of the refrigerator, but is best if eaten within 7 to 10 days.

Common Uses

Rhubarb is a vegetable, but used like a fruit in sweetened sauces, pies, and other desserts.

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RUTABAGA

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rutabaga

How To Select

Good quality rutabagas will be firm, smooth-skinned and free of blemishes. The coloring will be a deep rust-red that fades to a cream. Avoid rutabagas that are soft or spongy, scarred or cut, or have dull coloring.

How To Store and Clean

If stored in the refrigerator's crisper drawer in a perforated plastic bag, rutabagas will last for a few weeks. To prolong storage life, soak in water for 2-3 minutes before storing in your refrigerator.

Common Uses

Used like turnips in stews and roasted.

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SCALLIONS

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scallions

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Common Uses

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SPAGHETTI SQUASH

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spaghetti squash

How To Select

Spaghetti squash is ripe when its color changes from green to yellow, and when it snaps easily off the vine. Good quality spaghetti squash will be firm, smooth-skinned, heavy for its size and have an even, fairly bright yellow color. Avoid squash that has soft spots, dull and brittle skin or that is extremely light for its size.

How To Store and Clean

Spaghetti squash can be stored in a cool dry place for at least a month. If the squash has been cut into pieces, then wrap in plastic and store in the refrigerator for a day or two or freeze it for longer term storage.

Common Uses

Baked & used like pasta.

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SPINACH

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spinach

How To Select

Good quality spinach will have broad, thick, crisp dark green leaves. The stems will be unblemished and free of mud. Avoid Spinach with thin, limp leaves that are pale-green or yellow or in wilted condition. Also avoid mud-caked product, or bunches with extremely large or blemished stalks.

How To Store and Clean

Store unwashed in an airtight bag for 3 to 5 days in refrigerator.Wash under running water to remove any sand and soil.

Common Uses

Eaten raw or cooked.

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STRAWBERRIES

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strawberries

How To Select

Strawberries vary in size, shape and color (some are off white). Look for strawberries that are firm but not rock-hard, evenly shaped and medium to large in size. Their coloring should be even and bright. Avoid Strawberries that are wrinkled, soft, spotted with mold or leaking juice. Berries with more than a touch of green or white around the caps do not ripen well after they are picked.

How To Store and Clean

Check the contents of the strawberry container and use any overripe berries within 24 hours. The remaining strawberries should be refrigerated in the same container they were purchased in, and should last 2 to 5 days. Do not wash them until you are ready to eat them, or they will become mushy and moldy.

Common Uses

Eaten raw, in desserts, glazes, juicing, jams and jellies.

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SUMMER SQUASH

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summer squash

How To Select

Look for squash that is firm, smooth-skinned and small in size. The surface should be shiny. Large squash will be less tender than a smaller product. Avoid any that are soft, wrinkled, blemished or dull in appearance.

How To Store and Clean

For best taste, use squash within 2 or 3 days. Keep unwashed squash in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to a week. To prevent decay do not wash until ready to use, as moisture will speed the decaying process.

Common Uses

Eaten raw, cooked, steamed, grilled, fried, baked or microwaved, added to soups, stews, and casseroles. Some overly large squash will develop thick skin, and will improve in taste if its skin and seeds are removed before cooking.

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TOMATILLOS

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tomatillos

How To Select

Good quality tomatillos are very firm and smooth-skinned with a dry and crisp husk. The coloring will be light to medium-green with an occasional yellow blush, while the husk will be green to light tan. Avoid tomatillos that are soft, wet or are blemished with black spots.

How To Store and Clean

Store unwashed tomatillos in your refrigerator. Only husk and wash just prior to use.

Common Uses

Used in sauces, Mexican stew, salsa and casseroles.

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TOMATOES

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tomatoes

How To Select

For tomatoes that are good for slicing, select firm, smooth-skinned produce that is at least pink in color. Tomatoes that are partially green will ripen if left at room temperature. Avoid Tomatoes that are too soft, wrinkled or those that have broken skin. Tomatoes with a green blush will ripen, but avoid those with blotchy green or brown areas.

How To Store and Clean

To ripen tomatoes, put them in a warm place but not in direct sunlight. Unless they are fully ripened, do not store tomatoes in a refrigerator—the cold temperatures might keep them from further ripening and will ruin the flavor. Store sliced tomatoes in the refrigerator.

Common Uses

Tomatoes are eaten raw, used in casseroles, sauces, stews, chili and salsa.

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TURNIPS

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turnips

How To Select

Good turnips will be very firm, smooth-skinned and heavy for their size. The coloring will be light-purple on the top fading to bright-white at the bottom. Avoid Turnips that are soft, spongy, blemished with brown spots, cut or lightweight for its size, and large turnips with too many leaf scars around the top.

How To Store and Clean

Turnips should be tightly wrapped and stored in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Common Uses

Sliced or cubed in stews, soups, roasted, in salads, boil and mash with potatoes.

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WATERMELON

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watermelon

How To Select

A good quality watermelon is firm, evenly-shaped, and heavy for its size. The underside will be yellow and its rind will have an overall healthy sheen. When slapped with an open palm, a ripe melon will have a deep-pitched tone. Avoid melons with a high-pitched tone or a flat, thudding sound. Watermelons do not ripen any further once they are cut from the vine. Avoid those that are partially while or pale green, or have soft spots. Melons should not have dents or bruises. Cut watermelon should have a firm texture. Seeds, if present, should be hard and fully matured.

How To Store and Clean

Keep whole watermelons in refrigerator if at all possible up to 5 days. If refrigerator space limited, store in cool place. Store cut water melon wrapped in the refrigerator for to 3 to 5 days.

Common Uses

Watermelon is eaten raw and can be blended into smoothies.

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WINTER SQUASH

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winter

How To Select

Winter squash comes in several varieties. These should be firm, smooth-skinned and heavy for its size. Avoid squashes that have soft spots, dull and wrinkled skin.

How To Store and Clean

Winter squash can be stored in a cool dry place for at least a month. If it has been cut into pieces, store it wrapped in plastic.

Common Uses

Often baked, but also excellent cubed and roasted or in soup.

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YELLOW SQUASH

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yellow squash

How To Select

Look for squash that is firm, smooth-skinned and small in size. The surface should be shiny. Large squash will be less tender than a smaller product. Avoid any that are soft, wrinkled, blemished or dull in appearance.

How To Store and Clean

For best taste, use squash within 2 or 3 days. Keep unwashed squash in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to a week. To prevent decay do not wash until ready to use, as moisture will speed the decaying process.

Common Uses

Eaten raw, cooked, steamed, grilled, fried, baked or microwaved, added to soups, stews, and casseroles. Some overly large squash will develop thick skin, and will improve in taste if its skin and seeds are removed before cooking.

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ZUCCHINI

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zucchini

How To Select

Look for zucchini that is firm, smooth-skinned and small in size. The surface should be shiny. Large squash will be less tender than a smaller product. Avoid any that are soft, wrinkled, blemished or dull in appearance.

How To Store and Clean

For best taste, use zucchini within 2 or 3 days. Keep unwashed zucchini in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to a week. To prevent decay do not wash until ready to use, as moisture will speed the decaying process.

Common Uses

Eaten raw, cooked, steamed, grilled, fried, baked or microwaved, added to soups, stews, and casseroles. Some overly large zucchini will develop thick skin, and will improve in taste if its skin and seeds are removed before cooking.

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ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS

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zucchini blossoms

How To Select

Look for firm, fresh-looking flowers that are only slightly open.

How To Store and Clean

Zucchini blossoms should be refrigerated in a tightly sealed container.

Common Uses

Zucchini blossoms are often fried or baked, or served over pasta, risotto, or salad.

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CALCULATOR

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ABOUT US

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The CT Harvest app takes its calendar of seasonality from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture's Crop Calendar and was created by the North End Farmers Market, Middletown, CT.

The North End Farmers market is a lively neighborhood market is run by the North End Action Team (NEAT). Located at the corner of Main and Liberty Streets, the Market runs every Friday from mid June through the end of October, from 10 am to 2 pm. Since 2008, The North End Farmers Market has sprung up in Middletown's North End every summer and connected thousands of families to farm fresh produce.

North End Market shoppers eligible for food benefits (WIC/SNAP/Senior Vouchers) can receive a dollar-for-dollar match for purchasing fresh produce, up to $40 per month. SNAP recipients can buy market tokens with their EBT Card to purchase fruit, vegetables, dairy, eggs, and baked goods.

The North End Farmers Market is a project of the North End Action Team. For information call 860-346-4845. Se hable español. This project was funded in part by matching funds from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture through the Community Investment Act, 05-228. Copyright 2014.

North End Farmers Market