Farm fresh produce is a solution for adding variety and nutrition to meals without increased cost, especially if you grow your own....or visit a local farmer's market. During the warm summer months, we have the opportunity to introduce new vegetables and fruits to our families with minimum required preparation! This month on "It's About You", we discover the world of Farmer's Markets through the eyes of our expert, Dr Sandra Bastin, UK Extension Specialist for Food & Nutrition and learn how to grow some of own produce right outside our backdoors  from Patti Meads, Woodford Co Extension Agent for Horticulture.

BerriesFarmer's markets are favorite places to shop for many of us but we need to remember to buy only what the family can eat with the next few days of purchase! When purchasing produce, look for crisp, fresh produce that works for your menu needs and follow proper storage techniques at home to retain freshness. Washing and storing leafy greens, summer squashes or fruit in the refrigerator after purchasing is best but items like potatoes can be stored in a cool, dry area, washing prior to preparation.

Using cooking methods like microwaving, roasting, grilling or sautéing makes vegetable preparation at mealtime quick and easy. Add some seasonings and you're ready to serve a tasty dish that will please all the family members. Serving fresh fruit is as easy as wash, slice and serve! Fresh berries in a dish or over yogurt, angel food cake or ice cream add a special touch to meals...and little more nutrition.

veggies"Buying local" is a great way to support the farmers around us and it guarantees freshness at our meals. Look at the opportunities that exist in your local community and your own backyard. In the middle of summer, it's not too late to grow some of your own vegetables. Regardless of housing location, anyone can grow vegetables by using a variety of containers or even a bag of potting soil!

Take advantage of the warm weather-shop at your local famer's market, grow some vegetables and make your meals come alive with the freshness of the season!

UK Extension Publications related to Farm Fresh-A Meal Time Solution
[ links removed - check Family and Consumer Sciences website for current publications ]

Food Safety

Fruits and Vegetables: Food Safety

Vitamins and Minerals

Preserving Vitamins in Foods

Nutrition Education Programs

Vegetable Group: Vary your Veggies

Add Variety

Fruit Group: Focus on Fruit

Fruit it Up

Best Buys

Recipes (items that will be in-season during July)

Kentucky Blueberries - Blueberry Sauce

Kentucky Blueberries - Blueberry Muffins

Kentucky Broccoli - Broccoli Salad Supreme

Kentucky Cabbage - Cole Slaw

Kentucky Corn - Zucchini and Corn Sauté

Kentucky Green Beans - Green Beans, Carrots, and Celery

Kentucky Green Beans - Garlic Green Beans

Kentucky Lima Beans - Broccoli-Lima Bean Bake

Kentucky Okra - Okra Scramble

Kentucky Peaches - Cinnamon Peach Crisp

Kentucky Peaches - Peach Yogurt Salad

Kentucky Potatoes - Vegetable Potato Salad

Kentucky Potatoes - Oven-Fried Potatoes

Kentucky Potatoes - Tex-Mex Stuffed Potatoes

Kentucky Raspberries and Blackberries - Berry Muffins

Kentucky Raspberries and Blackberries - Berry Cobbler

Kentucky Summer Squash - Summer Squash Casserole

Kentucky Tomatoes - Fresh Tomato Sauce

Horticulture Publications

Fruit and vegetable ripening dates in Kentucky

Department of Horticulture Fruit Website

Department of Horticulture Vegetable Website

Growing Kentucky - It's about You Video can be seen on this page: Growing Kentucky