Monday, April 14, 2014

Farm Fresh in the Kitchen

(Updated April 6, 2016)
This week's Farm Fresh in the Kitchen blog is "all about STRAWBERRIES!"  You know, those luscious little red berries who make their appearance here every Spring ... the ones you wait all winter for ... well they're back!

Did you know? The heart-shaped silhouette of the strawberry is the first clue that this fruit is good for you. These potent little packages protect your heart, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and guard against cancer. 

Packed with vitamins, fiber, and particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols, strawberries are a sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie food. They are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity and are a good source of manganese and potassium. Just one serving -- about eight strawberries -- provides more vitamin C than an orangeThis member of the rose family isn’t really a fruit or a berry but the enlarged receptacle of the flower. Choose medium-sized berries that are firm, plump, and deep red; once picked, they don’t ripen further. First cultivated in ancient Rome, strawberries are now the most popular berry fruit in the world. In provincial France, they were regarded as an aphrodisiac. These red gems may be good for your heart in more ways than one. 1. web md

Fun Facts!  
  • Over 53 percent of seven to nine year old's picked strawberries as their favorite fruit.
  • Eight strawberries will provide 140 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C for kids.
  • Native forms of strawberries adapt to various climates and are indigenous to every major continent except Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
  • The fruit size of the very early strawberries was very small.
  • Seventy per cent of a strawberry's roots are located in the top three inches of soil.
  • Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring.
  • One cup of strawberries is only 55 calories.
  • There is a museum in Belgium just for strawberries.
  • Strawberries are a member of the rose family.
  • The flavor of a strawberry is influenced by weather, the variety and stage of ripeness when harvested.
  • On average, there are 200 seeds in a strawberry.
  • Ninety-four per cent of United States households consume strawberries.
  • According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the annual per capita consumption of fresh and frozen strawberries is 4.85 pounds.
  • Strawberries are grown in every state in the United States and every province of Canada.

Tip - Use a vinegar wash to help keep your berries fresh longer!

Now, where can you go for some fresh, South Carolina strawberries?  Fortunately for us, there are two local farms right here in Sumter County where these lovely little berries are available!

Dorr Farms - 5225 Dorr Acres Rd., Gable, SC 29051. Home -803-495-2639, Cell - 803-983-9342
email -
You pick: $10 ($5 half gallon)
We pick: $12 gallon ($6 half gallon)
Available sizes: 1/2 gallon and one gallon
Hours: Monday through Saturday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday noon-6 p.m.
Payment accepted: cash and checks only
Attends The Sumter County Farmers Market in the American Legion Bldg 
  Facebook: Dorr Farms

Willard Farms - 1220 S. Brick Church Rd., Gable, SC 29051. The market 803-495-8802 or Jay Willard 803-938-2814
You pick: $11 ($6 half gallon)
We pick: $12 ($7 half gallon)

Available sizes: 1/2 gallon and one gallon
Hours: Friday and Saturday 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Sunday noon-5:30 p.m. 
(we'll open other days of the week when we have groups scheduled).
Payment accepted: credit cards, debit cards, cash and check
Facebook: Willard Farms

The market at Willard Farms offers a variety of  favorite jar products, including everyone's favorite "Summer Tomato Salad Dressing." They also offer premium, hand dipped ice cream, home made fudge or their famous "Willard Burger" hamburger, voted "Best in the State," hot dogs, chicken salad and more.

For more local area farms, or to find one near you, check out the following links:
Certified South Carolina
Local Harvest
Eat Local Grown
Farmer's Pal

What's FRESH and when in South Carolina chart here

Today's recipe Strawberry Cream Delight (click for printable version)
Pin it here

1 (6 oz.) pkg. strawberry Jello
2 1/2 cups boiling water
3 cups fresh strawberries
8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. Cool Whip
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 1/2 cups graham crackers
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cups melted butter

Mix Jello in boiling water; chill until almost set. Add strawberries and keep chilled until ready to use.

Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and Cool Whip; set aside. 

In a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan, mix the crushed graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter and press into the bottom of the pan. 

Pour cream cheese mixture over crust. Pour jello and strawberry mixture on top of the cream cheese mixture. 

Chill 1 hour before serving. Cut and enjoy this delicious strawberry delight. Scrumptious!

Click for a collection of Strawberry Recipes (click for printable version)

Until next time,
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