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In Season: August

Tim Ohlwiler, horticulture extension agent for Fauquier County, says market shoppers should be on the lookout for the first crop of winter apples, squash and gourds in August. Other fruits and vegetables that will be plentiful: sweet corn, tomatoes, onions, carrots, peppers, cantaloupe, watermelon and other melon varieties. He added that peaches would probably phase out by the end of the month.

Look for apples, pears, blackberries (thornless), red raspberries, watermelon and turnips, according to Leslie Hart, an agricultural marketing specialist for the Washington County extension office. Fruits that emerged earlier in the summer but are still going strong: cantaloupe, nectarines, peaches, plums. Hart says there are plenty of local vegetables still in their prime: green beans, lima beans, beets, cabbage, corn, cucumbers, garlic, kale, okra, peas, pepper, potatoes, tomatoes, squash.

Pepper, potatoes, sweet corn, and onions will be the main crops coming in, says Bob Leiby, director of the Penn State Cooperative Extension in Lehigh County. Leiby says local farmers are harvesting thin-skinned, flavorful new potatoes of many varieties and colors, Market shoppers should also be on the lookout for plums, nectarines and McIntosh apples.

Local agriculture experts say that athough the hot dry weather has made some fruits come in sweeter than usual, without rain or irrigation some produce won’t come in as plentifully. Soybeans and corn were struggling in some parts of Pennsylvania, until rainfall in the past two weeks “perked them right up," says Leiby. Although corn will still be fresh well into September, be on the lookout for a drop in prices after Labor Day.

As August quickly approaches the window of opportunity to grow a fall vegetable garden narrows. “You could probably still do a fall crop of onions, carrots, and maybe even if peas if you are lucky,” says Ohlwiler.

-- Naomi Nix

By Naomi Nix  |  August 3, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  In Season  | Tags: In Season, Naomi Nix  
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