Available year-round with Best of Season July – December When selecting yams and sweets at your local market look for firm brightly colored tubers that are well formed, smooth skinned and heavy for their size. Speaking of size, it does not make a difference in quality. It does make a difference in cooking times though.…

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August – December from California When selecting squash in the store look for a hard, unblemished shell. Squash should be heavy for its size and free of any mold spots or cracks. Stay away from shriveled shells with soft spots. This is an indication of age and dehydration. At home, store squash in a cool…

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July – October from California, Mexico through late spring Place both hands on the watermelon as if you are going to give it a massage. Press in with your fingers and thumb. You’re looking for a give that springs back. If it does not spring back, then move on to another melon. Next give it…

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Year-round from California and other states When purchasing watercress in the store look for fresh green leaves; yellowing or wilting are signs of age. Watercress does not have an extended shelf life, so it should be used within a few days of purchase. To get maximum life out of the plant remove the rubber band,…

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October – November from California, storage year-round until supply runs out What is the oldest tree fruit known to humankind? Some folks would answer the fig referring to the story of creation in The Old Testament Garden of Eden where Adam & Eve discovered that they were naked and covered themselves with fig leaves. Other…

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Available year-round with Best of Season October – May When selecting any root vegetables in the store, look for heavy, firm – not spongy roots. Turnips & rutabagas should be fairly clean and free of decay. If there is the slightest indication of immature leaves growing from the top, then the root is old and…

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October through April from California and Florida Fairchild Tangerines, Murcott Mandarins, Paige Mandarins, Dancy Tangerines are just a few of the many varieties of tangerines and mandarins that you will find in the stores this time of year. Look for fruit heavy for its size, that’s an indication of their juiciness. Avoid fruit with sunken…

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Various varieties available year-round When selecting sweet onions of any variety in the store, there are a few things to consider. Sweet onions are fresher than regular onions and are more susceptible to bruising. Look for firm dry onions with shiny skins. Check the root end of the bulb for any signs of breakdown or…

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November – March from California When selecting Sunchokes in the store look for firm full colored tubers, keep away from green, sprouting, slimy or flabby, wrinkled roots. Uneven and knobby roots are normal. At home scrub them with a vegetable brush to remove any soil, remember, they are roots The Sunchokes resembles that of an…

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Summer and fall in California Some Summer Squash varieties are more delicate than others, Green Zucchini holds up best in the refrigerator, while yellow Zucchini, yellow Crook Neck and Patty Pan break down the fastest. Summer squashes even after one day from harvest, will begin to develop discolorations and sunken surface areas. When selecting summer…

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