OK, before you start to read today’s entry, I shall warn you that it is about gardening! It’s the time of year when our garden is really starting to come good, so from now on, my mind will be occupied with vegetables!
Just so’s ya know.
Before we started growing our own vegetables, I was a bit of a novice on the whole topic. I had always grown herbs and tomatoes, of course, so I knew they tasted much better when they were home grown.
But, I figured, with the advent of farmer’s markets, when you could ostensibly buy seasonal fruit and veg fresh, there was really no point in growing many of the common vegetables yourself. Right?
Oh, so wrong! Even if you buy veg at the farmer’s market, you are not getting truly, truly fresh veg. Everything is likely to have been picked at least 12-24 hours prior to setting up, and that is enough time for the peak taste and nutrition to be …. just … gone!
Take peaches. We have a tiny peach tree, planted last year, that yielded about 12 peaches this year. We picked them and ate them the same day. And oh-my-god, the flavour! It was the hugely juicy, sweet juice running down your chin, really peach-y taste that I remembered from days of old, when fruit was actually picked ripe and eaten right away. It had been so long since I had experience that that I had forgotten what a peach really tasted like.
Well, of course, that’s not the way it’s done anymore. Most fruit and veg are picked hard (if ripe, they damage too easily in transit). They are, perhaps ripened on a ship (i.e. Egyptian new potatoes). They may be ripened in a warehouse via temperature control and ethylene gas (most of the major suppliers).
And do you think these methods produce fruit and veg with the same taste of a freshly-picked item? You tell me.
Anyhoo, back to my topic – green peppers. This was one of the things I didn’t really think we needed to grow. It is, however, one of the vegetables routinely grown in our area, so it would be unacceptable to be the odd ones out! So grow them we did, and wow, what a difference!
Our peppers are picked and processed the same day – during the glut, we de-seed, then freeze them immediately. Others we use in salads, in stir fry, roasted on the grill, stuffed with tuna, and so on. They are deep green, fully ripe, and so crisp that they crunch when you cut them.
Oh yeeeaaahhhh, it does make a difference to grow them yourself!
And for you skeptics: it’s not just my rant, others feel the same ! Check out this lady’s blog.