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Ask A Farmer: Houston Summer Produce Guide

April 3, 2013 6:00 AM

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After the long, cold, winter, the sun is peeking out again and what better way to enjoy the fruits of nature than heading to your local grocer to check out the fresh fruits and vegetables delivered straight from the farm. Garrett and Stacie Gundermann, the power couple behind the successful Gundermann Acres, a family business spawned from many generations of family owned farming ventures, are a huge part of the Houston community. Together, they help build a healthier Houston through their organically grown and freshly delivered fruits and vegetables sold in many local farmers markets around town.

 Ask A Farmer: Houston Summer Produce Guide

Fresh, organic fruits and vegetables from Gundermann Acres (Credit, Rainne Mendoza Celespara)

Stacie Gundermann
Gundermann Acres
706 Louise Ave.
El Campo, TX 77437
www.gundermannacres.com

Stacie who is always busy having to manage various farmers markets in Houston where they sell their products, on weekends mostly, found time to share a few insights on local farming. She says April is the best month to buy in-season produce such as zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and eggplants. She also said if the weather goes well this summer, people may be seeing more fruits and vegetables in stores. At Gundermann Acres, the best sellers are always kale and broccoli all year round, while tomatoes are popular during summer.

For those who love fruits and vegetables, here are some tips from Gundermann:

 Ask A Farmer: Houston Summer Produce Guide

Fresh Produce at the Farmers Market (Credit, Rainne Mendoza Celespara)

Location, Location, Location

Know where the food is coming from.  The word ‘local’ may have many, different meanings to different people. What may be local to some shoppers may not be the same for others. Asking the grocer where the particular fruits and vegetables were grown will help the shoppers determine if that what they’re buying suit their dietary needs.

Follow The Seasons

Know what is in season. Some vegetables can be grown yearlong but some of them may not be able to adapt to the weather changes.  Extreme heat or cold can affect growth and thereby, the quality of the produce. Shoppers must know the kinds of fruits and vegetables that grow well during a particular season so they can be assured that what they’re buying are always the best crops in the farm.

 Ask A Farmer: Houston Summer Produce Guide

The Farmers Market at Imperial, Sugar Land (Credit, Rainne Mendoza Celespara)

You Get What You Pay For

Understand why local produce costs more. Fruits and vegetables that were locally grown and harvested do not sit in delivery trucks for days before hitting the stores’ shelves. They are always delivered to the market from the farm as soon as possible. Organic produce do not rely on chemicals to prolong crispness, assuring shoppers that what they’re getting are always fresh and healthy.

Related: How To Pick The Best Fruit

Branch Out

Don’t be afraid to try new things. Just because some shoppers have never eaten a certain fruit or vegetable does not mean they should not buy them. Venturing into the unknown with a little research and a great sense of adventure will be a worthwhile choice once the produce proves itself in the diner’s palate.

Make It A Habit

Buy local produce from your local farmer all the time. Locally grown produce are healthy because they are not subject to chemicals and pesticides to prolong life. They are always harvested and sold fresh in the market. Best of all, supporting local farmers helps the community by boosting the local economy.

Related: Fruity Facts

Rainne Mendoza Celespara is a freelance writer living in Houston. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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