Local farmers offer fresh produce

Let’s face it, we, as Blount Countians, are spoiled to the abundance of local fresh fruits and vegetables that will be served from our kitchens or in our neighborhood restaurants in the very near future. We can’t wait to enjoy a Blount County tomato sandwich dripping with mayo or eat fresh melons that were picked just hours ago. Vegetables will soon be boiled, broiled, grilled, and of course, fried, to please our food palates.

In an attempt to have tasty produce year round, many will be canning fruits and vegetables. Others will be making fresh salads, baking sumptuous pies, delectable jams and jellies, and mouth-watering casseroles from tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, peaches, blueberries, green beans, corn, peas, okra, squash, and such.

Although strawberry season will soon come to an end, local strawberries continue to be available at Witt Farms in Sugar Creek, Jerry Marsh Farms in Locust Fork, and u-pick only at Trina’s U-Pick Strawberries in Blountsville. Whited Farms, in Oneonta, also has locally grown strawberries, as well as local peaches, broccoli, collards, cabbage, onions, squash, and zucchini.

Hazelrig Orchard in Cleveland began picking Flavor Rich peaches last week. They also have locally grown yellow squash, cabbage, zucchini, and cucumbers. Traveling further south to Straight Mountain, Allman Farms and Orchard began picking peaches on Monday. Although they have 18 different varieties, they are currently only picking Flavor Rich peaches. These peaches are considered a clingstone peach with a sweet, juicy flavor that ripens in mid-May.

There are no wrong ways to enjoy the plethora of appetizing delights that local farmers have worked so hard at for you to be able to bring them to your table. Be sure to get out and support your local farmer. During the COVID-19 lockdown, there was no lockdown for them, as harvest season for most produce is just around the corner. They were in the fields prepping, planting, and taking care of the vegetation.

Over the next few weeks, The Blount Countian will be bringing a weekly report of local farms and available produce. Please remember that “the early bird gets the worm,” so call ahead or get out early to ensure availability.