Published: June 18, 2020
We always celebrate Ohio’s summer harvest of corn, peaches and the like but this year when we’re searching for reminders that life’s beauty continues it’s especially gratifying to see our state’s colorful fresh bounty in the fields and in our hands.
Kendal at Oberlin residents were certainly glad to see fresh strawberries from Polter’s Berry Farm in Fremont at their June 5 Ice Cream Anti-social event, and local residents have welcomed the reopening of the Oberlin Farmers Market.
Farmers Markets: A Mixed Bag in 2020
Yes, things have changed at Oberlin’s Saturday market. This summer the emphasis is on “in and out” shopping rather than a community gathering space (though various musicians will continue to entertain) and shoppers are asked to wear a face covering and leave reusable bags at home.
But some things remain the same for the market, such as the sale of farm-raised eggs, beef and chicken, fresh veggies and fruits, homemade pies and cookies and crafts, such as pottery and jewelry.
Corn harvest is still several weeks away, but the Sapp Family Farm will be back.
“They have the best white corn anywhere,” said a shopper last summer as he walked away with a bag of freshly picked corn. Sapp, based in Pittsfield, also sells honey, maple syrup, and in-season fruits and vegetables.
The market began 20 years ago in Tappan Square and several moves later is now located in front of the Oberlin Public Library, every Saturday from May 16 through Oct. 10, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. In November the market moves indoors to the Oberlin Early Childhood Center.
Some farmers markets, such as the Vermilion Farmers Market, are taking a hiatus this summer because of COVID-19. Before you head out best to check and make sure your favorite market is open.
Farm Markets A Plenty
Northern Ohio has both year-round and seasonal farm markets stocked with fresh produce and other items, such as honey, maple syrup and baked goods.
Here are just 5:
- Grobe Fruit Market in Elyria, opening in July;
- Fenik’s Sweet Corn in Elyria, opening in July;
- Quarry Hill Orchards in Berlin Heights, opening in late June;
- Burnham Orchards in Berlin Heights, year-round;
- Bergman Orchards in Port Clinton and Lakeside, year-round.
Summer Harvest = Healthy Meals
Many of us are cooking more these days and while it’s tempting to turn seasonal fruits into pies and other sweet treats, we also want to be adding healthy dishes to our diet.
According to the National Institute on Aging:
“Older Americans generally do not eat enough fruit. Yet, there are so many choices—citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits; different kinds of berries; fruits that grow on trees such as apricots, cherries, peaches, and mangoes; and others like figs, raisins, and pineapples.
Many fruits provide extra fiber that helps keep your digestive system moving. Just make sure you wash all fruits thoroughly before eating. Whole fruits are best, but 100% fruit juice also counts as fruit.”
Berries are also good for the mind. In 2015, the MIND diet—Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay—was developed following research that found combining Mediterranean and DASH Diets could lower the risk of Alzheimer’s. On the list of 10 foods that are “brain-health powerhouses” are berries - blackberry, blueberry, cranberry, raspberry, strawberry.
Fresh vegetables are plentiful this time of year and deserve a spot on your plate too. Take tomatoes, for instance. According to WebMD, tomatoes and “other foods high in lycopene, a natural chemical, can help protect you against prostate cancer and may help prevent lung cancer, too. Cooked or processed tomatoes (in juice, paste, and sauce) may be better at that than raw ones. Researchers believe that heating or mashing tomatoes releases more lycopene.”
As for cooking up Ohio’s tasty corn, here’s a healthy recipe from Sue Campbell, Kendal’s dietitian and community nutritionist.
Seared Scallops on Corn Salad
- 1 Tablespoon oil of choice
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 4 scallions, white and light green parts chopped
- 1 small shallot bulb, diced (optional)
- 1/2 jalapeno, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 corn on the cob ears, kerneled
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 6 large scallops
- Salt and pepper
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add red bell pepper, scallions, shallot, jalapeno, and garlic. Add a generous pinch of salt and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly tender. Add corn and cook for an additional 2 minutes until warmed through, taste testing for salt level.
Meanwhile, pat scallops dry and season with salt and pepper both sides. Heat butter in a skillet (stainless steel will work best). Once melted and hot, add scallops, with one flat side down, and cook for approximately 2 minutes. Don’t move scallops around as they start cooking – let them develop the golden brown crust. Flip and cook again on the other flat side – you want a golden crust and translucent center. Be careful not to overcook.
Assemble corn salad on a plate and add scallops on top. Garnish generously with freshly chopped cilantro.
(For dairy free, replace butter with olive or coconut oil.)
Feed Your Body Right: Nutritional Needs After 50
As you age, having a healthy and balanced diet will help you look and feel your best while helping prevent many serious health issues. Learn how in our free guide.
In the past, Molly Kavanaugh frequently wrote about Kendal at Oberlin for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where she was a reporter for 16 years. Now we are happy to have her writing for the Kendal at Oberlin Community.