While tomatoes ripen, enjoy other good stuff


So long, strawberries. I’ll miss your sweet, tangy, tiny-by-supermarket-standards presence in my cereal, my yogurt, my dinner salads. Oh, yes, your big flavor and tender texture have ruined me forever for those berry-like items found in the grocery stores. I’ll pass, and I’ll be counting the days until you return next spring.

What to do in the meantime? Fortunately, there’s plenty coming in to area farmers markets to keep me distracted. Georgia’s generous growing season is just getting going, and there’s a whole summer ahead of good stuff to eat.

Here’s a look at what you’ll find now and in the weeks ahead:

Right here, right now: Early peaches. Summer squash. Beets, green beans, potatoes, arugula, collards.

Just starting to roll in: Blackberries, blueberries. Cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, pole beans.

Here but not for long: Sugar snaps, lettuce, spinach, radishes, carrots, broccoli, garlic scapes, kale, onions.

Still to come: Slicer tomatoes! Basil, corn, eggplant, freestone peaches, field peas, okra, peppers, raspberries, musk melons, watermelons.

And then, as the summer fades, we’ll have figs, muscadines, winter squash. Then sweet potatoes, apples, hardy greens, turnips … and the cycle starts over again. Strawberries will be back before we know it.

It’s the joy of eating locally and, by extension, seasonally. There’s always something good to look forward to. And when something you love is at its peak, you enjoy it all the more.